Sunday, July 26, 2009

President Obama Wants to Use Mercenaries in Afghanistan

You can tell we are losing in Afghanistan if the military wants to use hired guns to help out with the war. Obviously Mr.Obama never heard of Clearwater. It didn't work for Rome why should it work for us. It is an act of desperation on our part.

U.S. military authorities in Afghanistan may hire a private contractor to provide around-the-clock security at dozens of bases and protect vehicle convoys moving throughout the country.

The possibility of awarding a security contract comes as the Obama administration is sending thousands of more troops into Afghanistan to quell rising violence fueled by a resurgent Taliban. As the number of American forces grow over the next several months, so too does the demand to guard their outposts.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he wants to cut back on the use of contractors that now provide a wide range services to American troops in war zones, including transportation, communications, food service, construction, and maintenance. As recently as February, however, Gates called the use of private security contractors in certain parts of Afghanistan "vital" to supporting U.S. bases. A contract for the work also creates job opportunities for Afghans, he said.

But the use of private contractors in Iraq has been highly contentious. Since a September 2007 shooting of Iraqi civilians in Baghdad by guards employed by Blackwater (now Xe Services), critics have urged U.S. officials to maintain much tighter controls over hired guards.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that the Army published a notice July 10 informing interested contractors it was contemplating a contract for "theater-wide" armed security.

Deaths are on the rise. It's starting to look like Iraq during the bad old days when 4,000 American soldiers died needlessly.
An American service member was fatally wounded by insurgent fire in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Sunday, bringing to at least 39 the number of U.S. troops killed this month in the country.

Officials released no other details about the Saturday battle, which was reported by the NATO command. A U.S. military spokesman, Navy reservist Lt. j.g. Tommy Groves, would only confirm that the service member was American.

July has been the deadliest month for U.S. and NATO forces in the Afghan war. Some 60,000 U.S. forces now operate in Afghanistan — a record number. President Barack Obama has increased the U.S. focus on Afghanistan as American troops pull out of Iraq.

Overall, at least 68 international troops have died in July.

Also Sunday, one of President Hamid Karzai's vice presidential running mates in next month's election escaped injury when his convoy came under fire in northern Afghanistan, officials said.

The Taliban are becoming more and more brazen:
Gunmen on Sunday opened fire with machine guns and rockets on a motorcade carrying the running mate of Afghan President Hamid Karzai in northern Afghanistan, but no one was hurt, officials said.

Up to 50 vehicles were accompanying vice-presidential candidate Mohammed Qasim Fahim from insurgency-hit northern Kunduz province to neighbouring Takhar province when an unknown number of attackers launched an ambush.

"They fired a couple of rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. I don't think the rockets reached the vehicles," said Kunduz governor Mohammad Omar.

"No one, thank God, was hurt."

The attack comes less than four weeks before Afghanistan's second-ever presidential elections, in which Karzai hopes to win a second term.