U.S. Escalating Secret War In Afghanistan: Report
February 14, 2015
US escalating ‘secret war’ in Afghanistan: Report
The US is escalating a secret war in Afghanistan despite the formal ending of foreign combat operations, a New York Times report says.
The United States is escalating a secret war in Afghanistan, despite an official end to foreign combat mission in the country, according to a new report.
Washington has increased secret night raids in Afghanistan since October, when American and Afghan commandos found a laptop computer with files allegedly detailing planned terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
The newspaper cited unnamed American and Afghan officials as saying that US forces are playing direct combat roles in many of the raids and are not acting as merely advisers.
“It’s all in the shadows now,” a former Afghan security official told the Times. “The official war for the Americans — the part of the war that you could go see — that’s over. It’s only the secret war that’s still going. But it’s going hard.”
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said on Thursday, “We’ve been clear that counterterrorism operations remain a part of our mission in Afghanistan.”
“We’ve also been clear that we will conduct these operations in partnership with the Afghans to eliminate threats to our forces, our partners and our interests,” he added.
US-led foreign forces formally ended combat operations in Afghanistan in December, with only 13,500 troops remaining there in an advisory role.
Night raids by foreign forces have in the past sparked public anger in Afghanistan over civilian casualties they left.
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.
In an interview with Press TV last month, an anti-war activist in Chicago said, the US military plans to remain in Afghanistan “indefinitely” and conduct military operations inside the country for “years to come”.
“The war [in Afghanistan] is not going to end in the imminent future,” said Rick Rozoff, a member of Stop NATO International. “Western military forces who have been in the country for over 13 years…are to be there for an indefinite period of time.”
“The effort to portray a complete withdrawal of military personnel and an end of armed hostilities in the country is largely politically driven because of the [US] presidential election next year,” Rozoff said.