April 20th, 2012
See Also: (Guardian) – Syria crisis and Bahrain’s ‘days of rage’ – live updates – Read More Here
Also: (RT) – April 13 – Video: Turkey Cites NATO Article 5 To Call For Military Action In Syria – View Here
(HigginsBlog) – More NATO allies continue to announce sudden and abrupt troop withdrawals from Afghanistan following the Afghan Massacre and other atrocities of US soldiers.
On the record officials are denying that earlier Afghanistan withdrawals from NATO allies are even happening at all but the headlines keep on coming in the actions of allies and not some spokesman’s words tells the real story.
A series recent embarrassments culminating in the Afghan Massacre in which US death squads went house to house raping and killing woman as well as their children in revenge for militant attacks seems to have been the boiling point.
Initially the US tried covering up the massacre and still claim only a single soldier is responsible although it is physically impossible for one person to have conducted attacks in two separate places in less then one hour on foot while raping a couple of woman in the process.
Regardless of the attempted US military coverup western journalists were able to gain access with the blessing of the Afghan president who also has blasted the US for the cover up and have been able to get the real story out.
Of course the massacre comes amid fresh reports of US soldiers posing with mutilated corpses which isn’t the first time such news has made it back to the homeland all of which the troops allowed to “disproportionately affect their morale.”
If any other nation had conducted the atrocities the US has committed in Afghanistan and in Pakistan they would have already been invaded and their leader hung for war crimes.
In any case, here the “official story” from CNN after the latest announcement that Australia is now drawing out their troops.
EDITOR’S NOTE: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer sits down with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an exclusive interview airing Wednesday, April 17 at 4pET on Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
By Elise Labott reporting from Brussels
As foreign and defense ministers gather here for the last big meeting before next month’s NATO summit in Chicago, NATO officials are pushing back on the notion that countries with troops in Afghanistan are headed for the exits.
The denials come as Australia announced Tuesday its more than 1,500 soldiers could begin pulling out of Afghanistan in the coming months, and the majority of them may leave the country by the end of next year.
That timetable puts Australian forces on a quicker withdrawal schedule than Prime Minister Julia Gillard had previously described. In a speech to Parliament in November, she said the transition in the southern Uruzgan province, where most of the Australian troops are concentrated, might well be completed before the end of 2014.
Australia’s drawdown comes on the heels of an announcement by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in February that the United States hoped to end its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2013, transitioning primarily to a training role as Afghan forces take more responsibility for security. Britain, France and Germany all made similar pledges to begin an early drawdown, saying they intend to hand over their security operations to local forces by the end of 2013.
Some countries, like Canada and Norway, have already pulled out most of their troops.
So what gives with the early drawdowns? Is it war fatigue and the war’s growing unpopularity in countries that are contributing troops that has NATO’s International Security Assistance Force countries running for the hills?
Not so much, insist NATO officials. They maintain the trend was expected and signals the coalition’s growing confidence in the country’s fighting forces and the transition to Afghan security control.
Source: Higgins Blog