Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Binocular Snapshot for 2/08/2011

LastDayWatchers remember God's Word to President Obama "But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought"

US-led soldier killed in S Afghanistan

"A US-led soldier has been killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, bringing the number of the foreign troops killed in the war-torn country to almost 40 in 2011.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said Tuesday a homemade bomb took the serviceman's life. The Western military alliance gave no further detail about the Tuesday fatality.

Attacks on US-led foreign forces have been on the rise in the war-ravaged country. Improvised explosive devices have proven to be the weapon of choice in most attacks.

Earlier on Monday, a powerful roadside bomb explosion killed two US-led foreign soldiers and an Afghan interpreter in Kandahar province in the troubled south.

The attack took place at the customs office. Two other foreign soldiers were also wounded in the attack.

Last year was the bloodiest year for foreign forces in the war-wrecked country, with at least 711 foreign troops killed.

Violence has picked up in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001, with civilian and military casualties hitting record levels last year.

The US-led war has caused the deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians directly from insurgent and foreign military action, as well as the deaths of possibly tens of thousands of Afghan civilians indirectly as a consequence of displacement, starvation, disease, exposure, lack of medical treatment, crime and lawlessness resulting from the war.

A 46-page report on Afghanistan from the United Nations peacekeeping mission issued in 2010 said Afghanistan's civilian casualties are spiraling, up 31 percent on the first six months of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009.

UN human rights workers recorded 1,271 civilian deaths over the period and 1,997 injuries. Of that total of 3,268 insurgent forces were responsible for 2,477 casualties, while NATO and Afghan government forces accounted for 386."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai takes a new shot at his Western backers

"In the latest salvo aimed at his Western backers, Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared Tuesday that reconstruction and development units supported by the NATO force should be phased out.

The president's assertion appeared to catch NATO's International Security Assistance Force by surprise. A military spokesman said no timetable had been set for the shutdown of provincial reconstruction teams, known in military parlance as PRTs.

The teams, based at Western military installations, operate in 27 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, providing services such as community healthcare and educational support. While NATO considers the PRTs an essential means of reaching out to impoverished Afghans and helping turn them away from the Taliban, Karzai has long denounced them as one of a number of Western-created "parallel structures" that undermine the authority of his government.

Over the past year and a half, Karzai has taken frequent rhetorical swipes at Western governments whose troops are waging the Afghan war and whose aid props up his administration. It has become a rarity for him to make a public appearance or policy statement without invoking the theme of foreign meddling, which he did again on Tuesday.

"Afghanistan belongs to Afghans," he told a news conference in Kabul. "Afghans don't want government from abroad. Afghans don't want a European government. Afghans don't want an American government. Afghans don't want a Pakistan government. Afghans don't want an Iranian government."

Karzai is not the only critic of the PRTs, however. Some international aid groups have long expressed reservations about the militarization of development assistance, saying it endangers all those associated with humanitarian efforts. U.S. officials have also acknowledged that the process of vetting projects and tracking the disbursement of development money is deeply flawed.

Still, Karzai's broadside could foreshadow increasing pressure from him for the Western force to adhere to a timetable laid out by President Obama more than a year ago, calling for the pullback of American forces to begin in July of this year. 

Senior U.S. commanders and policymakers have since backed away from that timeframe, saying the scope and timing of the drawdown of more than 100,000 American troops will be based on battlefield progress."

See how 100% accurate have been the May 15th Prophecy written at LastDayWatchers