We cooperate and we fight as hard as we can, because there will perhaps be disappointment but there will be no shame.A specialist in the 655th TC, writing to Jon Stewart • In a letter Stewart mentioned on Monday’s episode of “The Daily Show.” Stewart used the episode to pay tribute to the soldiers fighting overseas after he paid a visit to Khandahar this past weekend. After displaying several t-shirts that he had promised to wear, he read some of his observations and thank yous. Stewart then read this quote from a letter from a young specialist, from one of the nicest letters he’s ever received. source (via • follow)
If at all things become difficult, we will just get all our forces back. If Americans refuse to give us money, then okay. I think the next step is that the government or the armed forces will be moving from the border areas. We cannot afford to keep military out in the mountains for such a long period.Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar • Discussing American aid to the Pakistani military. The U.S. spends about $2 billion per year in military aid to Pakistan, and as we mentioned over the weekend, the U.S. wants to withhold $800 million of that, the stated reason being a response to the Pakistani government’s limiting of visas for U.S. personnel, and removing U.S. military trainers. This is a situation we rather expected, as the discovery of Osama bin Laden within Pakistan put a big strain on relations, and left many Americans wondering what they were paying for. The tone of Mukhar’s reply strikes us, honestly, as pretty snarky and passive-aggressive (acknowledging the possibility of a rough translation), especially in light of the huge sums the U.S. has paid Pakistan for military aid over the past decade or so. This is, as much as anything, an implied threat — give up the money or the Taliban runs wild. source (via • follow)
» Why would they do such a thing? This attack, one of the more disturbing we’ve heard in a while, is shocking, but not an unheard-of tactic by insurgents looking to covering their tracks — and possibly because they’re desperate. Only the girl died, by the way.
» That’s a little high for David Petraeus’ liking: Obama is putting the finishing touches on a speech where he plans to outline the plan for what the country will do about getting troops out of Afghanistan — roughly 100,000 are there now, and Obama could remove roughly 30,000 by late 2012 or early 2013 — the first 10,000 or so this year. Which means, of course, that we’ll still be there a long while no matter what our boy Obama decides.
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The photos appear in stark contrast to the discipline, professionalism and respect that have characterized our soldiers’ performance during nearly 10 years of sustained operations (in Afghanistan).A statement from the U.S. Army • Regarding a series of photos released by German magazine Der Spiegel which show U.S. soldiers taking photos with a man illegally killed in Afghanistan. The “kill photos” were reportedly part of a large series of thousands of photos the Army has tried to keep under wraps, fearing the result could be an even bigger black mark than Abu Ghraib. Some of the soldiers are already being prosecuted for their actions, which involved defenseless Afghan civilians whose deaths were reportedly staged to look like combat casualties. But things could get far worse from here. (Also: If you want to see the photos, look elsewhere.) source (via • follow)
So, it’s one thing to attack people living lives in normal conditions. That’s pretty awful on its own. But when you attack those who are starving and attempting to receive food from the World Food Program in Pakistan, that’s a whole new world of evil you’re entering. We feel awful for those who were hurt, and get behind Obama’s statement on this: ”Killing innocent civilians outside a World Food Program distribution point is an affront to the people of Pakistan, and to all humanity.” The more than 43 people killed and 100 injured didn’t deserve treatment like this from anyone. source