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America's top military official warned that the US offensive in Afghanistan could end up fuelling the conflict in Pakistan by pushing more Taliban fighters across the border.
Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, said the surge of 21,000 additional US troops into Afghanistan had raised the prospect that Pakistan could face even greater turmoil in the months ahead."They want Afghanistan back," he said. "We can't let them or their al-Qaeda cohorts have it. We can't permit the return of the very same safe havens from which the attacks on 9/11 were planned an
About 55,000 NATO troops are in Afghanistan now, about half of whom are Americans. The decision expands the total US force by more than 50 percent.
But even more US troops could be on their way. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has indicated the Pentagon ultimately may send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in the coming year or so.
"This is the beginning of an almost unending need," says one Pentagon official. Indeed, it is the first prong of a broader effort that will include nonmilitary efforts in Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan, the source of much of the insurgency.
Crude oil, once seen as a wealth-creating blessing for mankind, is fast turning into the “devil’s tears”. The struggle to control the world’s remaining energy reserves increasingly culminates in bloody conflicts and the killing of innocent civilians, with the war in Iraq only being the latest example.
In The New Great Game, Lutz Kleveman gives us a fearless, insightful and exacting portrait of a new battleground in the violent politics and passion of oil: Central Asia, known as the "black hole of the earth" for much of the last century. The Caspian Sea contains the world’s largest amount of untapped oil and gas resources. It is estimated that there might be as much as one hundred billion barrels of crude oil in the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan alone.
The Great Game was a term used for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia. The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running approximately from the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 a second, less intensive phase followed.
Originally posted by Max_TO
Ok just found something ....
70% of Afghanistan outside government control: US Thu, Feb 28 2008. 10:44 AM IST
"Washington: The Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai controls just 30% of the country, the top US intelligence official said Wednesday.
Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told the Senate Armed Services Commitee that the resurgent Taliban controls 10 to 11% of the country and Karzai’s governemnt controls 30 to 31%. But more than six years after the US invasion to oust the Taliban and establish a stable central government, the majority of Afghanistan’s population remains under local tribal control, he said. "