Posts Tagged ‘U.S. in Afghanistan and iraq’

No end yet to the long war in Afghanistan

December 31, 2014

As we enter a new year, the United States is still entangled in Afghanistan, and as far from accomplishing any positive objectives as it always was.

President Obama’s declaration that the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan is over is as hollow as President George W. Bush’s declaration of “mission accomplished” in Iraq.

My guess is that President Obama is in the same situation as President Richard M. Nixon in regard to Vietnam.  Nixon and Henry Kissinger realized the war was not winnable, but were unwilling to be the ones who admitted defeat.  So the war went on.

As Lt. John Kerry said back then, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”


Hat tip for the following links to Iraq Veterans Against the War and my e-mail pen pal Bill Harvey.

U.S. formally ends war in Afghanistan by Lynne O’Donnell for the Associated Press.

Signed agreement locks in ten more years of Afghan war by Sarah Lazare for Common Dreams.

1,000 paratroopers to deploy to Iraq by Michelle Tan in Army Times.


Afghanistan, Iraq generate the most refugees

June 28, 2011

Top refugee origins 2006

More refugees are fleeing Afghanistan and Iraq than from any other countries.

America’s wars continue to account for many of the world’s refugees: 4.7 million originate from Iraq and Afghanistan, almost half the world’s total, according to the UNHCR’s annual report.  America also accepts more refugees for permanent settlement than any other country (71,400 in 2010).  Most refugees, however, end up as temporary residents in neighboring countries.  If a conflict or natural disaster is regional, states of origin may also be host states. Hundreds of thousands have fled civil wars in Congo and Sudan, but many seek refuge in both countries too.  Tibetans may flee China, but the People’s Republic hosts more refugees than it produces—mostly accounted for by 300,000 Vietnamese long settled in China.

via The Economist.

Click on Chart of the Day for The Economist’s chart showing the top refugee-producing countries, as reported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Sorry, I wasn’t able to download it directly into this post.   [Hat tip to The Dish for the chart.]

The  reasons for the refugee flight appear to be different in Afghanistan and Iraq.  In Afghanistan, people are mainly fleeing the war itself.  Refugee International, a humanitarian organization, said some refugees are fleeing Afghanistan’s corrupt and out-of-control police forces, but many have been driven from their homes by air strikes and Special Forces raids.

In Iraq, as the war winds down, refugees flee mainly sectarian violence by Sunni and Shiite Muslims.  Many members of Iraq’s centuries-old Christian population, which dates back to before the coming of Islam, have fled.  This is something new.  Saddam Hussein was a cruel tyrant, but he did not single out Christians for persecution.