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The AfPak Gazette - Winter 2010, Volume 1 December 23, 2009

The AfPak Gazette

rubble. The house of Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, senior adviser to Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, was destroyed in the blast. The market car bombing is the first Punjab attack since December 8, when a Taliban suicide assault team killed 12 at a counterterrorism branch office of the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) in Multan.

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A Pamphlet of Reasoned Resentment, Chronicling the Villainy of Jihad and the Consequences of Evasion.

Sources: Daily Times, GeoTV, The Long War Journal _____________________________________________ [Purchase Gazette Ad Space & Support The Troops] Hitherto you have experienced the expenses, but nothing of the miseries of war. Your disappointments have been accompanied with no immediate suffering, and your losses came to you only by intelligence. Like fire at a distance you heard not even the cry; you felt not the danger, you saw not the confusion. To you every thing has been foreign but the taxes to support it.

(3)Sangin Suicide Blasts Kill ISAF & ANA Soldiers – 2 International Security Assistance Forces and 2 Afghan National Army Soldiers died when two suicide bombers on motorcycles hit a joint Afghan-NATO convoy in the Taliban infested Sangin District of the restive Helmand Province. Reports indicate that 2 ANA soldiers were also wounded in the jihad blasts. Source: Pajhwok

-Thomas Paine, The Crisis – March, 1780

Reasoned Resentment – A Commentary _____________________________________________ The tears of 9/11 run cold eight long years into the confrontation with Al Qaeda. The news wires tick and tick without a stir, for time’s tumblers have ringed the gaping wound with evasions. Western eyes turn to the daily mundane, seeking solace in hope and change. Suicide blasts in markets, security outpost overruns, and rocket attacks on hotels - across the Atlantic - ticker by without a murmur of discontent or outrage. The disconnect is striking – American, British, Canadian, German, Dutch, French, Australian, Afghan and Pakistani soldiers fall daily to the guns and powders of Islamic Supremacy, yet America yawns knowing no other reply. Has American Liberty been bred out only to be replaced by cowardice and intrigue? 3 dispatches from the AfPak epicenter of terror stand before you on the page – 45 dead, at least 102 wounded, a score unaccounted for, all at the hands of 4 indoctrinated bastards hot for jihad. Did you even blink? Near a thousand American soldiers have fallen in combat in Afghanistan these eight years, over 500 Afghan National Army have fallen this year alone, 100 British this year too – In Pakistan a terror wave these past two years has witnessed 2,700 fallen souls at the hands of Jihad as we quibble & fret over whether right is on our side in this fight we are to make. Narrow your eyes, America. Be assured, Reasoned Resentment is not akin to hate when rising to answer the call of Liberty. – GHJJ, Editor

December 15, 2009 (1)Jihadist Suicide Bombing Rocks Kabul – 8 killed, 40 wounded in massive car bomb explosion in a diplomatic enclave of the Afghan Capitol around 10:00am. The blast centered in front of Hital Hotel. 31 shrapnel victims were shifted to city hospitals. The car bombing killed 4 women including 2 nieces of former Kabul Police Chief Salim Ihsas. The explosion destroyed a dozen vehicles in the high-security Wazir Akbar Khan district just hours after Admiral Mullen met with Hamid Karzai to discuss the American Troop surge. After the blast President Karzai launched a 3 day anti-corruption conference with over 200 ministers, legislators and diplomats, a process closely monitored by Coalition leaders - 400 Afghan officials are expected to attend the conference. Sources: Pajhwok, Reuters, AP [Gazette Advertisement Space Available] (2)Terrorist Bombing Shreds Pakistan Market – 33 killed, 60+ wounded in a Punjab car bomb explosion in district of Dera Ghazi Khan. GeoTV reports the blast destroyed 10 shops in the Khosa Market commercial center – 20 or more civilians feared still buried in the

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The AfPak Gazette - Winter 2010, Volume 1 December 23, 2009 (4)Top US Commander Discusses Troop Surge – The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen painted a grim picture in a Monday Afghan press conference, “the insurgency has grown more violent, more pervasive and more sophisticated.” Mullen expressed concern over the “growing level of collusion” between Al-Qaeda and Taliban elements. Revisiting the July 2011 target to begin thinning US combat forces in Afghanistan, Mullen remarked “The most important goal in this strategy is the elimination of the safe havens for al Qaeda and its extremist allies.” On the AfPak regional aims, Mullen said the US was committed to working closely with the Karzai government to wrest control of territory under Taliban influence, noting that the US commitment in Pakistan remains in training their forces and helping with equipment, making sure to stress the 30,000 surge forces, as well as 7,000 recently pledged international troops, would not enter Pakistan, respecting Pak sovereignty.

assessment reports on extremism, terrorism and insurgency, NACTA is to liaison with international entities in related fields. Calling for an anti-terror strategy “based on the most modern technological foundation”, Zardari reiterated his desire to be provided with US tech advantages such as Predator drone capabilities in a bid to end CIA directed US strikes in tribal areas which have long been decried by Pak Parliamentarians due to civilian collateral damage. Sources: Associated Press of Pakistan, Bloomberg [Business Card Gazette Advertising Space Available] (7)NATO Supply Lines Targeted by Taliban – 2 NATO oil tankers were torched in Quetta, Pakistan. Sources indicate “unidentified men” opened fire on the oil tankers along Spiny road. Local police officials suspect collusion of the tanker drivers, since they abandoned the vehicles before the attack. Selling oil on the open market in Pakistan is becoming more prevalent along NATO’s Baluchistan supply lines. NATO forces largely depend on the supplies coming from Port Qasim to Afghanistan via Baluchistan. Deliberately burning trucks and tankers often ends in larger insurance payouts. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the Kabul-Jalalabad Highway was closed for four hours following an attack on NATO oil tankers. The District Hwy Commander Halim Khan said only one tanker was damaged in the attack, while a neighboring security official in Laghman said 3 were set ablaze. “Purported Hezb-i-Islami spokesman Qari Mansoor said six tankers, two cars and a police Ranger pick-up were burnt and some security officials killed by the group's fighters.”

Sources: The News International, CNN, NY Times [Yearly Gazette Subscriptions Available] (5)President Karzai Addresses Corruption – In a Tuesday conference, the Afghan head of state acknowledged the endemic corruption plaguing government ministerial posts, and asked officials to declare assets and explain their income sources, wondering aloud how after only one or two years of work the Afghan functionaries had amassed wealth enough for lavish vacations and posh Dubai villas. Among the attendees sat Kabul Mayor Abdul Ahad Sahibi, recently convicted of corruption and sentenced to a 4 year prison term. Karzai declared Sahibi, who was bailed out after his conviction and resumed his post, to be the victim of a vendetta – prosecuted for failing to join in with corrupt officials interested in a fraudulent land grab scheme.

Sources: Daily Times, Pajhwok

The Consequences of Evasion – A Rousing To those of us in America already neck-deep in the fight against the tyranny of Shariah Law and her masters of deceit, a constant drive to remain current weighs heavy upon our shoulders as the exploits of our enemies rain upon us from multiple news streams flowing from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Yemen, Gaza, the West Bank, North Africa, Southeast Asia, Russia, Europe, South America & here in North America mark the context of our pens for perpetuity. Yet, as we seek to raise awareness of the threat of an incomparable tyranny, our pens are silenced by the crushing weight of

Source: Pajhwok [Gazette Sponsors Enjoy Print & Web benefits] (6)President Zardari Directs NACTA on CT Strategy – In a Monday briefing of the Interior Ministry, Zardari directed Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority to prepare assessments on extremism and militancy and develop a national counterterrorism strategy to address short, medium and long term goals and devise plans to implement objectives. In preparing the national threat

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The AfPak Gazette - Winter 2010, Volume 1 December 23, 2009 a Media bent on evading reason’s grasp of objective fact, wielding its power of Omission for all to see. Four more dispatches from the epicenter of terror’s edge stood before you on the opposite page. Did you blink? Did you deem it worthwhile to question why both Admiral Mullen and Pakistan’s President refuse to call the “extremism” of Al Qaeda and the Taliban by its rightfully earned name – Jihadism? Is it meet that the New York Times and Bloomberg, American papers, would fall into the trap of evasion to such an unquestioning degree? Did you find it amazing that the singular Afghan official in the government tried and prosecuted for corruption is given a clean bill of political health by the President who is supposedly dedicating his term to ending corruption within his ranks? Is it likely that such a leader will instill the national pride necessary to drive the Taliban from its current position of influence and control in a full third of his country? Did it even dawn on you to ask who Qari Mansoor is in the ranks of the Taliban? Is it not quizzical to you that Mansoor’s role as Taliban spokesman is to amplify the success of the Taliban operation in complete defiance of fact? Whatsmore, why would an official, miles away, add confusion to the mix without cause? Evasion cuts both ways. 80% of Afghans are illiterate – is it likely that the civilians of Afghanistan will choose to read of the objective facts when the spoken yoke of Taliban intimidation is the item of the day? Evasion is the process of degrading reason’s hold on reality. The consequences of evasion are dire – a disarmed and confused public unable to question the dying of the light as they slide into bondage. Rage. Rage my countrymen against the dying of the light. To seven dispatches from one day in the confrontation with Islamic Supremacism in the AfPak you have furrowed your brow – lost as to the relevance of the prospect, pained by the influx of a foreign fight, dislodged and disconnected from the fact that Jihadists are drawing a terminally evading international community into a vortex of death, with America’s blood and treasure in the lead, while her people and those she seeks to liberate remain victims of evasion at every jarring whip in the information maelstrom. How is it possible to stand shoulder to shoulder with our courageous volunteer men and women of the military in such an environment defined by its ruthless rejection of reality? Evasion and Jihad both hold a seminal nature – both beasts aim to murder reason. The AfPak Gazette was born to hunt down and slay these beasts of deceit. – Gary H. Johnson, Jr.

(8)UK Buys 22 Chinooks to Support Afghanistan – The UK Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth announced the Ministry of Defense’s intention to reshuffle its defense spending budget. Defense will purchase 22 Chinook Helicopters to be built by US Boeing Co. to take the total fleet from 48 to 70. The first 10 CH-47 Chinooks will roll off the production lines by 2012 and will be operational by 2013. The MOD move to spend more on the Afghan mission, which includes state of the art body armor for British troops, will result in upwards of 3,000 job cuts and the closing of the Rutland RAF Cottesmore base. The RAF job cuts will allow the number of Reaper drones involved in intelligence and surveillance ops to double. 150 million pounds is to be spent on countering the IED problem in Afghanistan, which has accounted for over half of the 237 British soldier deaths since operations began. 280 million pounds was already appropriated from the UK Treasury to purchase Husky and Jackal vehicles and roadside bomb kits. Also announced were plans to reduce RAF Tornado and Harrier forces by one or two squadrons, with final decisions to be announced in the 2010 Defense Review. Criticized for the decision to purchase American Helicopters, Defense Minister Quentin Davies called the Chinook an “incomparable aircraft”, noting that “a lot of work” would be necessary in maintaining the aircraft at Vector Aerospace in Gosport, Hampshire. The Chinook purchase was announced ahead of sweeping UK defense budget cuts, which may also include the scrapping of plans to build two new aircraft carriers. Source: BBC, Wall Street Journal [Join The AfPak Gazette Distribution Network Today] (9)PM Gordon Brown Trumpets Afghan Summit – Islamist gunmen and renegade police stormed two police posts in the Southern Helmand Province and Northern Baghlan Province on Monday the 14th, killing eight Afghan police in each of the terrorist strikes, grabbing weapons and vehicles in escape. Following the attacks, UK Prime Minister Brown visited troops and heralded the delivery of a “new compact” between the International Coalition and Afghanistan at an upcoming January 28 summit in London to be attended by delegates from 68 nations, including German Chancellor Merkel, French President Sarkozy, & US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Hamid Karzai is expected to bring forward an anti-corruption package to the conference.

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The AfPak Gazette - Winter 2010, Volume 1 December 23, 2009 (11)Taliban Intimidate Pak Clerics – On Tuesday, progovernment clerics in Pakistan released a decree which stated “Suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in Pakistan are haram (forbidden). Offering namaz (prayers) behind those religious leaders who support suicide bombings and terrorism in the country is also haram.” The decree against the pro-terrorism clerics and religious party leaders came at an Ulema Convention that was held at the Jinnah Ground, under the aegis of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Following the release of the Karachi decree, the Tehreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq said, “We expect that the clerics will not issue fatwas against suicide bombing without listening to the point of view of the jihadi forces.” Seizing upon news that the Pak government sought edicts from influential clerics to denounce the TTP’s terror method, Tariq ridiculed the decree, “Issuing fatwas against suicide bombing on the basis of the government’s propaganda is unjust.”

Set to establish conditions for handing over security to the Afghan Government, Brown touted the London summit’s aggressive agenda which will attempt to create long-term plans for increasing the number and quality of the Afghan security forces, will discuss the prospects of re-integrating cowed Taliban into Afghan society & will outline international aid and future development in the war torn nation. Sources: AFP, UPI, Guardian [Gazette Ads Support Freelance Submissions] (10)Taliban Harassment Stalls Kajaki Dam Project – General McChrystal’s population-centric strategy for degrading Taliban capabilities and securing the civilians of Afghanistan has placed considerable strain on the British security bubble around the Kajaki Dam plant. In September 2008, 220 tons of equipment including a third turbine for the hydroelectric generator were delivered to the Kajaki dam in a daring mission involving 2,000 British troops in a 5 day convoy that cut through Taliban lines in a 110 mile slog from Pakistan to the isolated Northern Helmand plant. In 15 months of increased conflict, NATO has been able to secure the main road to the Kajaki Dam. As Taliban activity and attacks along this 30 mile drag to the plant increased, CMIC, the Chinese company contracted to install the turbine, left due to security concerns. USAID has been unable to find another contractor prepared to complete the installation. John Smith-Sreen, head of energy and water projects for USAID in Kabul, noted the inability to continue the installation of the turbine, “we can’t move in the large quantity of cement and aggregate that we need…” Smith-Sreen further said that civilian contractors would not be attracted to the project without a sustained effort that secured the road to Kajaki for 6 months. Since October, the plant has produced 33 megawatts to power Kandahar and Helmand; however, Taliban operatives regularly cut the power transmission lines, causing frequent blackouts in Kandahar City and Lashkar Gah. USAID has to date invested $47 million for the dam’s reconstruction, slated to cost upwards of $500 million over the entirety of the process aimed at supplying electricity to 1.7 million Afghans.

Source: Daily Times [Local & National Gazette Ad Space Available] (12)US Pressures Pakistan to Hit Taliban Enclaves – As Admiral Mullen met with Afghan President Karzai, Regional CentCom Commander David Petraeus met with leaders in Pakistan to explain the Obama administration’s new Afghan policy in response to Pak fears that increased US pressure will push Afghan Taliban over the border into Pakistan. General Petraeus highlighted the need for close US/Pak coordination and cooperation. Previously, on Sunday the 13th in Bahrain, discussing his coming meeting with Pak officials, Patraeus remarked "It would be very helpful if additional pressure could be put [by Pakistan] on the leadership elements that are causing problems in Afghanistan." In a show of partnership with the Pak government, in hopes of convincing the Zardari Administration and Pak Military Generals to pursue the command and control center of the Afghan Taliban – the Quetta Shura – in Baluchistan and the Afghan Taliban Haqqani Network in its North Waziristan enclaves, the US regional commander further worked to ease previous differences between the US and Pakistan over the ISI involvement with the Taliban. Walking back previous claims by Admiral Mullen to the contrary, General Petraeus took pains to note that the United States has not seen any evidence within the past two years suggesting Pakistan's prime spy

Sources: Quqnoos, Guardian, The Nation [Quarterly Gazette Subscriptions Available]

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The AfPak Gazette - Winter 2010, Volume 1 December 23, 2009 awaiting the swirl of a bureaucrat’s pen, and for what? Due to Britain’s defense budget cost cutting efforts aimed at reallocating significant resources to protecting her soldiers in the Afghan theater with better gear to face the chief killer of Coalition troops in Afghanistan these past eight years – the IED, the improvised explosive device, the roadside shredder. Upwards of 70 percent of Coalition casualties are resultant of IEDs. The Chinook purchase was, in itself, a capitulation to this reality. The enemy we face is bleeding our resources, disrupting the engagement process & harassing the NATO supply lines. The Kajaki Dam security bubble is a case in point –Taliban elements regularly shut down the electricity to Kandahar and Lashkar Gah by cutting power lines. Blood & treasure is then spent in repairing the breach in civilian confidence…for while terror is felt keenly in the flames and concussion of an explosion, no dread is more chilling than the sudden silent black. 13 dispatches from one day in Reason’s war against Al Qaeda have passed before your eyes in scarce four pages. The enemy we are facing has a name. To evade the identity of our enemy in the AfPak degrades America’s just cause. Thomas Paine, The Original Pamphleteer of our Founding Fathers, in his excellent treatise The Rights of Man, revealed that “The mind, in discovering truth, acts in the same manner as it acts through the eye in discovering objects; when once an object has been seen, it is impossible to put the mind back to the same condition it was in before it saw it.” What truths did ye find in these 13 dispatches, I ask? Did you find our enemy’s name? Was this the first you have heard of the Haqqani network, plaguing our soldiers in cross-border strikes? The object of Jihad has been seen by the eye of concern and America’s heroic minds will ever be altered – flat footed and groggy at present, yes, lumbering, yes, but aroused to reasoned activism nonetheless. The revolt against Jihad’s Villainy begins with the recognition of the AfPak disconnect. Concerned awareness defines your new condition, heroes. It should not sit easily by in your Reason that the top US Military Commander refers to the enemy in the Afghan Intervention as extremists. Did not a TTP Taliban spokesman, in recent memory, reject religious decrees against suicide bombing? What did Azam Tariq say? Oh yes, “We expect that the clerics will not issue fatwas against suicide bombing without listening to the point of view of the jihadi forces.” The Jihadist TTP are claiming a moral duty of Islam to wage holy war on Pak government targets by launching waves

agency, the ISI, is helping al-Qaeda or Afghan militants blamed for attacks on American and allied forces in Afghanistan. Sources: Voice of America, Wall Street Journal [Gazette Ads Support Research Internships] (13)Kayani Stresses Short-Term Challenge – Both US civilian and military leaders have praised the Pak military counter terror operations in Swat and South Waziristan this year. The head of Pakistan’s military, General Ashfak Parvez Kayani, however, rebuffed US Commander Petraeus’ push to secure a Pak military commitment to strike at the Haqqani network of 4,000 to 12,000 Taliban under Siraj Haqqani in North Waziristan, claiming that his forces were engaged in the short-term goal of defeating the local Tehreek-e-Taliban in South Waziristan. US diplomats and officials have repeatedly voiced demands for the Pak military to confront the Haqqani Network and the Quetta Shura else face the prospect of CIA drone strikes widening to include the Quetta Shura. General Kayani argued that the TTP were responsible for a two-year terror wave targeting Pak markets and security installations and were therefore the Pakistan military’s top priority. Through a lens of concern over the destabilizing possibilities of the US troop surge in Afghanistan and expanded CIA drone strikes in Baluchistan with 27 million Pashtun straddling the Durand line, Kayani sees consolidation of control over South Waziristan as paramount in weakening the local TTP. In light of the success of counter terror ops in the tribal badlands of the NWFP & FATA, the Pak Prime Minister Gilani telegraphed Pak Military calculations for the extension of the tribal belt offensive to the Orakzai Agency. Source: NY Times

The Villainy of Jihad – A Call to Rise The manner in which men and women of the Western cultural tradition mount a response to the ethical, social, political, economic, diplomatic, and military advances of Islamic Supremacy, will decide whether Justice, Liberty, & Sovereignty are to be defined by the Reason of Man or by the Tyrannical Will of Allah’s slavers. Awaken, America. Arise, Heroes of the Dawning. For far too long have you remained as Angels on the sideline. 3,000 jobs lost in Britain – for what? Untold jobs on the verge of being lost in aircraft carrier construction projects – all

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The AfPak Gazette - Winter 2010, Volume 1 December 23, 2009 of the ultimate in guided missiles, the suicide bomber. Whatsmore, the TTP terrorists are demanding a seat of legitimized influence at the table in the formulation of religious decrees issued by the religious High council of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s original Capital – in the name of the TTP’s Forces of Jihad. Will the upcoming 68 nation Afghan Summit in London in late January evade the name of our enemy? Have the jihadi roots of the ISI tied the hands of US statecraft in its endeavor toward partnership and engagement in the AfPak? Jihad is the name and defining character of our military foe in the AfPak. The extent of a jihadi terrorist organization’s exploits, the level of its propaganda, and the force of its indoctrination and intimidation campaigns are directly proportional to the capacity its leadership possesses. Jihad Terror destabilizes reasoning minds. In a word, the victory of Jihad is found in the forced overthrow of reason – Evasion is the logical result of an overthrown reason. What comfort it must provide to our enemy when our leaders frame the conflict in the volatile region in terms of an evasive chimera of distraction. The Taliban, the talib, are “students” of Shariah Law. The essential aim of all authority in Islamic Law is to make all religion Allah’s. This fact is well-established. Our enemy in the AfPak is comprised of colluding jihadist insurgents battling for authority. The mass evasion of this fact is the folly of our age. To gain influence, and thereby authority over isolated tribal populations of the AfPak, the butchers, al Qaeda and the Taliban, are hell bent on developing parallel institutions of governance called Shadow Governments through an intimidation network of syndicates and ratlines. By the admission of US officials before Congress, the Taliban in Afghanistan hold the momentum at present and controlling influence in 11 of 34 provinces.

AfPak Falling - The AfPak Dispatches As Fall 2009 rattled to a shaky close in the AfPak, American newswires coughed and sputtered, digesting the degraded military mission in Afghanistan. No longer will the Coalition seek to defeat the Taliban butchers. Rather, it will seek to degrade the capabilities of the insurgency to levels manageable to Afghan forces. Evading the responsible aim of victory, our leaders have decided “success” is an achievable notion, angling to responsibly end combat operations in an ill-fated security transfer. The ticker churned forward on December 16th with reports of 49 Taliban laid low in the FATA by Pak security operations. Also, in Baluchistan, a grenade was hurled at a bus wounding 12 according to Pak State TV. The Taliban commander Syed Noor and 24 other Taliban were arrested by Pak security forces in the Pak tribal belt, while a grenade was lobbed into a music concert in Khyber, killing 4 and wounding 27 according to Daily Times (of Pakistan) sources. According to MEMRI’s Jihad & Terrorism Threat Monitor, a Taliban Spokesman named Seifullah Jalali released a video saying “with all certainty” that the Taliban controls 70 to 80% of Afghan lands. PBS released a disturbing report, discussing the possibility that private US Contractors were paying the Taliban a “protection tax” to guarantee safe passage on supply lines. Afghan sources reveal at least 5 Afghan police and 6 Coalition soldiers were killed in bombings across Afghanistan, including 1 American. On December 17th, Zohaib-Al-Zahidi, a Qaeda operative, was killed when 5 US drones fired at least 10 hellfire missiles onto two houses in the Haqqani haven of North Waziristan, killing at least 15 – around 6pm, another drone strike killed 2 Taliban according to one British report. Bloomberg’s Anwar Shakir related that the Pak Army’s pursuit of TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud has resulted in an expansion of Pak security ground forces and fighter jet operations throughout the tribal belt, targeting Taliban suicide bomber bases, while the Kuwait News Agency reports that two suicide blasts rattled the NWFP – a suicide bomber targeted the Laki Marwat district Mayor and a remote controlled IED targeted a Khyber security convoy; 2 were killed in each explosion, and a retaliatory house-to-house sweep ended after 5 Taliban were killed. AP sources note that several American servicemen were wounded East of

Therefore, with a weekly account of our reasoned resentment, tracking the carnage of the AfPak, while lending critical eye upon the consequences of evasion in this fight we are to make, let us, in a public intellectual revolt, as heroes, resolve to expose together the Villainy of Jihad, giving clear voice to our legitimate grievances and material injury without apology, declaring our sovereign independence once again from an epicenter of Tyranny across the Atlantic. – Gary H. Johnson, Jr., Founder of The AfPak Gazette [Subscribe Today – www.theafpakgazette.com]

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The AfPak Gazette - Winter 2010, Volume 1 December 23, 2009 the 32nd Regiment of 1st Battalion successfully secured the region in an hour long battle, with artillery and air support – no casualties reported.

Kabul when 800 French Legionnaires along with 200 US special ops forces mounted an offensive to wrest control of the Uzbin Valley from the Taliban. th

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On December 20 NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that the US push to train a robust and capable Afghan security apparatus is hampered by annual dropout rates topping 20% as well as chronic illiteracy in the new wave of recruits attracted by sign-on bonuses. A Dawn correspondent reports that 17 bodies were found in Dara and Orakzai Agencies, including Taliban Commander “Ehsan” and four of named Taliban associates – also, a firefight between Taliban and a progovernment tribal lashkar (militia) ended in 2 tribesmen dying. A retaliatory strike by the militia saw 6 Taliban fall in Orakzai. The Pajhwok ticker notes that the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Eikenberry, closed out Fall 2009 by signing on to a contract on behalf of USAID, to build a Ministry of Public Health for Afghanistan by 2012 in the Afshaar area of Kabul; meanwhile, 4 Taliban were killed in a joint coalition operation in Nad Ali in Helmand province.

On December 18 , Gordon Lubold of CSM reports that US Marines are staging a massive offensive to crack open the Taliban stronghold of Marjeh, a 100 square mile powder keg in Southern Afghanistan. Meanwhile, according to Dawn reports in Pakistan, a Taliban suicide bomber drove an explosives laden vehicle into a Mosque in Lower Dir, killing 15 upon detonation, extending the terror wave in the restive tribal belt. Saeed Shah, reporting from Islamabad for the UK Telegraph, found that following the recent denial of Amnesty to the Pak President for charges of corruption, the Pak Interior Minister Rehman Malik faces arrest over charges of corruption, dealing another blow to the Zardari government. Meanwhile, in the Pak NW Frontier, AFP sources indicate 7 Taliban were killed and 5 wounded when a US drone launched 4 missiles on a Peshawar compound. And in Orakzai, according to Daily Times dispatches, 16 Taliban were killed and 22 militants were wounded in a fighter jet backed security sweep.

Primary Source Ticker: UnitedStatesAction.com On December 19th, Witte and Warrick over at the Washington Post Foreign Service warned that the Taliban militants of the tribal belt in Pakistan were on the run, fleeing to create smaller terror cells in Punjab, the heart of Pakistan, and densely populated cities like Karachi, as well as across the border into Afghanistan – the splintered Taliban elements are carrying out attacks across Pakistan as an unintended result of the Pak Army offensives in SWAT, South Waziristan and other strongholds of the NWFP and FATA. NATO released a statement detailing the deaths of a British & a Polish ISAF soldier in separate incidents – a roadside bomb killed the UK soldier while the Polish soldier fell to a small arms ambush. According to KUNA sources, a US soldier was killed by a landmine in Southern Afghanistan while 6 Taliban were killed by joint Afghan Army & Police forces in Kunduz. Daily Times sources from the FATA relate that 20 Taliban terrorists were killed in operations across Pakistan’s northwest; 40 suspected Taliban were also arrested in Malakand in a Swat search operation. Reporting from Dubai, LA Times correspondent, Tony Perry relays a dispatch from Kunar, Afghanistan – a California National Guard Agribusiness Development Team’s convoy was hit by a “complex double-ambush” by an estimated 15 to 20 Taliban; infantry elements of

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An American Invitation The AfPak Gazette, by design, is an invitation to measured discussion & debate on the methods of mounting an effective strategy against what our Secretary of Defense has termed a “toxic ideology”.

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine In the American tradition of Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin, this pamphlet is presented with the recognition that independence from tyranny is the binding tie of the citizenry of these United States. Arise & Support The AfPak Gazette…that we might yet earn our Liberty & Sovereignty in this, the wager of our generation. – Gary H. Johnson, Jr. A pamphlet production of www.theafpakgazette.com

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