Matthew Hoh Interview, Must See; South Waziristan First Phase Military Action Complete; Australia says “No More Troops to Afghanistan”; The Long War Journal reports on Pakistan Military advancements; Pakistan Fashion Show ‘Dares to Bare”;

Matthew Hoh gives interview to Riz Khan Show, a Must See, advises President Obama what to do


Watch Part Two at Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan Show here Just last week, Matthew Hoh, the former US senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, announced his resignation saying he no longer saw the value in continued US involvement in what was essentially “a 35-year-old civil war”. In an emotional four-page resignation letter Hoh said: “Like the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by its people.” [Ed. Note: Thank You Matthew Hoh, now let’s see some of the top brass follow suit. It is in the Military Code to resign if you can not follow the order, and if the order is not what you believe, you must resign. Where are the brave soldiers and government officials that know the U.S. policy is wrong, as pointed out by Matthew Hoh?]

South Wariristan First Phase of Military Action drawing to a close. The Army is winding up the first phase of Operation Rah-i-Nijat by this weekend by capturing all major towns and villages in the Taliban heartland of South Waziristan, senior military officials said. The lightning speed with which the military has been able to seize major towns and villages, taking over Sherwangi, Kotkai, Kaniguram and Sararogha and secure main supply routes in the embattled tribal region has taken many an analyst, and even some military planners, by surprise. The security forces are already inside Makin from the Razmak access but the area is said to be infested with minefields and will take some time before it is declared safe. In 20 days since the launch of the operation on the night of October 16, the military is now poised to march into Mehsuds’ regional headquarters of Laddah.

Australia “No More Troops to Afghanistan”. Australia has ruled out sending extra troops to Afghanistan, despite US and Nato calls for reinforcements to shore up the campaign against a resurgent Taliban, a report said Thursday. Defence Minister John Faulkner told US officials Australia had decided against boosting its 1,550-strong troop commitment to the strife-torn nation beyond the 450 extra soldiers it sent earlier this year. ‘My own personal view is that we will not prevail in Afghanistan unless we win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people,’ he said, urging re-elected President Hamid Karzai make good on vows to crack down on corruption and improve governance.

“Pakistani troops enter another Taliban-held town”, Bill Roggio reports at The Long War Journal. Pakistani troops have entered another Taliban center in the war-torn tribal agency of South Waziristan. The Army said it has encountered “heavy clashes and street to street fighting” as its troops have entered the town of Ladha, which it described as a “stronghold of terrorists.” The military reported that 10 Taliban fighters were killed in the town. Ladha is one of five major Taliban towns in South Waziristan. The military has already taken control of Kotkai and Kanigoram, is currently clearing Sararogha, and has surrounded Makeen. The military also reported that 16 Taliban fighters were killed during fighting in Sararogha.

‘Dare to bare’ Pak fashionistas thumb a nose at Taliban Bare shoulders, backless gowns and pouting models are wowing Pakistan’s glitterati as Karachi fashion week shows the world a different sideof the Taliban-troubled nation. While women in much of Muslim, conservative Pakistan opt for headscarves over baggy shalwar khamis or even burkas, on the catwalks of financial capital Karachi, designers are exposing midriffs and flashing cleavage. Fashion week runs until Saturday, taking place three weeks late because of security jitters and as a mark of respect for more than 300 people who perished in a string of attacks blamed on Islamist militants last month. [Photos at the story link above]

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