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Report Faults US Intelligence Strategy in Afghanistan

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TEHRAN, May 13 (ICANA) – A new study by the Afghan Analysts Network has questioned the effectiveness of the U.S. intelligence strategy in America's battle with the Taliban.
Friday, May 13, 2011 11:01:38 AM
Report Faults US Intelligence Strategy in Afghanistan

The study focuses on an air strike called in last September by U.S. Special Forces which local villagers, the Afghan government and Western researchers believe killed 10 civilians, including the agent of a parliamentary candidate. But NATO says it hit a Taliban commander in the attack. Independent

This latest AAN thematic report gives a detailed account of the intelligence failings which led U.S. Special Forces to kill a former Taliban commander called Zabet Amanullah, who had laid down his arms in 2001. ISAF however claimed the attack killed the Taliban shadow deputy governor of Takhar, one Muhammad Amin. Conflictmonitors.org

"Afghans, including senior government officials, have been incredulous that anyone might have thought Zabet Amanullah [the parliamentary candidate's agent] and the others were anything but civilians, while [NATO] and the U.S. Special Forces unit that conducted the operation are adamant they hit the correct target," the report, called The Takhar Attack, says. Independent

The report points to an over reliance on monitoring phone calls and a serious lack of basic on the ground intelligence. The findings are based on a study by senior analyst Kate Clark on the events that led to the death of former Taliban commander Zabet Amnullah. Radio Australia

They [U.S. forces] had not made even the most basic background checks about a target they had been tracking for months. Instead, they relied on signals intelligence and network analysis (which attempts to map insurgent networks by monitoring phone calls), without cross-checking with any human intelligence. Foreign Policy

From January 1 to December 31, 2010, at least 2,421 civilian Afghans were killed and over 3,270 were injured in conflict-related security incidents across Afghanistan. This means that everyday 6-7 noncombatants were killed and 8-9 were wounded in the war. ARM


The Obama administration initially said the U.S. would begin withdrawing troops this July, but later postponed the start of the withdrawal to 2014. Raw Story

Limited foreign troop withdrawals are due to begin in July ahead of a complete pull-out of international combat troops in 2014. Al Jazeera

As of April 26, 2011, at least 1,445 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. AP

UNAMA reports that 2010 was the bloodiest year since the war began in terms of the civilian death toll. Civilian casualties have increased by 31% since last year. The number of children killed in the war is up 55 percent from last year. UNAMA

A new Rasmussen Reports nation telephone survey finds that 35% of likely U.S. voters now favor the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the highest level of support to date. Twenty-one percent (21%) more support the establishment of a firm timetable to bring the troops home within a year. Rasmussen Reports

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