CIA Backed Forces In Afghanistan Implicated In War Crimes

The more things change, the more things basically stay the same. This time, Human Rights Watch has just publishing findings from an independent investigation linking CIA backed forces in Afghanistan to assassination, targeted disappearances, an increase in civilian casualties resulting from continued drone strikes and much more – some even amounting to War Crimes. Entitled “They’ve Shot Many Like This’: Abusive Night Raids by CIA-Backed Afghan Strike Forces,” the 53 page report documents the aforementioned crimes carried out by CIA backed forces inside Afghanistan across 2017 to 2019, specifically under Donald Trumps command.

In a statement published on their website this morning representatives from Human Rights Watch said “United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed Afghan forces have committed summary executions and other grave abuses without accountability.” Perhaps most worrisome of the problems however is the continued use of drone strikes on or near civilian populations, a problem that Barack Obama once also encountered in the region. HRW goes on the explain how “these strike forces have unlawfully killed civilians during night raids, forcibly disappeared detainees, and attacked healthcare facilities for allegedly treating insurgent fighters. Civilian casualties from these raids and air operations have dramatically increased in the last two years.” I could write more, or you could just consume all the resources for yourself – enjoy!

Executive Summary: https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/10/31/theyve-shot-many/abusive-night-raids-cia-backed-afghan-strike-forces
Download Full Report: https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/afghanistan1019_web.pdf

Browse Full Report:

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** If you can not browse the document hover over the pdf (above) and notice the up and down arrows on the bottom left. These will help you flip through the pages **

Interestingly enough, the same day the report was first released, the CIA issued a response to the report, essentially accusing Human Rights Watch of over simplifying the situation as the US continues its Was against the Taliban. You can read the CIA’s full 5 page response below…

Download CIA Doc: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/afghanistan1019_appendices.pdf

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Russia Today Creates Online Test Asking Americans How Well They Know The US’s War On Terror

Browsing through the headlines this evening I stumbled upon a new test designed by Russia Today, asking Americans how well they know the US’s War On Terror? Interestingly enough, despite being a War reporter for the better part of the last 3 years, I only got 9 of the 14 questions right – a failing score of 65%. The test is simple and straight forward, taking maybe 2-3 minutes of your time. I do not want to give away any spoilers, because some of the information contained within the test is information that every American should know. Despite whatever you may think of the source whom created the test, it is an interesting and accurate way to consume information, facts and statistics you may not have previously been aware of – but really should.

Rogue Media Labs has managed to embed the test inside this article for you to take. If you would like to access the tests original location you can find it here: https://www.playbuzz.com/rtinternational/how-well-do-you-know-the-war-on-terror

Take Test:

UN Investigation: USA Is Now Responsible for More Civilian Deaths Inside Afghanistan Annually Than Taliban

Yesterday, April 24th 2019, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan released their first quarter report of 2019. Officially entitled “The Quarterly Report of Civilians In Armed Conflict,” unfortunately, the 6 page report uncovers many troubling statistics in regards to the countries ongoing conflict. For example, in 2019 Afghanistan is already on pace to have the highest number of civilian casualties than any year in history – after setting new all time records for civilian casualties 2 of the last 3 years beforehand. In addition to this, under Commander In Chief Donald Trump, the United Nations has discovered that US and US backed forces inside Afghanistan are now responsible for more civilian casualties annually than any other party or group involved in the conflict – including the Taliban.

Full Investigation – UN’s 2019 First Quarter Report from Afghanistan: https://unama.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/unama_protection_of_civilians_in_armed_conflict_-_first_quarter_report_2019_english.pdf

While I invite you to read the report in its entirety, it is important to draw attention as to why the United Nations tied the Taliban in with this years report. For those of you whom might be unaware, this is because, as December of 2018, the ruling Government of Afghanistan has formerly invited Taliban leaders to the negotiating table to begin drafting a new Constitution for the country – an agreement which would also serve as a de facto peace agreement between the two Waring factions. This simultaneously comes as both the Taliban and ruling Government of Afghanistan, first put in place by the United States, are now both calling for an end to US presence/involvement in the country – 18 years after the War first began. You can learn more about these developments via the resources provided below.

Learn More – Afghan Government Invites Taliban To Negotiating Table: https://roguemedia.co/2018/12/08/op-ed-dropping-the-metaphorical-mother-of-all-bombs-blowing-up-the-uss-historical-war-strategy-for-afghanistan/

Browse UN Report:

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Senator Paul Introduces “The 2019 AFGHAN Services Act,” A Bill Calling for An End To US Presence In Afghanistan

Sponsored by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and officially entitled “The 2019 AFGHAN Services Act,” a “JOINT RESOLUTION To withdraw all United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan,” a new bill has been introduced to Congress that would finally spell the end of US involvement in Afghanistan. Introduced for the first time this past Monday, March 4th 2019, if passed, the bill would:

  • Declare victory in Afghanistan. 
  • Pay, within one year, a $2,500 bonus to all members of the military who have served in the Global War on Terrorism. 
  • Sets guidelines for withdrawal. Within 45 days, a plan will be formulated for an orderly withdrawal and turnover of facilities to the Afghan Government, while also setting a framework for political reconciliation to be implemented by Afghans in accordance with the Afghan Constitution.
  • Within a year, all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
  • At the completion of withdrawal, the 2001 AUMF will be repealed.

In a statement accompanying the introduction of the Bill, Senator Paul explains how it’s time to end the War in Afghanistan because allied forces have already ensured that “the masterminds of the 9/11 attack are no longer capable of carrying out such an attack from Afghanistan.” Explaining that “Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, and Al Qaeda has been all but eliminated from Afghanistan.” Additionally, as far as US interests domestically, Paul explains how “since 2001, more than 3,002,635 men and women have deployed overseas in support of this effort” at a cost of  “$2 trillion dollars today – currently costing over $51 billion a year.” This is all money, time and resource Paul says, that can be better spent/served here inside the United States on domestic interests.

Follow The Bill Through Congress: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/12/text
Download Full Text of Bill: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/sjres12/BILLS-116sjres12is.pdf

Text of Full Bill:

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Dropping The Metaphorical M.O.A.B. – Blowing Up the US’s Long Term Vision/Strategy for Afghanistan

Before I get into the reason why I am writing this article here today, you have to understand the current situation and state of affairs leading up to this moment in time. In 2001 the United States of America invaded Afghanistan in retaliation for the terror attacks of September 11th, as well as to combat Osama Bin Lad and remove the Taliban’s influence from political power in the country. Those were the so called “Primary Objectives” of the War effort in the first place – at least publicly.

I say this because upon landing in the country for the first time in November 2001, the first thing that then Brigadier General and now US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said upon stepping off his helicopter and onto Afghan soil was “the United States now officially owns a piece of Afghanistan” – something that Mattis was later forced to apologize for in front of Congress years after the fact. I bring this up because, in terms of the “Bigger Picture,” you need to start thinking in terms of geography and how this relates to military strategy. For example, do you notice how Iran is sandwiched on either side by Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you think it was any coincidence that within a two year time period the US invaded and establish permanent military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Image result for middle east

While Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein may have been convenient excuses to originally invade these countries, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were also extremely “tactical” in terms of long term War strategy. For many decades running now, Iran has been one of the United States and Israel’s single larges threats. 17 years after the invasions of 2001, the US has now cemented permanent military presences lining/flanking Iran’s Eastern and Western borders – we have them surrounded. Especially considering that the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are still ongoing with no foreseeable end in sight, this is why I have always maintained that Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban were never truly the US’s primary objectives in the first place, they were merely excuses/opportunities.

If you want any more proof of this, look no further than the current state of affairs inside Afghanistan. Despite the US military spending 10x more than any other country on Earth annually, the Taliban has only increased territory, funding and revenue since 2001. By now, it is well known fact that Afghanistan produces over 93% of the worlds opium poppy harvest. However, did you know that according to the Afghan Ministry of Counter Nacrotics, in 2017 the Taliban now controls 271% more farmland than they did in 2002? How about the fact that, according to the Russian Federal Drug Control Center, as of 2016 the Taliban had started making over $1 billion dollars annually from the sale of heroine to ISIS alone? How about the fact that, according to the United Nations Security Council, as of 2017 the Taliban was making upwards of $50 billion from the sale of heroine across Europe? Did I mention that according to the US Center for Disease Control heroine related deaths in the United States have spiked over 600% since 2001?

Honestly, if the Taliban truly were the US’s primary objective for this War, do you really think any of this would be happening?

With that established, lets start breaking down the history of US military involvement inside Afghanistan – shall we? While it can never be entirely proved or refuted, what we do know is that the United States Government, mainly the Central Intelligence Agency, did support/fund Osama Bin Laden back in the day – throughout the late 1970’s and into the 80’s. This was also done to counter-act Soviet involvement/influence in the country throughout the course of the Cold War. While Bin Laden may not have ever ‘been on the CIA payroll,‘ the US did fund him for quite a long time, nearly identical in nature to what the CIA did under President Barack Obama with the Syrian rebels throughout the course of his Presidency.

If you need any more proof of this, look no further than Donald Trumps decision to drop the “Mother of All Bombs” inside Afghanistan on April 13th 2017. Ask yourself, why do you think he decided to drop the bomb at that strategic location, essentially in the middle of nowhere? Any guess?……

Moving onto to 2018, Donald Trump is on public record as stating that he has no intentions of ending the War in Afghanistan any time soon. In fact, Trump has only committed thousands of more troops into the country since first taking office in 2016, with threats to add up to 4,000 more in the future. Perhaps more importantly, Trump has also stated that US soldiers need to experience a “victory” in Afghanistan before we retreat or withdraw, as to “justify” or “honor” all of the lives lost in the conflict over the years – admitting defeat in this War is not an option for this President. Somewhat similarly, did you know that the same month President Obama “won” the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 he committed +30,000 troops into Afghanistan? #FunFactofTheDay #Irony

With that established, lets take a look at the current state of affairs inside Afghanistan and the effects decades of War has had on the civilians living in the country. Despite 15 years of War at that point, 2016 saw the highest amount of civilian causalities inside Afghanistan than in any year prior. While the figures did decline, 2017 still saw the second highest rate of civilian causalities of any year since 2001. Quite literally, the longer the US has stayed involved in this conflict, the worse things have gotten and the more people continue to die. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what a successful War strategy should look like? Welcome to the “Quagmire.

Ending with the reason why I decided to write this article here today, perhaps most troubling of all, on December 5th 2018, following the success of the Afghanistan Peace Conference in Moscow last month, news officially broke that the Government of Afghanistan had officially sent an offer to Taliban leaders, inviting them to the negotiating table to begin editing/drafting a new Constitution governing the country headed into the future. In statements to RIA Novisti, according to Ehsan Taheri, spokesman for Afghanistan’s High Peace Council,the talks in Moscow marked the first time the Taliban has publicly appeared in the international arena since they were removed from power in Afghanistan following the US-led invasion in 2001. The meeting, brokered by Russian diplomats, helped pave the way for a future dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban,” Taheri said. Adding that there will be “no preconditions” for Taliban’s input in the negotiations when the time comes.

https://twitter.com/TimesofGeneva/status/1070317461776580608

Considering that the Taliban was in control of 70-75% of Afghanistan at the time of the US invasion of 2001, and that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qeada then joined forces with the Taliban to fight the US influence shortly thereafter, and the three sides have been at War with one another ever since, for obvious reasons, it is extremely troubling to now see the Afghanistan Government, which the United States helped put in place, reaching out the Taliban to begin negotiating an alliance/partnership headed into the future. Tens of thousands of deaths later, with millions more displaced displaced by the violence and trillions of dollars spent, 17 years into the conflict now, we are essentially right back where we started on day 1. So, what the hell is the US even still doing Afghanistan and what exactly is their path to so-called victory there?

Unfortunately, the US never set out to “win” this War in the first place, which is why we continue to fight a “War of Attrition” on through today. The US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan were nothing more than strategic/tactical planning as part of a much broader, long-term War strategy/initiative for the Middle East – gaining control of critical assets and infrastructure, including oil fields, lithium mines and natural gas reserve’s, whilst simultaneously setting up permanent military bases flanking Iran’s Eastern and Western borders. In doing so, also cutting of Russian influence inside the region. Tragically, the humanitarian disaster and conditions as they have existed inside Afghanistan and Iraq since the end of 2001 are merely just “Collateral Damage” in the implementation of this strategy.

That’s only a small part of whats ‘in my head‘ as I sit here today…..

New Report Highlights Global Failure of “The War On Drugs”

A new study has been released highlighting the combined/collective global failure of “the War on Drugs.” Not only does the data/information outline how an authoritarian approach to anti-drug policies has failed over the years, but it also goes on to explain why these same policies have actually had tremendous negative impacts on organized societies around the world at the same time – including global health, human rights, public safety and economic progress.

As a result, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the international group behind the report featured blow, is calling for major political reforms to international policy when it comes to drug abuse and drug enforcement, going just short of calling for an outright end to the War on Drugs itself.  “This report is another nail in the coffin for the war on drugs,” said Ann Fordham, IDPC’s executive director of IDPC, in a statement. “The fact that governments and the UN do not see fit to properly evaluate the disastrous impact of the last ten years of drug policy is depressingly unsurprising.

The report, entitled “Taking stock: A decade of drug policy,“ evaluates the impacts of drug policies worldwide over the course of the last decade, using data from the United Nations, peer-reviewed academic research, as well as a collection of grey literature from civil society.

What Did It Find?

The study concluded that drug enforcement policy has failed to decrease both drug consumption and production. Not only this, but these same failed polices have only made many countries, cities and communities less safe. At the same time, many countries, such as Afghanistan, have only seen opium production/distribution increase. In other countries such as the United States for example, the failed War on Drugs has only led to a self proclaimed Opioid epidemic/National emergency. Meanwhile, as a result of these same drug policies, the United States literally arrests more citizens per capita than any country on Earth.

Instead of reducing the overall scale of the illegal drug market,” notes the executive summary (pdf), “overly punitive drug policies have often exacerbated violence, instability and corruption.

Moreover, while global drug policies were specifically designed to reduce the spread/production of 3 major crops, opium poppy, coca, and cannabis, the study found that all 3 crops have only increased in production over the course of the last ten years. For example, the report estimates that opium yields are up 130% from this time in 2008, while coca production has also increased another 34%. While Cannabis figures were a little harder to calculate, given marijuana’s growing legal status all around the world over the last several years, it is safe to assume that Cannibus production has also increased.

What we learn from the IDPC shadow report is compelling. Since governments started collecting data on drugs in the 1990s, the cultivation, consumption and illegal trafficking of drugs have reached record levels,” wrote Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, in the report’s foreword. “Moreover,” she added, “current drug policies are a serious obstacle to other social and economic objectives and the ‘war on drugs’ has resulted in millions of people murdered, disappeared, or internally displaced.

View Report In Its Entirety:

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