Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi

david vs goliath

Squadron Leader Najeeb A.Khan OC No 7th Squadron recalls his first bombing mission for Adampur air base at the outset of the Indo-Pak war of 1965.

Squadron Leader Najeeb A.Khan had brought a formation of 4 B-57s to Peshawar air base and on landing was informed of his first bombing mission. He was tasked to undertake the first night bombing mission, leading a formation of four B-57 bombers to Adampur on the night of 6th September 1965, one of the heavily defended air base of the Indian Air Force located near Jullundur.

Najeeb narrates: ”It was the first hot mission of my career. The time had come for which I had joined Air Force and had been trained day and night for over 13 years in the PAF. Myself, Flt. Lt.Bashar, Flt. Lt.Osman, Flt. Lt.Mazhar were the pilots of four B-57 bombers with Flt.Lt. Irfan, Flt. Lt. Rashid, Flt.Lt.Harney and Flt.Lt.Ghorey as the respective navigators. At the time of take-off from the Peshawar air base Flt.Lt. Osman was delayed a little. Flt Lt Bashar and I took off first and a couple of minutes later Osman and Mazhar joined us.”

Pakistan is will soon be get J10B

Military Forum Of China Super Camp - the most influential military forum LONDON February 11 news: According to the Russian Military News Network February 10 reports, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has announced that China and Pakistan jointly developed the JF-17 "Lightning" (China as FC-1 "Fierce Dragon") fighters in the Pakistan territory into mass production phase, the project's implementation is two an "all-weather ally" the results of military-technical cooperation.

It is reported, JF-17 fighters in Pakistan has started the aviation industry in the Kamla City, integrated plant production. Pakistan Air Force Chief of Staff of Sulaiman had announced that Pakistan had set up their first JF-17 fighter brigade, a total of 22 aircraft. Pakistan air force under the plan, Pakistan Ministry of Defence this year, JF-17 fighters will purchases an additional 50 planes, in the future will be equipped with a total of 270.

Air-To-Air Tactics & Combat Formations

Jian-10 Multirole Fighter Aircraft: Chengdu J-10/F-10 Aircraft

The Chengdu J-10 (Jian-10, or F-10 in its export name) is a single-engine, all-weather, high-performance multirole fighter aircraft capable of both air-to-air and air-to-ground roles. The aircraft was designed by Chengdu-based 611 Aircraft Design Institute and manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAIC). The aircraft is available in single-sear fighter (A variant) and tandem two-seat fighter-trainer (B variant) versions. The aircraft first flew in 1998 and entered the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) service in 2003. About 50~70 examples are expected to have been delivered by 2006. These planes are powered by a Russian-made AL-31FN turbofan engine, while on later production variants this will be replaced by Chinese indigenous WS-10A “TaiHang” turbofan. The total number of production may be as many as 300.

F-16 4.5-generation multirole version

This is the 4.5-generation multirole version which uses more Chinese components, including radar, engine, and missiles. China is interested in reducing its reliance on foreign technology for both cost reasons and a desire to improve its domestic research and design. It is reported that one regiment of J-11Bs are currently in service, but this seems to contradict with the latest information provided by the Chinese government: In May, 2007, the existence of J-11B was finally acknowledged by the Chinese government for the first time when the state-run Chinese TV stations first aired the report on J-11B in PLAAF service, which were subsequently publicized in various domestic Chinese media such as state-run websites and newspapers (like Xin Wen Hua Bao, New Culture Newspaper). However, the official Chinese report claims that there are only two squadrons of J-11Bs in service, instead of a regiment, which is consisted of three squadrons (as of end of 2007). According to the Chinese report, which is agreed by some western sources such as Information Group, the J-11B is superior to Su-27SK in the following areas:

US Senate urged to help upgrade Pakistan’s F-16s

WASHINGTON, Oct 14: The US administration on Tuesday held a special briefing to persuade Senate to help finance mid-life upgrading of Pakistan’s ageing fleet of F-16 aircraft.

US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, who looks after South Asian affairs at the State Department, said that upgrading the F-16s would increase Pakistan’s effectiveness in the war against terror.

Pakistan has a total of 34 F-16s purchased mostly in the 1980s.

The US government has already accepted Pakistan’s request to upgrade the aircraft, equipping them with modern technology and weapon systems to make them compatible with newer versions of the F-16s. The mid-life upgrading will cost a total of $891 million. Pakistan agreed to pay $417 million and asked the United States to provide $474 million.

Chinese On The Way Of Development

Pentagon details China's new military strategies
By Bill Gertz
May 25, 2007
The Pentagon's forthcoming annual report on Chinese military power will reveal a growing threat from Beijing's new forms of power projection, including anti-satellite weapons and computer network attack forces.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that the report, scheduled for release today, shows how China "has steadily devoted increasing resources to their military."
According to defense officials familiar with the report, it also highlights new strategic missile developments, including China's five new Jin-class submarines, and states that Beijing continues to hide the true level of its military spending. 

U.S. report on Chinese developments: Foreign Military Acquisitions and PLA Modernization

By Richard D. Fisher, Jr.
Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation
For the National Defense University Conference,
“PLA and Chinese Society in Transition”
October 30, 2001
Despite its never having done so before in a large fashion, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is pursuing an overall modernization program to enable the conduct all-weather offensive and defensive operations in a modern high-technology environment. This is consistent with the general doctrinal goal to build a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) capable of waging “Local War Under High Tech Conditions.” Expansion of all-weather offensive capabilities is a relatively recent and ominous trend in the PLAAF. Apparently, this could include offensive naval strike missions for the PLAAF and greater consideration of using Airborne Forces in a strategic strike capacity. 

U.S. report on Chinese developments

Foreign Military Acquisitions and PLA Modernization
written_testimonies of Richard D. Fisher, Jr., Center for Security Policy,

Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
February 6, 2004
I would like to begin by thanking the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission for this opportunity to present written_testimonies on the modernization of China’s People’s Liberation Army. In addition, I would like to note my gratitude to the Commission for supporting my research over the last year, which has allowed me to produce a much longer report for the Commission titled, “The Impact of Foreign Weapons and Technology on the Modernization of China’s People’s Liberation Army.” [1] This written_testimonies draws from that much longer report.

Pakistan also needs to develop an indigenous attack helicopter like the Cobra.

It only makes sense to produce something locally if you are going to induct them in large numbers, or if you are going to sell them in large numbers. As of yet, the Army has no intention to expanding Army Aviation to a much larger level, as far as I know. And even if we did, it would be worthwhile to get ToT of an already pre-existing attack helicopter (China, Turkey, Russia, anybody) and improve it in-house than to create our own attack helicopter.

I don't know the desired size of a UCAV force in any of the three services. It could be that the Air Force would operate the UCAVs, whereas the Army and Navy would operate their own ISR UAVs, or all three services could modify UCAVs for see and land attacks. We just don't know how many we will need, and what types, what we do know is that we'll need a significant amount in all three services. Hence, it makes sense to go for an indigenous UCAV option
QUETTA, Pakistan - Having already gained experience and guidance from the United States on the effective use of drones, Pakistan is working on its own Predator-like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which have helped revolutionize warfare.

The growth of Pakistan's indigenous UAV industry is of great importance for the country's defense, as the nation is on the front line of the "war on terror".

State-owned defense enterprise Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra, east of the capital, Islamabad, is engaged in

manufacturing Falco pilotless planes in collaboration with Selex Galileo of Italy. Initially, the Falco system is for aerial reconnaissance and information gathering. The country later plans to induct UAVs equipped with weapon systems to carry out offensive operations.

PAF starts drone production

Pak Air Force has formally started the production of pilotless drone planes in collaboration with an Italian company, a news channel reported Thursday.

FALCO UAV - Pakistan According to details issued by the PAF, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra has commenced producing the pilotless planes Falco UAV in collaboration with Selex Galileo of Italy. Aeronautical Complex chief Air Marshal Farhat Hussain said pilotless Falco UAV highly important for the country’s defence, adding the production of the planes will greatly add to the professional capabilities of PAF.

Farhat said Pakistan is now a member of the club of countries manufacturing drone planes. The system will be used mainly for aerial reconnaissance and information gathering, although the PAF will later also induct UAVs equipped with weapon systems to carry out offensive operations.


Pakistan using UAVs in 'drone war' against terrorist elements

Robert Hewson Air-Launched Weapons Editor - London

Key Points

Pakistan has been using Falco UAVs to help combat militants in the country's remote tribal areas

The Falco has been deployed on surveillance and target 'hunting' missions

Pakistan has quietly been conducting its own 'drone war' against militant forces and terrorist elements using Selex-Galileo Falco tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has learned.

According to a number of industry officials who have been in Pakistan and experienced UAV operations there, the Pakistani military is using unarmed Falcos for traditional surveillance tasks but also in a 'hunter' role - targeting air strikes, providing real-time coverage of attacks and then delivering battle damage assessments. 

American carrier-based drone made its first flight

American carrier-based drone X-47B, designed by Northrop Grumman, made its maiden test flight, according to Agence France-Presse in the Sunday, Feb. 6, with reference to the command of the U.S. Navy - the customer's aircraft.

X-47B, the report says the U.S. Navy, first flew on Air Force Base Edwards, California on February 4 at around 14:00 local time. The first flight lasted 29 minutes, a new carrier-based drone rose to a height of 5,000 feet (about 1.5 kilometers) from the landing gear. The tests were successful, maneuvers performed X-47B during the first flight,

The company Northrop Grumman has been developing X-47B in 2007, winning a contract for 636 million dollars from the U.S. Navy. Originally it was assumed that the first flight of X-47B will be

Pakistan celebrate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) on 12 Rabi-ul-Awal

Muslims across Pakistan celebrate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) on 12 Rabi-ul-Awal, which falls on February 16 this year.

ISLAMABAD: The US has failed to show progress from billions of dollars in aid given to Pakistan over the past few years to help the country with basic needs like electricity, health care and education, said an inspector general’s report.

The finding comes as some in the US have questioned the wisdom of lavishing Pakistan with military and civilian aid given the government’s reluctance to target militants based on its territory who regularly attack American troops in Afghanistan.
The US has committed nearly $4 billion to projects in Pakistan since 2009 to help the country address critical infrastructure needs, provide basic services and improve government performance, said the report released Monday.
But the largest contributor, the US Agency for International Development, has not committed to a way to measure the success of its programs, said the report, which was written by officials at USAID, the State Department and the Defense Department.

Buoyed by a burst of optimism about the global economy _ and mindful of the ”new reality” that has framed it in the aftermath of the financial crisis _ some 2,500 business leaders, politicians and social activists will tackle an array of issues on the first day of the World Economic Forum.

Klaus Schwab, world economic forum, davos
This year’s annual meeting in the picturesque Alpine town of Davos will take on several issues including concern over China’s growing clout, simmering anxieties about Europe’s debt crisis and consideration of whether the financial crisis that has wrought layoffs, cutbacks and austerity measures has completed the worst stages.
The five-day meeting starts Wednesday and will feature a keynote address by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who postponed his planned arrival by a day after a suicide bombing killed 35 people in his country’s busiest airport amid lax security.
The topic of Medvedev’s speech hasn’t been shared, but given the intense security surrounding the meeting, and the fact that terrorism remains an issue of both political and commercial concern, his audience is expected to listen keenly to what Medvedev has to say.

US aid chief Rajiv Shah warned American lawmakers on Saturday that slashing assistance to Pakistan and Afghanistan could undermine US national security.

Mr Shah`s warning follows a recommendation from a 165-member Republican Study Group for a $100 billion cut in the government`s spending during the current fiscal year.
The proposal — by a group which now controls the lower house of the Congress — represents the deepest annual cut in funding in recent US history.
The Republican plan calls for $1.39 billion in annual savings from the US Agency for International Development. The USAID operating budget for fiscal 2010 was approximately $1.65 billion.
Mr Shah warned that the proposed slashing had real and drastic negative implications for American power and the ongoing missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: US Senator John Kerry on Wednesday met with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, DawnNews reported.

Earlier today, Kerry held meetings with Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Kerry and Hafeez Sheikh discussed matters of mutual interests with special reference to economic relations between the two countries.
Hafeez Sheikh briefed Kerry about the economic reforms initiated by the government for the stability of national economy, economic growth and socio-economic development of the country.

Hours after police in Lahore submitted a preliminary investigation report in a court accusing American national Raymond Davis of killing two Pakistanis on a street in Lahore on Jan 27, US President Barack Obama urged Pakistan to abide by the Vienna Convention, treat Davis as a diplomat and release him.

President Obama, while insisting that Pakistan must not prosecute Mr Davis, said he also was concerned about the loss of Pakistani lives in the incident. “Obviously we’re concerned about the loss of life,” Mr Obama said at a Washington press conference. Still, he said, Mr Davis should be treated as a diplomat. “There’s a broader principle at stake that I think we have to uphold.”
In his first public remarks on a case that has strained US relations with Pakistan, Mr Obama noted that the Vienna Convention for diplomatic immunity granted Mr Davis some right.
“We expect Pakistan… to abide by the same convention,” he said. “We’re going to be continuing to work with the Pakistani government to get this person released.”

Taking one for the nation?

Taking one for the nation?
I have never written anything regarding the government or any specific leader without negativity nor without sarcasm – but today that changes, to a certain extent at least. Today, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi changed a lot of things – especially the perception that all our leaders will buckle down under pressure and go miles for a bit of extra weight in their pockets.
With so much speculation regarding the Raymond Daviscase, where everyone from US leaders to our very own embarrassing Fauzia Wahab have given contradictory statements, Qureshi stands firm on his stance – Davis does not enjoy blanket immunity. Said out loud in plain and simple terms.
I am perhaps a part of that generation that often sinks into apathy and then jumps to extreme patriotism and vice versa. The generation that has spent most of its youth being embarrassed by the representatives of Pakistan. But today that

A history of anti-Americanism in Pakistan

A history of anti-Americanism in Pakistan
In 2009 the monthly Herald published the results of an elaborate survey that it undertook to determine the extent of anti-Americanism in Pakistan. The findings suggest nothing that we do not already know.
Though anti-Americanism during the Cold War (1949-89) was mostly the ideological vocation of pro-Soviet leftists, today (some twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union), one can safely suggest that America is experiencing its most detested hour.
It hasn’t been hated across the board with so much fervour as it is today, mainly thanks to the bungling of the arrogant Bush administration and its utter deficiency in the art and skill of empathetic and prudent diplomacy.
However, the anti-Americanism virus — at least in most Muslim countries — today is such that the critique that comes with it is largely rhetorical and at times, rather obsessive-compulsive.

ISLAMABAD: Regarding the issue of Raymond Davis, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said while he was the foreign minister the US national did not enjoy full diplomatic immunity.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Qureshi said the foreign office had briefed him on January 31 that Davis did not enjoy the blanket immunity that the US was claiming for him.
Qureshi said that after studying the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963 and Pakistan’s Diplomatic Law of 1972, one could conclude that “the blanket immunity as being demanded by the US embassy was not valid”.
He said that after seeing relevant documents, it was his “considered opinion” that Davis did not enjoy diplomatic immunity. He had informed the Core Committee of the Pakistan People’s Party of his view on the subject.

President Zardari assures Armed Forces of support

President Asif Ali Zaradi promised that despite the financial problems, the government will do all things necessary to satisfy the needs of the armed forces.He said that during a meeting with the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Khalid Shameem Wynne.
The CJCSC briefly informed the President about the issues of the armed forces, the latest information about the war on terrorism and the security situation in the country.
According to the President, the Pakistan Armed Forces are highly devoted to their job and they are one of the best armies in the world. The Pakistan Army is currently a leading force in the fight against terrorism.

The Colombian navy has seized a submarine hidden in a jungle area, believed to have been built to carry up to eight tons of cocaine to Mexico.

The 31-meter-long vessel was found on Monday in Timbiqui, in south-western Colombia, and is capable of travelling 9 meters below water, navy officials said.
The homemade submarine, which was one of the most sophisticated and biggest ever found, could carry four people and up to eight tons of cargo, and was ready to launch, the officials added. 

"It is the first submersible to be seized in the country," said General Jaime Herazo. 

Herazo believes that the ship belongs to "narco-traffickers coupled with narco-terrorists, who received a heavy blow [due to its capture]." 

Commander of the Pacific Naval Force, Adm. Hernando Wills Velez, said the submarine was equipped with professional navigational equipments, which would have allowed the crew to sail as far as Mexico.

The Argentine government is moving to lodge an official protest to Washington following the seizure of undeclared weapons and drugs aboard a US military plane.

Argentina plans to formally protest to the United States and call for assistance in investigations into the US Air Force's attempt "to violate Argentine laws by bringing in hidden material in an official shipment,” said a statement released by Argentine Foreign Ministry late Sunday, AFP reported.

On Thursday, Argentine customs officials searched a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at Ministro Pistarini International Airport, located 22 kilometers (13 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires.

Aboard the plane the officers discovered an illicit cargo which had not been declared in a manifest submitted by the US embassy to Argentine authorities. 

A serviceman with the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) force has lost his life in a non-combat related incident in the troubled eastern part of Afghanistan.

"A NATO service member died as a result of a non-combat injury in eastern Afghanistan," a Press TV correspondent cited a brief press release by the security mission on Wednesday as saying. 

The alliance did not announce the name or nationality of the victim.

The latest death brings to 47 the number of fatalities among foreign troops in war-ravaged Afghanistan so far this year.

Last year, nonetheless, with a death toll of 711, remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties. The number eclipsed the previous record of 521 in 2009. 

Afghanistan's Minister of Energy and Water Mohammad Ismail Khan has strongly rejected a plan to erect permanent US military bases in his country.

Speaking on Tuesday in a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of Soviet troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan, Ismail Khan slammed Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak for his support of the plan. 
Ismail Khan pointed out that the defense minister should change his stance as he had ignored the dignity of Afghan people. 

The minister of energy and water further reiterated that the Afghans would be capable of providing security in the war-hit country if foreigners stop interfering. 

“Millions of Afghans were killed and injured because they wanted to live freely, and they did not accept to be in foreigners' subjection,” Ismail Khan noted. 

The Afghan Interior Ministry says police forces have detained five Taliban attackers who intended to target government installations in the southern province of Kandahar.

The ministry said police arrested the militants, equipped with explosives-ridden jackets and homemade bombs, on Monday, before they managed to carry out the attacks. 
Kandahar province is one of the main strongholds of Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan. The militants also seem to be gaining ground in eastern and northern provinces.
Militant attacks have left hundreds of Afghan and US-led foreign troops dead over the past months.
US-led NATO has admitted to the rising power of the militants in Afghanistan despite the presence of 150,000 US-led forces in the country.

The Pentagon has admitted in several reports that the US has failed to establish security in the war-torn country. source

A Finnish soldier serving with US-led foreign troops has been killed and several others wounded in the volatile northern Afghanistan.

The soldier died in an explosion in the Northern Province of Samangan. 

Finland has around 180 soldiers in Afghanistan.

At least 44 foreign soldiers have been killed in the war-torn country so far in 2011.

Last year was the deadliest for foreign forces in Afghanistan -- with over 711 foreign troops killed.

NATO has admitted to the rising power of the militants in Afghanistan despite the presence of 150,000 US-led forces in the country.

The invasion of Afghanistan took place with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the country. Nine years on, however, Afghanistan remains unstable and civilians continue to pay the price.

The rising death toll among the US-led foreign forces has prompted growing opposition to the Afghan war in countries that have contributed troops to the mission. source

A report says that Washington spends $300 million of American taxpayers' money on Afghan war per day, and this comes as the US has failed so far to establish security in the war-torn country.

This is while the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq will allow for a reduced US defense budget in 2012. 

Under the Pentagon's proposed budget, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will drop to $117.8 billion for fiscal year 2012, a reduction of $41.5 billion from the previous year, AFP reported. 

As the US war effort winds down in Iraq, the budget sets aside $10.6 billion for “Operation New Dawn,” with the remaining 50,000 US troops there due to withdraw by the end of 2011. 

Spending for the Afghan mission calls for $107.3 billion, down slightly from the last budget, which requested $113.5 billion. 

The budget released Monday offered no insight into the scale of the planned drawdown, with the Pentagon's budget document assuming an average of 98,250 troops on the ground by the end of 2012. 

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the Pentagon had "decided to budget conservatively" as it was too soon to predict how many troops would be withdrawn after July. 

"But that's not to say that we will have 98,000 troops at the end of Feb. 2012. In fact it's a lead pipe cinch we won't," he added. 

The budget for Afghanistan and Iraq includes $79.2 billion for operations, $10.1 billion to counter the threat posed by homemade bombs -- the main killer of NATO-led troops in the war. 

Some $11.9 billion is devoted to repairing and replacing equipment lost or damaged and $12.8 billion for training and arming Afghan security forces, who are supposed to gradually take over security duties between now and 2015. 

By October, the United States and NATO plans to expand the Afghan army to 172,000 soldiers and the police to 134,000 police.

Iranian scientists have successfully neutralized the impact of a sophisticated malware designed to disrupt Tehran's nuclear program, says a recent report.

According to a draft report released by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), Iranian scientists have shown vigilance in keeping the virus from disrupting their low-enriched uranium production. 

“It did not stop … or even delay the continued buildup of low-enriched uranium," the ISIS report reads. 

In July 2010, Western and Israeli media claimed that the Stuxnet, a computer worm that is viewed as potentially the most destructive piece of computer malware discovered, has targeted industrial computers around the globe, with Iran identified as the main target of the attack. 

The reports insisted that the country's Bushehr power plant was at the center of the cyber attack. 

Iranian officials, however, dismissed such claims, saying that the Stuxnet was detected early by Iranian experts and thus caused no damage to the country's industrial sites. 

Hundreds of Israelis have taken to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest against rising fuel prices caused by a spike in tax rates.

A tax surcharge imposed last month and high global oil prices have brought the price of a liter of petrol in Israel to $1.97. 

In addition to mounting domestic political pressure, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has recently been under fire for the soaring prices of food and gasoline. 

He, however, has promised the Israelis to take a series of economic measures to curb the rapidly rising prices. 

The Israeli cabinet has vowed that it would raise wages and lower the prices of water, public transportation and gasoline.

Even members of Netanyahu's party have been hard on him over the past days, arguing that the high prices of basic goods and fuel would hurt the poor and middle-classes. source

US students have been a prime target for the United States military, which looks for new recruits on high school campuses, a new report reveals.

Parents at a Los Angeles-area high school told Press TV that US military recruiters are harassing their children and behaving inappropriately toward them. 

Parents said they are concerned about how available their children are to the army recruiters.

Students, parents, and community organizers are outraged at the inappropriate behavior they say military recruiters are conducting on campus.

Ya Basta Youth Coalition in Los Angeles, along with dozens of students and parents, has organized a protest outside North Hollywood High School to protest army recruitment in the schools.

“Basically, recruits (recruitment officers) are on campus whenever they want. They are violating district policy,” said the protest organizer, Miguel Zavala. 

The UK government is spearheading talks with the notorious terrorist group Taliban in Afghanistan, now, into the tenth year after the US-led invasion of the country.

As the US-led occupation of Afghanistan enters its tenth year, casualties have risen among Afghan civilians and NATO troops alike, making the last 12 months the bloodiest of the conflict to date. 

US and British troops are engaged in a dirty war in Afghanistan, using aerial bombing, drone attacks, torture prisons and corporate mercenaries against the Afghan people, all of which are fuelling further insecurity and fostering human rights abuse. 

Britain joined the countries that invaded Afghanistan under the US command after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on US soil on the pretext that the masterminds behind the attacks - al-Qaeda and the Taliban - must be uprooted. 

But, the multinational force led by the US military have neither been able to defeat terrorism nor they succeeded in their attempts to uproot the terrorists the US and British intelligence agencies claimed have taken refuge in the mountains of Afghanistan. 

EU leaders have failed to narrow down their differences over a broad package of measures drafted to fight fiscal crisis in the bloc as the deadline looms for a deal.

The European Union finance ministers met in Brussels on Tuesday to try to reach an agreement on the proposed measures with no apparent success. The meeting, during which the ministers evaluated the six anti-crisis proposals, was held amid growing concerns that they might miss the deadline set for March 11 to resolve differences, a Press TV correspondent in Brussels reported. 

Hungarian Finance Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy, who chaired Tuesday's summit, stated that the evaluation raised 11 questions, only one of which was resolved at the meeting. 

The finance ministers agreed to set up a permanent eurozone rescue fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which will come into effect from January 1, 2013 and will have an initial capacity of 500 billion euros ($ 674 billion). 

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the West is concerned that the Islamic Revolution is served as a model for the region and the entire world.

“Enemies are making efforts to prevent the Islamic Iran from serving as a model for Muslim nations in the region because public movements will be difficult without a model,” said Ayatollah Khamenei on Wednesday. 

The Leader added that the main reason behind the West pressure on the Islamic Republic is that Iran is promoting a model in the region and the globe, IRNA reported. 

“After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, enemies have been making efforts to weaken the Islamic establishment through imposing various sanctions and the eight-year (Iraqi) imposed war, raising human rights issues and assassinating nuclear scientists,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted. 
However, their efforts failed and the Islamic Revolution will continue its path of progress day by day, he emphasized. 

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Israeli armed forces may cross into the southern Lebanese territory again and engage in a military confrontation with Hezbollah resistance fighters.

“Israel Defense Forces (IDF) may be called into Lebanon in the future,” Ha'aretz newspaper quoted Barak as saying on Tuesday during his first military tour with new IDF Chief Benny Gantz in the Granit brigade situated along the border with Lebanon. 

Turkish President Abdullah Gul says Turkey supports Iran's nuclear rights and will play a constructive role in Iran's nuclear program in the future.

The visiting Turkish president made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Press TV in Tehran on Tuesday. 

“We want to see this dispute solved in a peaceful way… through diplomacy and dialogue,” he said.

Commenting on Turkey's military cooperation with the United States in NATO, he said that the US cannot use bases on Turkish soil for military purposes, such as for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, unless Ankara gives official approval.

He stated that every military facility in Turkey is under the control of Turkish commanders, noting that “without our knowledge, nothing can happen there.”

Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and thus has the right to enrich uranium to produce fuel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the era of puppet regimes has passed, and that revolutions in the Middle East are against the US-supported dictators in the region.

Addressing people in Iran's southwestern city of Bushehr during his 86th provincial trip, the Iranian chief executive said there is massive pent-up energy against satanic forces in the region. 

“We have always said, and we say it again, freedom of speech, and the right to determine the destiny, and the right to ask for justice and spirituality is the right of all nations,” President Ahmadinejad said. 

He further pointed out that the recent revolutions in the Middle East have all been against dictators who had abandoned their nations, referring to the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. 

"The dictator move away from their nations, and thereby become hated by their nations. And the more they do so, the more they become dependent on the arrogant powers," he said. 

Thousands of pro-democracy Bahrainis have gathered in the capital Manama to protest the recent killing of two demonstrators by security forces.

Several hundred people took part in a funeral procession on Wednesday for Fadel al-Matrook, 31, who was shot dead a day earlier in clashes with security forces, Reuters reported. 

"We are requesting our rights in a peaceful way," twenty-year-old university student Bakr Akil said. "I am optimistic that our big presence will achieve our demands." 

Some 2,000 protestors -- demanding regime change in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom -- spent the previous night in tents at the Pearl Roundabout in the heart of Manama. 

Matrook was one of around 4,000 demonstrators who had attended a procession on Tuesday for another slain protester, 27 year-old Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima. 

Tunisia has lifted its curfew, but extended the state of emergency, which has been in place since former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the North African country.

The curfew had also been in place since January 13, the day before the ousted president left office in the wake of nationwide pro-democracy protests, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. 

The Tunisian Interior Ministry, in a statement, urged the police and the military to maintain vigilance against attempts to sow discord between them in the fragile North African country. 

"To prevent anything that may harm the security of the state and to ensure the security of citizens and protection of public and private goods, it was decided to extend the state of emergency from Tuesday, February 15 until further notice," the statement noted. 

The state of emergency was imposed on January 14 when Ben Ali fled Tunis to seek refuge in Saudi Arabia as the month-long popular revolt fueled by pro-democracy protests against unemployment, living costs and the government, gained momentum.

Egypt's military rulers have ordered a panel of civilian experts to amend five articles in the country's suspended constitution within ten days.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces have instructed an eight-member panel of jurists and scholars to revise articles it sees fit to guarantee Egypt's democracy, a Press TV correspondent reported. Sobhi Saleh, a panel member and former lawmaker from the Islamist opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said the armed forces want to hand over power as soon as possible and they want amendments to the constitution. 

The committee will be chaired by Tareq el-Beshry, a respected former head of the Egyptian supreme constitutional court, the report added. 

The panel “must finish its work in a period of no longer than 10 days after the date of this decision," and must also eliminate articles giving presidents unlimited terms in office, the army said in a statement.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the sanctions that the UN has imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program have had no effect on the country's economy.

In a live television address on Tuesday night, President Ahmadinejad downplayed the sanctions and stated that Iran's economy is flourishing. 

The Iranian president said that in the modern world, where economies are so competitive, such punitive measures are pointless. 

He went on to say that the sanctions imposed on the country may have caused prices to increase in a few cases, but they will decrease in the near future. 

Ahmadinejad noted that these sanctions will eventually benefit the national economy, since Iran has attained self-sufficiency in many areas. 

In June 2010, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of US-engineered sanctions on Iran's financial and military sectors. 

Fifteen female and two male US veterans have filed a lawsuit against the federal government, accusing the Pentagon of ignoring reports of sexual assault and rape by US military soldiers.

The lawsuit, which names US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld as defendants, has turned the spotlight on 17 sexual assault cases, which the plaintiffs believe military commanders failed to prevent and respond to properly, a Press TV correspondent in Washington reported on Tuesday. 

The plaintiffs filed their class-action suit in the federal court on Tuesday, calling for an objective third party to handle sexual assault complaints, and urging the US military to change the way sexual assault cases are handled. 

In one incident, a female US army sergeant has spoken about her ordeal in the US military in 2002 when she was raped by fellow service members in Korea -- an event that changed her life forever. 

US Army General David Petraeus is said to leave his post as the commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan before the end of the year, a report says.

Petraeus, who was appointed less than eight months ago, will leave his post as the head of the US and NATO forces by the end of 2011 as part of a reshuffle plan that would see the departure of top five US diplomats in Kabul, including its Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, and Lieutenant-General David Rodriguez, deputy to Petraeus, the London-based Times reported Tuesday.

"General Petraeus is doing a brilliant job but he's been going virtually non-stop since 9/11 [and] he can't do it forever," Pentagon Secretary Geoff Morrell said. 

"This is a heck of a demanding job, he will have to be rotated out at some point," he further explained. 
With the administration of US President Barak Obama struggling to curb the nine-year old militancy in Afghanistan, the speculation has raised serious concerns over the fate of the prolonged war and the future war strategies in the war-wracked country. 

The military junta currently ruling Egypt says that the continuation of nationwide strikes and protests would be disastrous, but the people are still pressing for their demands to be met.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which assumed power after former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Friday, asked public sector employees and policemen to end their walkouts and protest rallies and promised to fulfill the “aspirations” of the people, AFP reported.

Hundreds of current and retired police officers held a rally in front of the Interior Ministry in central Cairo on Tuesday, complaining about the injustice of the ousted government.

Thousands of Egyptian union members and other workers are also staging strikes across the country over low pay and corruption. 

Human rights groups says hundreds of Egyptian people have gone missing in the recent popular revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

A leading human rights group said on Tuesday that some people were being held by the armed forces.

"There are hundreds of detained, but information on their numbers is still not complete ... The army was holding detainees," AFP quoted Gamal Eid, a lawyer who heads the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, as saying.

The group says it was still receiving "information relating to the disappearances of many youths and citizens."

Eid urged the military to publish a list of detainees' names and to guarantee their rights.

Reports say at least 500 people were arrested in the recent popular protests that toppled the ruling regime.

But an estimated 17,000 political prisoners were already locked up in Egyptian prisons, which are notorious for the use of torture.

Egypt has also been the US destination of choice for its extraordinary rendition program -- the practice of taking terror suspects to a country where torture is used in an attempt to extract confessions.

Activists have demanded the release of political prisoners, the lifting of a 30-year-old state of emergency and the disbandment of military court. They say demonstrations will continue until the army accepts the reforms.

They are demanding a clear timetable for the transfer of power to a civilian government. source
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