April 29th, 2010
01:14 AM ET

Report: Violence up nearly 90 percent in last year

WASHINGTON — Violence in Afghanistan is up nearly 90 percent from this time last year, according to a new Pentagon report submitted to Congress Wednesday.

Despite that increase and a 240 percent spike in roadside bomb attacks - a major factor in overall violence statistics - and increasing Taliban tactics to discredit President Hamid Karzai's government with shadow governments, some officials said they are seeing encouraging trends.

"We have the beginnings of the potential for real change," said a senior U.S. defense official who is closely involved with the Obama administration's Afghanistan strategy. The additional troops ordered by President Barack Obama, the official said, "have begun to have some impact on reducing the Taliban's ability to operate."

The new report tracks progress in Afghanistan from October 2009 to March 2010, revealing that an overall decline in stability over the last several years appears now to have steadied. But overall violence has risen, mostly due to an increase in allied offensives reaching into Taliban-controlled areas, as well as successful Taliban efforts to return to areas that had been cleared by U.S. troops.

The United States faces two major concerns in Afghanistan, the senior defense official said: developing Afghan security forces and stopping corruption.

A recent poll indicated that more than 80 percent of Afghans are affected by government corruption in their daily lives. About a third believe the government is less corrupt than a year ago, but a near equal number believes it is more corrupt.

Progress is slow. The government was to have enacted 13 new anti-corruption measures by the end of February, but as of last month, only one of the decrees had been signed, the Pentagon report said.

"Public perceptions of the government with regard to corruption continue to be decidedly negative, with blame placed on ISAF and the rest of the international community as well as the government," the report says. ISAF is the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

There have been some recent acts aimed at cleaning up corruption, the defense official said, citing an Afghan police general who was convicted of stealing from a "widows and orphans" fund. But overall, eliminating corruption is "elusive now. It was elusive two years ago. And it was elusive five years ago."

The official said building Afghan security forces is both challenging and risky.

"There is significant risk to us attaining our goals," the officials said. "There is a lot of concern over the ability of the Afghan National Police to grow."

The report describes problems inside the force with individuals not on the payroll doing police work in some districts, as well as "ghost police" who are on the payroll but don't actually show up for duty. The entire police force has begun to be drug tested, and the most recent results found nearly 14 percent of the force tested positive.

The report also details a severe shortage of trainers to build the Afghan forces to sufficient size and quality. But, the senior defense official said, there's been some progress on that front within the last month.

"Since the report closed, we've had more commitments of trainers," the official said. "It's 20 to 30 percent better since the report closed."

The report also indicated that the recent capture of some Taliban leaders over the border in Pakistan has been demoralizing to some Afghan Taliban fighters. The fighters are under more pressure than ever, the report says, but they are still able to get money for their fight from Islamic states outside Afghanistan.

Iran, the senior defense official said, has been "a mixed bag."

"They're doing some positive things in Afghanistan, and some very negative things."

soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Lawl

    Fight, fight, fight. Blah, blah, blah.

    This comments section is a mosh pit.

    "you government puppet"

    Tinfoil hat.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Onesmallvoice

    Well put,Bob! like you say,it's politically correct you know whats like Breazile who cause far more damage than good.This Breazile is no more than a puppet of the right-wing thugs in Washington being used to further the popularity of this obnoxious war.

    May 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    "men" like you, Col Gregory Breazile, are the problem, and not the solution! When you use politically correct BS like calling an escalation of the war (via additional troops) a "surge" you lose whatever credibility you may have had...

    i met thousands of politically correct officers like you while doing my 20 years active (and three wars) as an officer and aviator, and "men" like you would throw their mother under a bus if you thought that it would advance your career!

    the majority of conflict in this world would end if "men" like you, Breazile, who think themselves intellectually and morally superior for some unknown reason, would stop training stupid (and the usmc is the worst!) naive 18 year olds to carry guns and work as pawns for politicians and corporations making trillions of $$$ "policing" the world under the guise of our national defense - what hogwash! but as long as there are "men" like you who are willing to brainwash young men and women as hired guns the world will never change!

    take your semper fi and shove it you government puppet!

    May 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Noliving

    Tony if you know so much on how to fight this war then haven't you joined the military yet and serve them in this conflict? You are very arrogant in your attitude and views towards Col. Breazile, unlike you he has personal experience with what is going on right now in Afghanistan.

    May 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tony

    Col Breazile, you are not the first person to invoke the "turn the corner" metaphor, nor will you be the last. I am curious what you might say next year, when the situation looks similar to what it is today. Namely a corrupt national government, regions ruled by warlords, a Taliban militia that simply melts away when challenged and pops up in a different location, and a occupying force that cannot understand why more force and more violence is not a solution.

    Freedom and democracy are not something we can impose; its something that people fight for. There is no reason to suppose that Afghans are unwilling or unable to fight for what they want. The logical conclusion is that they are not that interested in western democratic institutions, except as in Karzai's case when it bolsters their personal ambition.

    I can understand why you might want to think you are accomplishing something, but your efforts are being undermined by the ongoing search and destroy tactics that kill more civilians than militants. If our goal is really reconstruction then we need to become a militia – defending territory and people and not wasting resources hunting for an elusive enemy. However, we are only in Afghanistan today because Gen. Franks made a total bollocks of the original invasion and allowed bin-Laden to escape. After that the goal posts had to be moved since an admission of failure was not part of the Bush administration narrative.

    Tyrannical governments all over the world have been toppled by non-violent revolutions – Philippines, South Africa, all the communist governments of Eastern Europe (except perhaps Romania), Chile, and Argentina. In the same time period there have been how many successful impositions of democracy by force? In Iraq we succeeded in changing the players but not the game – arbitrary detention and torture are a feature of al-Maliki's Iraq as they were in Saddam Hussein's.

    I hope I am wrong and that somehow a measure of peace and security can be established in Afghanistan. But I sincerely doubt that armed force, even if well-intentioned, can accomplish that.

    I pray you and your soldiers stay safe.


    May 1, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sam

    I know some special forces guys from years gone by - "rolling up" the mid-level Taliban means making them dead.

    Doing that is why the high-level Taliban wants to talk.

    They talk, we locate them, followed by Pakistan "rolling them up"

    In short, we clearly intend to kill all of them from the local graft-taking MAFIA style kids to the people who want everyone but themselves dead squatting in caves.

    Good job. Perfect.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lennybaby

    @Lorri.All that hate spewing of yours is not going to make this idiotic war of yours any more justifiable.There nothing just about this war which President Bush got us into,but these right-wing politicians always have excuses to get us into their wars.

    May 1, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Noliving

    Well to be fair Rick, the Taliban actually encouraged the growth of opium until around the years of 2000-2001, meaning that between the years of 95-2000/1 the Taliban was actually encouraging farmers to grown Opium. Another thing to point out is that ever since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 the Taliban have encouraged the growth of opium again for the sole reason to use it to fund their war effort, it is not a coincidence that the provinces that have been under Taliban controlled or have the most Taliban presence and or support are the biggest producers of Opium in Afghanistan today.

    So you can talk all you want to about how they eradicated it in 2001 but you ignore the fact that they encouraged its growth until 2000/2001 and your also ignoring the key fact that they are the ones responsible for why opium has made such a big comeback in Afghanistan.

    May 1, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. jimmy

    They need to just focus on more air, satalite, and communication surveillance.

    Drop air raids on the places of large interest and neuter their operations, forget the small crap.

    This point is just a business for America. What happens to the millions of jobs and military businesses if they just stop.

    May 1, 2010 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rachel Brown

    Reading through these comments i believe you all make very valid points, and not one person is absolutely right. Beware of thinking in terms of absolutes, nothing is absolutely true because we can never absolutely know truth. – I believe America does play a leading role... setting the stage if you will, for the world. The world watches our every move, I know we are over there trying to help Afghanis secure themselves so they can protect themselves against oppression. Sometimes you have to sacrifice some civil liberties..(us americans) for the common good of mankind. we have to be very careful of thinking of only our entitlements.. of OUR RIGHTS, OUR PRIVELEDGES, because if we think too much of these things we become fanatics, and fail to see outside our bubbles. Have the humility to accept that you may not be right and someone else just might, be weary, but please be civil in debating these types of issues.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. paul toti

    why do we continue to stay in a country that is corrupt and basically does not want us there.i say screw it if the taliban want that rock formation let them have it.once there nuke the bastards,at least youll have all in one place.eniugh crap with this corrupt country,they dont want to make it better,so let them suffer under their choices.about time we stop trying to turn everyone in a democracy.if these people wanted it they would have embraced it.let them go back to the dark ages thats where they belong.screw the middle east,its not worth it,these people dont know what its like to be human,only barbarians.let them kill each other off and be done with them.let them do the job for us,sit back and watch the fiasco.

    April 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Just a Thought

    Why are we there?? Why weren't we there when the soviets left and the warlords went after each other? It should be our responsibility to clean up the messes we've made. Leaving now will create more problems then it will solve.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Archer D. Bowman

    Yup, lots of wild opinions and mud-slinging. No wonder our politicians do it, they're just following your great examples.

    On the other hand, it's kind of edifying to see statistics used so liberally by people who don't appear to do any of the research themselves. Isn't that the way statistics are supposed to be used?

    April 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jan

    Meanwhile, Back in the USA, our schools are closing, our libraries are closing, our manufacturing base has moved out of the country. Our bridges and highways are falling apart. Our jobs are disappearing and our pockets are dry.
    We are broke and broken. Our boarders are not being protected and we are overun with undocumented, unknown aliens. Security is needed.

    Please come home, dear troops!

    April 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff

    Americans are so naive. O-I-L P-I-P-E-L-I-N-E. Follow the money.

    April 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jason

    I think the Taliban are fully aware that their days are numbered. The local Afghans support the presence of coalition forces for the most part, you just don't hear about it because if they show their support, they are raped, imprisoned, tortured, beheaded, etc. by the Taliban. The Taliban are desperately trying to make themselves look as big and bad as they can ahead of this massive operation in the next couple months to sweep Kandahar. This operation will make operation Mostarek look like a walk on the beach. Taking Kandahar City would be the most significant boost in this conflict since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001, and they are fully aware of it.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  17. Rick


    You speak with compassion towards the Afghan people, yet you advocate the continuation of an oppressive and violent occupation by NATO forces. Why do you support the murder of innocent women and children by "liberating" forces? Are you that saturated with mass media misinformation that you cannot discern good from evil? Wake up sheeple!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  18. Droos

    I am of the opinion that, America should go outside, play hide and leave the world the hell ALONNNNEEEE! They cannot even run their own country why should they be allowed to play outside with the other countries.

    PS. Be careful when coming into contact with Americans folks, stupidity is contagious.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  19. Pat

    Has anyone considered the effect this is having on young boys in the middle east? And we think we have problems now? Wait till these kids, the ones we see on the news watching from behind their mothers skirts, turn 15 or so. What ideas would your kids grow up with if they watched their parents killed, their town destroyed, their future eliminated, by troops that don't look talk or think like anything they have yet known in their young life. Explain to them NATO is there to help rescue their country. Make them understand how they have been helped by this war. I don't think there will be any winners in this battle, even if we could define what a win in this war would be. And when these kids are big enough to carry a gun, this whole mess is going to get even worse. We'll bring our troops home then, because we'll need them to defend our own civilians in our own front yard.

    April 30, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  20. DK

    Why are we still there? Is it going to take our Govenment longer than Russia to fiqure out we don't belong there.
    Our troops were sent there to oust the our enemy the taliban and Al Qaeda not to interfer in the people culturem religion or way of life,
    It is all just another Viet Nam.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Homefries

    Substantially revealing when the people who are actually there–and know what they are talking about–are reporting progress. Whereas people who have no clue are blathering about cluelessly. Pro-tip to the clueless, reading a few ideologically inspired editorials does not automatically imbue comprehension.

    Success is never guaranteed in anything. But deliberately choosing not to make a serious attempt to succeed–for whatever reason–guarantees failure. My best wishes to all who are there and doing what they can to make this mission a success. And best wishes to the Afghans who have suffered most of all.

    April 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  22. End War

    Of coarse 911 was an inside job. America once again needed to go to war to prove their power to themselves, and what better than to attack a poor country that already had its own issues. Whether or not the US IS making a difference (as we can tell my the violence increase, hence, "War On Terror") we should have never even gone in the country. Our own media here portrays the war as we are making a difference, but it is the US that is causing terror. And the sad thing is, we are so far in that violence will just get worst, and it WILL be out of Afghanistan bounds, this so called "War On Terror" is going to bring WWIII whether one wants to believe it or not. STOP THE WAR is the only way out, even if it will cause America's pride.

    Leave these people alone and focus on your OWN countries issue, since we have so many of them.

    April 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Leon Deinos

    It is interesting that a report by the US military to the congress can state that the "violence is sharply above the seasonal average for the previous year – an 87% increase from February 2009 to March 2010." Something seems not to be working.

    What is left out of the report is the apparent proportionality between the level of violence and the number of US occupiers present in that country. That is, (approximately) twice the number of occupiers, so twice the number of incidence of violence. The Soviet occupiers three decades ago noticed a very similar phenomenon during their decade long, intensely destructive stay in Afghanistan.

    The number of US + NATO assistants + armed private contractors in Afghanistan now matches the maximum number of Soviet forces ever in that land, with, as the semiannual report to congress indicates for all to see, much the same results.

    Our soldiers are being placed in a terrible place by our leaders who, for the last eight and a half years have had no policy for Afghanistan. (What do they want in the Hindu Kush, what is victory, etc.?) With no policy, they of course have no strategy, so that the people on the ground can have no meaningful tactics. Phony takeovers of cities (Marja and now Kandahar) and fixing "corruption" by means of a deeply corrupt foreign occupation (on top of the local corruption) don't look like progress. Now is the time for us to quit our occupation of Afghanistan and leave those people alone after more than 30 years of massive killing and destruction.

    April 29, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  24. End War

    This is a dumb war started by us the USA and we need to get out! We put a bunch of drug lords into political power and there is nothing but corruption. Hello what do you expect. Lets kill more people and spend more billions and no one gets helped. Well the arms company’s do of course. You want to fight here then pay your own way.

    April 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Lorri

    Col Breazile –

    My son will actually be boots down there tomorrow. This is his first deployment. He is a Marine. First – Thank you so very much for all you have done and will do. And I have to say, it is freaking awesome (lol) that you are on here updating everybody! I love it. I am very happy to hear that things are progressing. I have mixed feelings about us being there. Part of me knows that those people need help. They are forced to live in filth and corruption. Their women are treated worse then how we treat our family pets here. Now, the other part of me listens to some of them over there and some of the bleeding hearts over here who live to condemn everything our military tries to do...... After stomaching some of their crap I just think we should bring ALL of our military home. Leave them to kill each other off and secure the crap out of borders, ALL of them! I will probably always have mixed feelings about this war but I will never condemn the soldier, the sailor, or the Marine. They give up everything and stand up for all of us no matter what.

    And to Daniel-2 please go crawl back into the whole you crawled out of. You are a disgusting, ugly, moronic piece of trash. A slimy bug that should be stepped on and not given a second thought!

    April 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jerry

    Hey Daniel-2. Did you read the article? it said that this was Obama's plan! He is certainly a right wind bla bla bla. The left wing Democrats are in charge of the White house and congress you Wing Nut!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Just Wondering


    April 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  28. F117

    10 years later and we have reached "the beginnings of the potential for real change"

    April 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  29. JMPotratz

    Read KHYBER,British India's northwest frontier by Charles Miller, 1976

    When you're read and understand it you'll see why I was never worried about the Soviet invasion succeeding thirty years ago, and why I know the American invasion will eventually go bust. Invading will never work there unless you remove ALL of the people and re-populate with westerners.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  30. JT HAMEL

    It's always interesting to see people post negative we are all under "mind control" comments from the comfort of their homes while drinking their mochachino latte's. If you haven't been there and you say this is all for oil and whatnot do all the people that have lost sweat and blood on the battlefield a favor and keep this viewpoint to yourself. Bottom line is as a soldier we do what we believe is right for our nation and for the people of the countries we are deployed to. It's a harsh fact but people sometimes have to die in order for things to improve. Taliban in Afghanistan are horrible people that are very smart but primitive individuals that do whatever they can to manipualte and bring fear into innocent peoples lives. If you have never put on a uniform to serve this great country of ours and you are complaining about the war while trying to look over your increasingly growing gut to type on your laptop while thinking about the next witty blog or post to make, give it a break. Brothers and sisters in arms continue to push forward and keep your heads held high.

    April 29, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  31. Iraq Paramedic

    The sewer rat analogie is very accurate. The Taliban is running scared & instead of just pulling back & regrouping they are killing inocent people to spread fear & none of these socalled peace nick liberals on this blog or any of the others have said a word about how bad they are. They just keep running down the countries they live in & that allow them to have the right to say those things. I bet you that none of the naysayers have ever been outside their home country.
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  32. Nick

    I am all about destroying terrorism, but my grandpa always told me, when fish ain't biting, cut bait and go home. This isn't working. Lets invest in making OUR country secure.

    April 29, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  33. Rick

    Digital Mercenary,

    You, sir, are the idiot. I bet you were oblivious to the fact that the U.N. reported that up until 2001, the Taliban had nearly destroyed all opium production in Afghistan. Though they did not completely eradicate it, they jailed farmers for not burning their poppy fields. In fact, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's leader at the time, banned poppy growing before the November planting season and augmented it with a religious edict making it contrary to the tenets of Islam. Read a book you moron.

    April 29, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  34. Jake

    The Good ol U S of A we have turned into a bunch of war mungers squandering the pride of our country away in the middle east!! we need to come home before we have to all teach ourselves to speak Chinese

    April 29, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  35. Digital Mercenary

    Rick, your an idiot, hands down.

    A common misconception is that all of Afghanistan is fighting americans in that region. They are the innocent people. Its everyone else who has come in trying to control that country, Russians, Taliban etc. As for our presence being the cause, it definatley fuels the fire in the region. You have to remember that the Talban want that area for a number of reasons. They can oppress the Afghan people with scare tactics, hide / fight in the mountains, and use the poppy fields for money.

    The Americans and some of their allies are there defending the Afghan people and this pisses the Taliban off. I just spent 14 months in Afghanistan and there are mortars, roadside bombs and gun fire everyday. But the increase in troops is really making a difference in that area.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  36. Joe

    My son is in Afghanistan now and the sad thing is that he and his comrades are working very hard to establish peace and rebuild the country but, for the most part, Americans seem to ignore the conflict there - I think because it's not a simple one to talk about. I believe that if the Bush administration had focused its efforts there instead of in Iraq (where my son also was two years ago), the world would be a much different place than it is today.

    Part of the complication arises from the fact that we now have a moral duty to help stabilize Afghanistan and rebuild it but because it's complex and no one in the US really wants to talk about it (or knows how to talk about it) we, all of the sudden, seem in a hurry to get out.

    God bless my son and all of the soldiers and Marines who work long, difficult, dangerous hours to try to make a difference there.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  37. Norm

    I wonder if the rise in violence is due to the foreign invasion that's killing innocent civilians everyday.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  38. Doogie

    O2BinCLT is absolutely right. The rise in violence is a direct response to our increased presence. When you flood a sewer, all the rats run to the surface. It's no different here, The Taliban and other insurgents are on the run and they're losing ground. The question before us now is: what do we do when we see them, stomp them out or let them keep running? All I have to say is that I've got my boots on with a shovel in my hand ready to whack every last one of them. Who's with me?

    April 29, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  39. O2BinCLT

    The uptick in violence is not a result of the Afghan peoples' discontent with the western presence. Habib on the street corner isn't going on line to learn how to make IEDs. It's the Taliban realizing that their days are numbered and making one final futile stance before their demise.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  40. Jeff

    Rick, you and the conspiracy paranoids need to get back on your meds. So you claim we hired Mohammed Atta to fly the plane into the World Trade Center? The same Mohammed Atta imprisoned by the Israelis? The same Mohammed Atta that was released when Clinton/Sec State Albright demanded Israel make nice and release murderers. Oh Wait, it is a conspiracy! A Democrat conspiracy!

    April 29, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  41. Proletariat

    Ok first of all Afghanistan has nothing to do with the so called war on terror as much as Iraq. Besides Terrorism is an International dilemma so you would have to invade the whole world for that. What a coincidence that terrorists always seem to be where all the natural resources are located like oil, gas & the routes for these resources. The only reason why the US government is in Afghanistan is for the interest of their bosses in the natural resources businesses & the military industrial complex. Google “TAPI Pipeline” or “TAP Pipeline”. It will reveal it all. The pipeline that will export gas from Turkmenistan thru Afghanistan, Pakistan & India. Who ever controls or constructs this pipeline will be powerful. American soldiers are dying for rich bosses & their investors. The bosses in the oil & war business. How sad.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  42. Rick

    911 was an inside job you idiots. Stop with the, "Osama is the devil and the Taliban are dogs" garbage. These men are trying to defend their country from foriegn invaders and you arrogant slaves continue to perpetuate the lies. Try the alternative media; it's must less contrlled than CNN.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  43. john

    corruption is part of the culture of Afghanistan. What the right has adopted is the liberal dream of changing the world to be like the USA. 805 of Afghanistan is under at least part control of the Taliban.

    April 29, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  44. Kevin Lenard

    Sadly 'thugs' exist anywhere there are humans. Luckily in democracies there is a method in place to cap and control just how 'thuggish' their behavior can become. Some would argue that there is strong evidence that there are a much higher percentage of 'thugs' in the 'Tea Party' "movement" than there are amongst America's elected officials.

    In Afghanistan, where there continues to be little AFGHAN control over thuggish behavior, the moment that the foreign-supported controls are removed, the local thugs will simply take over separate regions as they always have and, with no controls to cap and control their behavior, they'll be as brutal, unfair and totalitarian as they wish. The 'little people' of Afghanistan will suffer horribly, as they have for millennia. The brilliant minds of people high up in the democratic governments of the world are very clear about both their understanding of the complexities of Afghanistan and human nature. They are have not forgotten the long-term goal/aim.

    "WIllful ignorance", it's one of humanities biggest problems, 'Daniel-2'.

    "Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." (George Santayana)

    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." (Sir Winston Churchill)

    April 29, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |

    Just remember, Afghanistan was the breeding ground for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Freedom isnt free, only someone who has served their country can fully understand the toil and sacrafice of freedom. 9/11 NEVER FORGET

    April 29, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  46. Asten Weems

    We should continue to stay here and put the Taliban in body bags. That'll teach them a lesson for attacking us and joining Osama Bin Laden

    April 29, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  47. armybride

    Col. Breazile,

    My husband is serving in Gardez right now. He is helping firsthand providing schools in Paktya and three other provinces with immunizations and supplies. It will take a long time: the students have no paper, pencils, no real material with which to learn. I agree that education is the key. There is much good being done in Afghanistan, and it would be great to see more of it in the news. Be safe. I agree that things are slowly heading in the right direction. Praying for all of our service members. Our family knows the sacrifice all too well.

    April 29, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  48. tired of the BS

    They should bring the troops home.

    April 29, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  49. Linda Guthrie

    Col Breazile-
    Many thanks and God's blessings to you and all the troops who are serving in Afghanistan. We know you are making a difference and appreciate your efforts.

    Your commitment to improve the lives of these people is to be honored. Only when others have the opportunity to live in freedom will America be safe. There will always be naysayers but know that you guys are improving lives every day- even when it doesn't look like it!

    My son is currently serving in Kandahar and I know how frustrating it can get for you all. Stay strong and know that many prayers are going up for your protection and strength.

    April 29, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  50. Allie Thomas

    Col Breazile, Thank you leaving your comments and giving us informal information direcly from Afganistan. I hope this year is the turning point and it is encouraging that you are seeing improvement and changes for the better. Good news that schools are opening daily. Hopefully the corruption can be controlled.

    Many families of our military closely follow this blog. My nephew is a USM in country now. Our troops and their safety are in our thoughts and prayers every day and you and all of our troops are so appreciated. Our military and their families sacrifice so much for our country....thank you isn't enough.

    I apologize for the lack of civility and name calling that you may read. They don't speak for the majority.

    Semper Fi

    April 29, 2010 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  51. Col Gregory Breazile, USMC

    Things are changing here on the ground. I am serving in Kabul with the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (www.ntm-a.com) and have to say the past few months have had a drastic impact on the country. It all started with the troop surge which gave the Afghans more hope that security would improve. Additionally, recruiting for both the Afghan Army and Police is up so they are building their force as projected. The quality of the training for both the Army and Police has improved because we have received additional trainers to include Italian Carabinieri, Marines, and Soldiers. I truly believe this year will be a turning point as we build the Afghan ability to provide their security. We are also tackling the literacy challenge by teaching the soldiers and police how to read which will be a huge boost for their country. My personal belief is that Afghanistan will only change through education. Schools are being built each day and that's why I have hope for this countries future. Thanks to all who support our mission. We have a long way to go but we are making some serious progress.

    Semper Fi,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  52. Daniel-2

    I guess that with this rise in violence the proof that the Afghan people don't want foreign rule rings quite true despite all this right-wing bla-bla-bla to the contrary.When will the American people stop listening to those right-wing thugs in Washington preaching their bla-bla-bla about the "progress" of this obscene war? I guess as long as the people remain ignorant,that's a long way off and the Tea Party Movement will flourish in the meantime,sadly enough.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |