Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

"A giant US military base emerges in Afghanistan," AFP, May 8, 2009.

[This clearly means two things: 1) more airstrikes and, therefore, more civilian casualties. Harper is jumping on this bandwagon by sending Canadian F-18s to assist in the carnage. 2) More of the supply chain will be airborne. Someone has entertained the idea that movement through the Khyber Pass will slow to a trickle and the alternative through Uzbekistan may not materialize (because of strategic American objectives limiting the movement of SCO troops).The only real question is how much damage must be done--to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and don't forget the corrosive domestic effect on the US and its foolhardy allies--before we realize that the achievables have been achieved and we have overstayed whatever welcome we may have had. Obama is already committed to an "open-ended mission." The pragmatic Mr Harper may be willing to do an about face on his signature economic ideology, but he's a keener about this war. -jlt]

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (AFP) — In the forbidding Afghan desert, US engineers are carving out a sprawling military camp as part of a dramatic American troop build-up designed to confront Taliban insurgents.

The desolate plain in southern Helmand province that Afghans call the "desert of death" has turned into a hive of frenetic activity, underscoring President Barack Obama's decision to expand the US military commitment to the war.

  The camp, which is being built next to a smaller outpost dubbed "Bastion" that has served British troops, will include a vast airfield that eventually will be home to 55 helicopters and other aircraft

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