• Tag Archives Afghanistan
  • U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies

    In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

    “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

    Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

    The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.
    “The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”

    The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.

    After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.

    Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander.

    Source: U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies – NYTimes.com


  • How the Taliban got their hands on modern US missiles

    The Obama administration isn’t only giving the Taliban back its commanders — it’s giving them weapons.

    Miliary records and sources reveal that on July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.

    They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.

    The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.

    The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.

    Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.

    The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet ­jihad.

    Reports of the Stinger reached the highest echelons of the US command in Afghanistan and became a source of intense speculation, but no action.

    Everyone knew the war was winding down. Revealing that the Taliban had US-made Stingers risked demoralizing coalition troops. Because there were no coalition casualties, government officials made no public announcement of the attack.

    My sources in the US Special Operations community believe the Stinger fired against the Chinook was part of the same lot the CIA turned over to the ­Qataris in early 2011, weapons Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department intended for anti-Khadafy forces in Libya.

    They believe the Qataris delivered between 50 and 60 of those same Stingers to the Taliban in early 2012, and an additional 200 SA-24 Igla-S surface-to-air missiles.

    Qatar now is expected to hold five Taliban commanders released from Guantanamo for a year before allowing them to go to Afghanistan.

    Full article: http://nypost.com/20 … -modern-us-missiles/


  • US troops ‘kidnap’ 4-year-old drone strike victim from hospital, allege parents

    A four-year-old girl whose face was blown off during a US drone strike in Afghanistan was kidnapped by American troops and hidden by an international organization, her family says.

    The child, named Aisha Rashid, was travelling with her parents, a sibling and several other relatives from Kabul to their home in the village of Gamber in Kunar province on a hot September day, when the drone exploded, Expressen.se reported. An uncle, Meya Jan, is at home on his farm in that village when he receives a phone call about the strike from the neighboring village. He and others rush to the strike.

    Suddenly they hear a voice. “Water, water…”

    It is Aisha. She is missing a hand, her leg is bleeding, and there is nothing left of her eyes or nose.

    Older relatives rush her to the hospital in Asadabad, but doctors there can do nothing. She is transported by ambulance to a hospital in Jalalabad, where surgeons do what they can to patch her face, but her case is too difficult for them. Hospital staff contact the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan UNAMA, who arranges for her to be sent by medical helicopter to Kabul four days later.

    The incident occurred on September 7, 2013, when NATO drones destroyed a pickup truck with civilians inside after its driver agreed to give a lift to Taliban insurgents, provincial governor Shuja ul Mulk Jalala said at the time. A report listed that four women, four children, and four men had been killed in the strike. The remaining four fatalities were said to be Taliban militants. NATO command acknowledged that the strike took place, but stated that the operation killed only militants – not civilians.

    Once in the Kabul hospital, Aisha is visited by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “She had lost the whole family, the entire family, 14 of them, in the bombing in Kunar. And that day . . . [note: there is a 39-second pause as Karzai struggles with his emotions] . . . that day, I wished she were dead, so she could be buried with her parents and brothers and sisters,” he said, recalling the visit in an interview with the Washington Post five months later.

    “She is walking now, she is in America. We arranged for her to be taken to America. She’s there now,” Karzai said in the March phone interview.

    But Jan and Aisha’s other uncle, Hasrat Gul, did not give permission for the only surviving member of the Rashid family to be taken to the US, nor were they allowed to go with her. And they were not given any news of their niece.

    via US troops ‘kidnap’ 4-year-old drone strike victim from hospital, allege parents