US troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024 19 Aug 2011 America and Afghanistan are close to signing a strategic pact which would allow thousands of United States troops to remain in the country until at least 2024, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. The agreement would allow not only military trainers to stay to build the Afghan army and police, but also American special forces soldiers and air power to remain. The prospect of such a deal has already been met with anger among Afghanistan’s neighbours including, publicly, Iran and, privately, Pakistan. [See: US as ‘Facehugger’ By Lori Price 19 Jan 2010.]
War costs may top $3.7 trillion 21 Aug 2011 Congress has allotted $1.3 trillion for war spending through fiscal year 2011 just to the Defense Department. In a recent speech, President Barack Obama assigned the wars a $1-trillion price tag. But all those numbers are incomplete. Besides what Congress appropriated, the Pentagon spent an additional unknown amount from its $5.2-trillion base budget over that same period. According to a recent Brown University study, the wars and their ripple effects have cost the U.S. $3.7 trillion, or more than $12,000 per American.
UK troops fired upon by Afghan forces at least 19 times –21 Afghan interpreters for UK forces killed since 2006 21 Aug 2011 British troops were accidentally fired upon by Afghan forces in Helmand at least 19 times over three-and-a-half years, military incident logs reveal. Four of the so-called friendly-fire incidents resulted in casualties, although none fatal, it was disclosed after a Freedom of Information request. Between January 2008 and June 2009, Afghan personnel came under friendly-fire by UK troops at least 10 times.
US spy drone crashes in Afghanistan 20 Aug 2011 A US spy drone has crashed due to “technical faults” [?!?] during a reconnaissance mission in eastern Ghazni Province of Afghanistan, NATO says. A statement released by the media office of the NATO forces confirmed the crash, attributing the incident to technical problems, a Press TV correspondent reported. Taliban spokesman Zabihollah Mojahed, however, claimed that the militants shot down the unmanned plane.
5 NATO tankers gutted in Mastung 20 Aug 2011 At least five NATO oil tankers were set on fire by unidentified armed men on Friday in Tera Mill area of Dasht tehsil in Mastung district, around 45 kilometres away from Quetta, Balochistan Levies said. A convoy of around 25 to 30 NATO oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan had stopped in the Tera Mill area when unidentified armed men opened fire. As a result five oil tankers caught fire and were completely destroyed.
Iraq denies striking deal on U.S. troops staying beyond 2011 20 Aug 2011 Iraq denied what the U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said about agreeing to allow some U.S. troops to stay in the country after the 2011 withdrawal deadline, official television reported on Saturday. “The Iraqi government denies what the American Defense Minister Leon Panetta said that Iraq agreed to extend the presence of U.S. troops in the country after 2011,” the state-run television of Iraqia quoted government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh as saying.
U.S. forces to stay in Iraq into 2012, says Leon Panetta 19 Aug 2011 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Iraq’s government has agreed to extend the U.S. military presence in the country beyond 2011 — but Iraq quickly rejected the claim. The word from Panetta, during an interview with Stars & Stripes, was the first official indication that any of the 46,000 American troops will remain in Iraq beyond the country’s Dec. 31 deadline for U.S. forces to leave. The U.S. and Iraq reached a security agreement in 2008 that the entire American military would be out of the country by the end of 2011.
Airstrike Kills 7 in Northern Iraq 22 Aug 2011 Seven Iraqis traveling in a civilian pickup truck were killed in an airstrike on Sunday in Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq, according to local officials. Two of the victims were children, they added. The officials said the attack was carried out by Turkey, which has been conducting air attacks on Kurdish rebels since Thursday. The officials said the pickup was struck by a missile in the remote Kewan Mountains near the village of Kur Taka.