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Afghan Civilians Imperiled by US/NATO Assault in Marjah | Just Foreign Policy

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

May Allah SWT protect the Mu’mineen of Afghanistan.

Afghan Civilians Imperiled by US/NATO Assault in Marjah | Just Foreign Policy.

The United States and NATO are poised to launch a major assault in the Marjah district in southern Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians are in imminent peril. Will President Obama and Congress act to protect civilians in Marjah, in compliance with the obligations of the United States under the laws of war?

Few civilians have managed to escape the Afghan town of Marjah ahead of a planned US/NATO assault, raising the risk of civilian casualties, McClatchy News reports. “If [NATO forces] don’t avoid large scale civilian casualties, given the rhetoric about protecting the population, then no matter how many Taliban are routed, the Marjah mission should be considered a failure,” said an analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Under the laws of war, the US and NATO – who have told civilians not to flee – bear an extra responsibility to control their fire and avoid tactics that endanger civilians, Human Rights Watch notes. “I suspect that they believe they have the ability to generally distinguish between combatants and civilians,” said Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch. “I would call that into question, given their long history of mistakes, particularly when using air power. Whatever they do, they have an obligation to protect civilians and make adequate provision to alleviate any crisis that arises,” he said. “It is very much their responsibility.”

Indeed, a report in the Wall Street Journal casts fresh doubt on the ability – and even on the interest – of U.S. forces to distinguish combatants from civilians. “Across southern Afghanistan, including the Marjah district where coalition forces are massing for a large offensive, the line between peaceful villager and enemy fighter is often blurred,” the Journal says. The commander of the U.S. unit responsible for Pashmul estimates that about 95% of the locals are Taliban or aid the militants. Among front-line troops, “frustration is boiling over” over more restrictive rules of engagement than in Iraq, the Journal says – a dangerous harbinger of potential war crimes when the U.S. is about to engage in a major assault in an area densely populated with civilians.

If the U.S. assault in Marjah results in large scale civilian casualties, the U.S. will have committed a major war crime. If the United States cannot protect civilians in Marjah, as the U.S. is required to do under the laws of war, the assault should be called off.

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Pentagon tells about its new military doctrine. U.S. wants to fight around the world – Kavkazcenter.com

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Pentagon tells about its new military doctrine. U.S. wants to fight around the world – Kavkazcenter.com.

The Pentagon will no longer shape the US military to fight two major conventional wars at once, but rather prepare for numerous conflicts and not all in the same style, according to a draft of a new strategic outlook the Pentagon is announcing on Monday.

The new mantra for military planners will replace the almost 25-year-old combat planning style of fighting and winning two major conventional wars in two different locations in favor of a fighting force that is capable of protecting US interests around the world from a range of threats, from “terrorism” to cyber attacks.

The change will be addressed in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated document that looks at future threats and the military’s requirements to mitigate them.

“It is no longer appropriate to speak of major regional conflicts as the sole or even primary template for sizing, shaping or evaluating US forces,” according to a draft first obtained by Inside Defense.

The review will come on the same day the Pentagon presents its 2011 budget.

According to Pentagon officials, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be asking for $ 708 billion, including funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — $ 44 billion more the 2010 budget of $ 664 billion.

The last major review was released in 2006 and the Pentagon’s view of the world has changed dramatically in the four years since.

The 2006 review was heavily focused on the threat of a large-scale conventional war with China and that country’s saber rattling over Taiwan. It also stressed the need for more of and a greater role for special forces troops for use in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2010 review still stresses the threats from China, but will look at the need to defend against a growing threat of cyber attacks — without directly tying China to past cyber attacks, according to Pentagon officials — and China’s focus on preemptively striking and crippling an adversary’s ability to tell what it will do next ahead of a large attack.

“Prudence demands that future conflicts could involve kinetic and non-kinetic (use of explosive weapons and laser weapons) attacks on space-based surveillance and communications,” according to the draft.

The review will put heavy stress on quenching the insatiable need for more unmanned aerial vehicles, including Predator and Reaper, the Air Force’s premier UAV’s used by the military for both reconnaissance and air strikes. The aircraft are used in Iraq, Afghanistan and over Pakistan and Gates has said the Pentagon needs more.

According to the draft review and US military officials, the Pentagon is looking at building up the number of aircraft in the air over combat zones from about 40 to 50 by 2013 and to 65 by 2015.

The review also stresses learning better and more efficient ways to use the drones by improving operating effectiveness and using new technologies.

The UAV category is just one way the Pentagon is shifting its priorities to position itself for current and future conflicts.

Roadside bombs continue to be the number one killer of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The QDR roadmap continues to recognize the need to protect US troops by enhancing training and intelligence.

Intelligence shows that “terrorists” have plotted to get their hands on biological, chemical or nuclear material to attempt and attack and the Pentagon foresees weapons of mass destruction to be a continued threat in the future and will push better WMD detection capabilities.

“The Department will expand capabilities to counter WMD threats, strengthen interdiction operations, refocus intelligence requirements, enhance and grow international partnerships and thwart proliferation,” the draft says.

While special operations forces (SOF) continue to be a priority from the 2006 QDR, the new review places emphasis on improved support for the elite troops.

That support is expected to include new gunship aircraft to protect the troops during combat missions as well as additional support personnel who would improve intelligence and communications for the SOF troops.

The review will also push for more helicopters, something Gates has said the military never can have enough of. A key tool in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to move troops and equipment safely and faster across those countries, they are also a necessity in humanitarian efforts like those after Hurricane Katrina and most recently for the delivery of aid in Haiti.

With the main military effort focused on Afghanistan, the review says a priority will be put on helicopters there.

“As operations in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan grow in scope and intensity, more rotary wing lift capacity will be needed to ensure that coalition and Afghan forces can be resupplied at remote outposts and effectively cover their areas of responsibility,” according to the draft.

But as the Pentagon looks to its new planning for future conflicts, the report also says it can be done in an environmentally responsible way by using more solar power, biofuels and overall energy independence as well as pointing out that the Department of Defense, “provides environmental stewardship” at hundreds of bases around the country.

However, a bigger challenge the Pentagon will face is future conflicts fought around and over reduced resources and environmental catastrophes.

The review calls these climate change scenarios, “accelerant of instability” and suggests the military will have to plan on operations where climate (rising sea levels, reduced ice in the Arctic) would be a factor in planning. In addition to what climate change effects could bring in terms of the spread of disease, mass migration and a scarcity of resources.

Source: Agencies

Kavkaz Center

Palestinian Journalist Remembers Israel’s Assault on Gaza

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

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Muslim exposes Christian about Jihad!

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Masha’allah, “They intend to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths. But Allah will complete His Light even though the disbelievers hate (it).”Holy Qur’an, Surah As-Saff, Verse number 8.

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