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15 March 2012


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William R. Cumming

I have always assumed perhaps incorrectly that there is no SOFA for US or UN Forces in Afghanistan! If this is accurate the situation does differ somewhat from Iraq were at least conceptually we signed to a SOFA with "legitimate" Iraqi authorities.

Perhaps it is time for full documentation of the "warlords" including Karzai and their "government" in Afghanistan. Could not an argument be made that the US forces largely protect the opium trade in Afghanistan?



Your comments seem solid to me. But, I am too much of a Geek to be able to read the Potomac Tea Leaves. The Iraq withdrawal was smoother than I thought possible. Why not Afghanistan?

You posted earlier that the Fall departure of General Clapper is possible. Could it be because he said there is no Iranian nuclear bomb program? If he leaves it sure would be a signal that war with Iran is imminent.

The only persons pushing for an Iranian War are Israelis and War Profiteers. The simple fact is that if the USA limits itself to securing the flow of oil out of the Middle East, to survive, Israel will have to reach some kind of agreement with its neighbors which would mean an end to the Apartheid State.


I wonder how the Coallition is going to disengage without it becoming a rout?

The last successful disengagement I'm aware of was the Australians at Gallipoli. The Turks awoke one morning to find us completely gone.

r whitman

It looks like its time for the US to "cut and run" again. I would predict that if we get in a prolonged conflict with the Iranians, they will adopt the technique of continuously inflicting casulaties on us until we leave the Persian Gulf area. We have become used to retreating.


To WR Cumming: There is a US-Afghan SOFA of December 2001, as well as a Military-Technical Agreement signed between Afghanistan and ISAF I (then commanded by the UK) of 4 January 2002 (with later modifications). The Afghans requested to renegotiate this with a letter dated 10 January 2009 to NATO. Since then this is a construction site.

All agreements signed by the executive or the Interim Administration under Bonn Agreement must be ratified by parliament. This is where the story below comes in.

On your second point, this argument was made. Repeatedly. In vain. Taliban get about US $ 100 - 120 Million from the narco trade, which inside Afghanistan is worth about US $ 4 Billion. Guess who gets the remainder?

There is a theory why Helmand blew up, which looks at the control over trafficking routes and heroin production being contested between various parties. ISAF joined one (actually more than one, but they did not know) side, and off we went.

On Panjway: There seems to have been dispute over the story of the 'lone killer' I will post below the nearly full text of a Pajhwok article, as it is normally behind a paywall. I hope PL allows for it in light of the new policy.

Interesting for details of the story and the ramifications for negotiating an agreement with those who are still sympathetic to the US & ISAF.

Headline is "Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe" filed by by Bashir Ahmad Naadimon on Mar 15, 2012 - 21:33

The "parliamentary probe team on Thursday said up to 20 American troops were involved in Sunday’s killing of 16 civilians in southern Kandahar province." Pictures showns include also Sayyid Ishaq Gilani, and Samangan MP Ahmad Khan. Not sure that this picture is then also relating to the article which gives some different names - from what I hear flights to Kandahar are full with the "tout Kabul" going down.

The delegation was described by PAN as including "lawmakers Hamidzai Lali, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, Shakiba Hashimi, Syed Mohammad Akhund and Bismillah Afghanmal, all representing Kandahar province at the Wolesi Jirga and Abdul Latif Padram, a lawmaker from northern Badakhshan province, Mirbat Mangal, Khost province, Muhammad Sarwar Usmani, Farah province." They are all part of the pro-West faction in the parliament, secular Pashtun nationalists in the case of the Kandaharis and Mirbat Mangal, former leftist in the csse of Latif Padram from Badakhshan.

The team is said to have "spent two days in the province, interviewing the bereaved families, tribal elders, survivors and collecting evidences at the site in Panjwai district."

They came to the conclusion that there must have been "15 to 20 American soldiers" in the space of "one hour involving two groups of American soldiers in the middle of the night on Sunday" in two “villages one and a half kilometre from the American military base" - complained that the suspect was alwready flown out to Kuweit - and reflected locals claiming that "if the responsible troops were not punished, they would launch a movement against Afghans who had agreed to foreign troops’ presence in Afghanistan under the first Bonn conference in 2001." and announced that the parliament will also consider declaring the international forces occupiers.

These people would have been the ones who would have pushed the renegotiation of the MTA / SOFA. And actually still want the presence of international forces as they will be the ones who the Taliban will go after first.

Mark Logan

Walrus, I don't think they will be very eager to spend men and ammo on us myself, IF we are leaving.

They still have a job in front of them.

Medicine Man

The US just needs to stop regarding withdrawal from pointless conflicts as defeat.

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