Hardly A Fair Trade

Seriously, how could we be sure whether or not we killed the exact Taliban responsible for last Saturday’s deadly attack? If we knew who and where these barbaric cretins were, we probably wouldn’t have lost the Chinook in the first place.

U.S. kills Taliban insurgents who downed SEALs’ helicopter

The retribution wasn’t long in coming.

An American airstrike killed the Taliban insurgents whose attack caused a helicopter crash that killed 22 Navy SEALs and eight other U.S. service members, military officials in Kabul and Washington said Wednesday.

However, Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon that the main Taliban leader in the area remained at large. He did not identify that insurgent commander, the hunt for whom set in motion the events that led to the crash of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter on Saturday.

. . .

Special operations forces tracked down a group of “less than 10” insurgents and called in an airstrike from an F-16 fighter jet, Allen said. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul said the strike took place early Tuesday in the Chak district of Wardak province, close to the area where the Chinook helicopter was shot down.

See also:
U.S. Says It Killed Taliban Who Hit Copter
U.S. forces kill Taliban fighters who downed helicopter
Copter attackers found, killed in strike
US-Led Forces Kill Taliban Militants Behind Helicopter Attack
Strike kills insurgents who downed helicopter in Afghanistan, top commander says
Taliban helicopter shooter killed by United States
Military killed Taliban who downed US helicopter

There’s so many questions yet to be answered regarding this incident, including which CH-47 variant was shot down, why were so many SEALs crammed onto a single helicopter, and why was SEAL Team Six being used on what’s variously, so far been described as a rescue mission, a reinforcement, or an independent, follow on raid?

/this “we got the Taliban that killed our SEALs” makes for a heartwarming tale of revenge but, given how many times this story has already changed, I remain skeptically waiting for the real truth to unfold, if it ever does come out

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Invincible Spirit

Let the games begin.

US, S. Korea Begin Large War Games Off Korean Coast

A large 4-day exercise involving U.S and South Korea forces is under way in the Sea of Japan.

It comes in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, four months ago. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo attack for the incident.

The war games off the east coast of the Korean peninsula were called to send a strong message of deterrence to Pyongyang.

The joint military exercise is known as “Invincible Spirit.” And while the forces of the United States and South Korea routinely conduct drills together, this war game is considered unprecedented in scope.

For the first time, the most advanced fighters of the U.S. Air Force are participating. They are the F-22 Raptors. U.S. officials say four of the stealth technology jets are taking part, along with nearly 200 other aircraft.

At sea is the strike group of the USS George Washington. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is accompanied by three destroyers.

U.S. and South Korean top military officials say the exercises are a significant show of force intended to deter North Korea from further aggression.

See also:
U.S., S. Korea aim to strike the right tone as exercise kicks off
Massive show of U.S.-South Korea military might
U.S., S Korea start military drills amid concerns of neighboring countries
US and South Korea begin military drills in the face of nuclear threat from North Korea
U.S., South Korea launch naval drill to warn North Korea
U.S.-South Korean War Drills Begin
On board USS George Washington in S Korea navy drill
Anti-sub warfare part of S. Korea exercise
US rattles sabre in the Sea of Japan
America’s Spirit Invincible; China’s Still Puzzling
US and South Korea set to confront North with show of naval force
North Korea threatens ‘nuclear war’ over troop exercises
US, S.Korea begin war games

We have a pack of F-22 Raptors roaming freely over the Korean peninsula? Let’s go for it and not waste the tax dollars on an “exercise”.

/remember, we’re still at war with North Korea, today is just as good as any other day to end it, while we’re here, with the gear

Coup In Kyrgyzstan?

Whatever is happening, it’s not helpful to the U.S. war effort in neighboring Afghanistan, seeing as one of our main resupply bases is located at the Manas International Airport, about 19 miles northwest of the capital of Bishkek.

Dozens killed in Kyrgyzstan unrest

The small, mountainous Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, a vital conduit for supplies to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, plunged into chaos Wednesday as thousands of protesters ransacked government buildings and riot police fired on crowds, killing dozens of people.

The unrest left the fate of the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in doubt. Bakiyev has led the country since 2005 when he headed the so-called Tulip Revolution that deposed autocratic leader Askar A. Akayev. In the wake of Wednesday’s violence, Bakiyev’s government declared a state of emergency, even as opposition leaders claimed to have assumed power and Kyrgyzstan’s border with Kazakhstan was closed.

Although officials reported that at least 40 people had been killed and 400 wounded in the violence, opposition leaders put the death toll at 100. Neither claim could be verified.

The violence was being watched closely by Washington, which uses the Manas base at the airport in the capital, Bishkek, to ferry supplies in and out of Afghanistan.

Manas is the only remaining American base in Central Asia and is considered vital to the Afghanistan war effort. Military officials said the violence had not affected operations there.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the base was “functioning normally,” adding that the Obama administration was urging a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Kyrgyz opposition leaders have called for closure of Manas because, they say, the base could put the country at risk if the U.S. becomes involved in a military conflict with Iran. And at least twice in recent years Bakiyev has threatened to end U.S. use of the airport, but reconsidered after negotiating larger payments.

Ex-foreign minister says she’s Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader

A former foreign minister claimed to be in control of an interim government in Kyrgyzstan early Thursday after a wave of protests that left at least 40 dead and appeared to have driven President Kurmanbek Bakiev from office.

“We must restore a lot of things that have been wrongly ruled,” said Roza Otunbayeva, who called herself the country’s interim leader.

No independent confirmation of the claim was immediately available. The U.S. State Department said earlier that it believed Bakiev remained in power, but Otunbayeva said he had fled Bishkek, the capital, and his government had resigned after a day of clashes between anti-government protesters and police.

See also:
Kyrgyzstan: Coup in a U.S.-Allied Country?
The day Kyrgyzstan’s anger boiled over
Upheaval in Kyrgyzstan Could Imperil Key U.S. Base
Opposition says it leads Kyrgyzstan after uprising
Kyrgyzstan opposition sets up ‘people’s government’
Roza Otunbayeva New President of Kyrgyzstan After Government Collapse, 100 Dead in Extreme Violence
Uprising in Kyrgyzstan leaves dozens killed
Unrest in Kyrgyzstan Prompts U.S. to Limit Flights at Base
Centerra Shares Plunge After Kyrgyzstan Opposition Claims Power
Kyrgyzstan protests: What it means for US role in Afghanistan war?
Factbox: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan
Q&A: What’s causing the unrest in Kyrgyzstan?
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Roza Otunbayeva
Manas International Airport
Transit Center at Manas
Transit Center at Manas

One thing the United States cannot afford to lose is use of the Transit Center at Manas, it’s vital to our resupply of Afghanistan and there really isn’t any viable substitute. Hopefully, if the apparent new government threatens to kick us out, we’ll be able to bribe our way into maintaining the base, as we did when the old government threatened to kick us out.

/however, given our foreign policy comedy team of Clinton and Obama, I have my doubts as to their diplomatic prowess in dealing with this delicate and immensely important situation