By John Coyne with The Australian Strategic Policy Institute As the world continues to watch heartbreaking scenes from Kabul, many are bracing for the far-reaching ramifications of its fall. The impact of the Taliban takeover on the global heroin trade… Continue Reading →
By William de Maria with Pearls and Irritations While sitting in on 24 soldier funerals did Gillard ask herself the same question, in substance, “is it worth it?”. No doubt each time she would have given herself the same answer… Continue Reading →
By Paul Barrett with Pearls and Irritations In response to the suicide attacks on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001, the US issued an ultimatum to Afghanistan’s Taliban regime to hand over Osama bin Laden and the other Al… Continue Reading →
By William De Maria with Michael West Media The big brand theme park that is the Australian War Memorial, bankrolled by international arms manufacturers, is an object lesson in dishonesty. Conceived during World War I amidst the mustard gas, the… Continue Reading →
By William De Maria with Pearls and Irritations When Australian soldiers lifted their boots off Afghani ground for the last time in December 2013 the Koh-e Paghman mountains outside Kabul moaned for a nation broken once again by invasion. Up… Continue Reading →
Alfred McCoy: The Politics of Heroin and War The failure of the Afghanistan war in which Australia, as a loyal ally of America, has been a major contributor has fueled opium and heroin production in the region to unprecedented levels, the… Continue Reading →
A Sense of Place Publishing announces the release of the digital edition of America’s Destruction of Iraq. The author Michael M. O’Brien, shows how George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was the greatest foreign policy mistake the United States has ever made, the worst ever made by a modern nation-state. Tragically, he drew much of the Western world into the conflict, in the form of the so-called Coalition of the Willing. America’s notorious prisons in Iraq incubated the formation of Islamic State, not just because of the huge resentments they created inside a sovereign nation, not just because the human rights abuses which occurred within inflamed Muslim sentiment around the world, but because they proved the safest, most perfect meeting places for jihadists to plot the formation of the Islamic State. From a Washington insider and former contract worker within Iraq, America’s Destruction of Iraq brings a unique perspective amidst the growing body of literature on Iraq and the spiraling growth of Islamic State, neither soldier nor policy wonk nor academic, Michael O’Brien illustrates another aspect of the disaster of the American invasion, the appalling bureaucratic and managerial disasters that wasted billions upon billions of dollars scraped off the back of hardworking American taxpayers, all to make a dire situation worse.
America’s war in Afghanistan is the longest war the U.S. has ever fought. Beginning a month after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the initial mission was to remove the Taliban from power and destroy the al-Qaida terror network. Now, nearly 17 years later, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll points out in his new book Directorate S: The CIA’s Secret War in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that the war’s goals have changed.
At best the war is a grinding stalemate.
“The prison was a hell on earth, as I will attempt to show in these pages, but I’m afraid my words will never be up to the task of conveying the filth, the danger, the uncertainty, the noise, the stench, the hopelessness, the barbarity, the cheapness of life, the random violence, the anguish, and the sheer fucking boredom that I had to wade through day after day, more than two thousand days and nights, in what should have been my prime.”
With the publication of Ghost Wars, an explosive account of America’s secret history in Afghanistan, journalist Steve Coll became not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, but also the expert on the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of Bin Laden, and the efforts by CIA officers and their agents to capture or kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan after 1998. Just as America’s hapless involvement in Iraq spawned the Islamic State, so its involvement in Afghanistan boosted the power of al-Qaeada.
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