The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Saturday, June 20, 2009

News of the Day for Saturday, June 20, 2009

A woman grieves for her husband, who was killed in a truck bomb attack, near Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, June 20, 2009. Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qader says Saturday's explosion occurred following noon prayers south of the disputed city.
(AP Photo/Emad Matti)

Reported Security Incidents


Four men dead of gunshot wounds found in Sadr City.

Taza, near Kirkuk

Car bomb attack on Shiite mosque. VoI is the only source giving the name of the town where this occurs, but others have much higher casualty totals. AFP is now reporting the death toll at 22. Reuters reports 80 wounded, 20 houses destroyed.

Later Reuters report puts death toll at 25, injuries at 150, 25 houses destroyed. "There was chaos at Kirkuk's main Azadi Hospital, where ambulance sirens wailed as workers rushed blood-splattered civilians, including several children, into the wards. Outside, security officials brandished assault rifles to stop traffic as pick-up trucks raced through the gates carrying more victims of the blast at the al-Rasul Mosque."


IED attack on convoy of police Col. Abdullah Qadir injures 2 civilians.

Policeman stabbed to death.


Gunmen attack the car of a vacationing policeman, kill him, injure his father. Reuters says it was his mother, not his father, who was injured.


In what appears to have been a rocket attack aimed at a police station, one rocket hits a civilian home, kills a child, injures six other people. Second rocket hits the police station and injures two police officers.


Curfew is imposed as security forces launch a crack down.

Other News of the Day

Addressing a group of Turkomen, al-Maliki says U.S. withdrawal from cities in coming days will be a "great victory" for Iraq.

U.S. transfers control of a Joint Security Station in Sadr City to Iraqis. (Not entirely clear what the practical effect of this ceremony is; this type of station has always been jointly operated, the article does not say that the U.S. troops are actually leaving. -- C

Afghanistan Update

Roadside bomb kills 3 civilians, injures 3 in Herat. Apparently intended to attack security forces, attacked civilian vehicle by mistake.

British soldier killed by explosion in Helmand province.

Coalition soldier killed in attack on U.S. convoy in eastern Afghanistan, no further details released.