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Germany Critical of Unilateral Mission: US Used by Afghan Drug Clan to Take Out Rival - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

A "high-ranking" member of al-Qaida was seized during a recent US mission in Afghanistan which left five people dead. But the Americans were set up: The tip-off as to his location came from a drug clan who wanted to get rid of a rival.

A secret mission by elite American Delta Force commandos in northern Afghanistan has triggered resentment among German forces, SPIEGEL has learned.

An Afghan boy looks through a broken window at the site of the raid in Imam Sahib. The American forces were tricked by a drug clan into taking out a rival as part of an operation to seize an al-Qaida member. Now German soldiers are paying the price for the operation's civilian casualties.

The raid took place on March 21 in Kunduz province, where German forces are helping with security and reconstruction. A US liaison officer asked the German reconstruction team to keep the Kunduz airport clear but said nothing about the impending mission. Around half an hour later, a Hercules transport aircraft landed at the airfield, together with a whole fleet of combat and transport helicopters, which then took off for the nearby town of Imam Sahib.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:06:50 PM EST
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US opens route to Afghanistan through Russia's backyard | World news | The Guardian

The road passes a shimmering green mountain pasture, then dips steeply to a new US-built bridge. Across the languid Panj river is Afghanistan and the dusty northern town of Kunduz. On this side is Tajikistan, Afghanistan's impoverished Central Asian neighbour.

It is here, at what used to be the far boundary of the Soviet empire, that the US and Nato are planning a new operation. Soon, Nato trucks loaded with non-military supplies will start rolling into Afghanistan along this northern route, avoiding Pakistan's perilous tribal areas and the ambush-prone Khyber Pass.

This northern corridor is essential if Barack Obama's Afghan-Pakistan strategy is to work. With convoys supplying US and Nato forces regularly attacked by the Taliban on the Pakistan route, the US is again courting the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:13:33 PM EST
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The US has always been used by factions playing off against each other. One taxi driver spent a couple of years in Guantanamo cos another driver reckoned he'd stolen a fare, so grassed him up. Half the people in Abu Ghraib were there cos of score settling.

this isn't new. what's awful is that the US still hasn't learnt a damn thing about how to behave when it's "winning" hearts and minds. But then again this isn't about h&m, it's about throwing your weight around cos you're "america" (f"ck yea !!) and you can do what you like when you like to whom you like and nobody will ever give a damn.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 04:52:51 PM EST
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