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Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia


Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia
Largest ground combat operation since the Vietnam War.
by Rick Rozoff | Scoop Independent News

The Pentagon and its NATO allies have launched the largest combat offensive to date in their nearly eight-year war in South Asia - Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) with 4,000 US Marines, attack helicopters and tanks and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther's Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne assaults - in the Afghan province of Helmand.

The American effort is the largest ground combat operation conducted by Washington in Asia since the Vietnam War.

Other NATO and allied nations have also boosted or intend to increase their troop strength in Afghanistan, with German forces to exceed 4,000 for the first time, Romanian troops to top 1,000 and contingents to be augmented from dozens of other NATO member and partner states, including formerly neutral Finland and Sweden.

The US, NATO, NATO's Partnership for Peace and Contact Countries and other allied nations - states as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Macedonia - have some 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, all under the command of America's General Stanley A. McChrystal, former head of the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and a counterinsurgency master hand. The Afghan-Pakistani war theater resembles the Vietnam War in more than one manner.

The US troop contingent has nearly doubled since last year, more than quintupled in five years, and will be in the neighborhood of 70,000 soldiers by year's end.

Concurrent with the ongoing offensive the US has fired missiles from aerial drones into Pakistan in the two deadliest strikes of the type ever in that country, killing 65 and 50 people in two recent attacks.

Large-scale government military operations on the Pakistani side of the border, coordinated with the Pentagon through its new Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell and with NATO through the Trilateral Afghanistan-Pakistan-NATO Military Commission, have uprooted and displaced well in excess of two million civilians, the largest population dislocation in Pakistan since the 1947 partition of British India. Read more

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