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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

News of the Day for Sunday, October 18, 2009

Iraqi Army soldiers inspect a bridge destroyed in a truck bomb attack Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009. A suicide bomber driving a dynamite-laden truck destroyed a key bridge Saturday on a highway used by the departing U.S. military. (AP Photo)

Reported Security Incidents


Stick bomb attack kills a civilian man near Baghdad University. Xinhua identifies the man as a government employee and says 3 colleagues were injured.

Roadside bomb injures 3 people in southwestern Baghdad.


Bomb in a restaurant kills 1 civilian, injures 10.


Bomb hidden in a garage kills 1, injures 9.


Vacationing policeman survives sticky bomb attack.

CEO of a cement company is injured in a roadside bomb attack.

Attack on a police checkpoint results in death of 1 child, 5 injured civilians.

Other News of the Day

Iraq Prime Minister al-Maliki leaves for the United States. His complex agenda includes meetings with U.S. and U.N. officials on foreign investment in Iraq, and Iraq's demand for an international tribunal to investigate the bombing of government buildings called the "Wednesday Assault. (The Iraqi government blames neighboring countries, particularly Syria, for harboring Baathist militants who they blame for the attack.)

Afghanistan Update

Heavy fighting continues in South Waziristan as Pakistani Army attempts to drive out militants. Pakistan claims to have killed 60, and to have suffered 6 dead. Taliban claim to have pushed invading army back to its bases. The region is closed to reporters and no independent reporting is possible.

ISAF reports a U.S. military death in southern Afghanistan. No further information is available.

Joint NATO-Afghan operation in Uruzgan province said to kill 8 militants.

This incident in Iran may suggest the Afghanistan conflict is spilling over into that country. -- C The deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard's ground force, Gen Noor Ali Shooshtari, as well as a chief provincial Guard commander are among 5 killed and 15 injured in a suicide bomb attack in Iran near the border with Pakistan. The area has been the scene of attacks by a Sunni militant group called Jundallah which has also attacked a Shiite mosque.

Quote of the Day

That's why I'm blaming the United States. I fought with them in the same trenches, but they are not supporting us politically. Everyone thinks about their self-interest. Nobody thinks about Iraq first.

"Awakening" movement leader Mustafa Kamal Shibeeb, candidate for Parliament and fugitive from murder charges.