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, July 25, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, July 25, 2010

A resident walks past a burnt vehicle after a bomb attack in Baghdad July 25, 2010. A sticky bomb attached to a car carrying an off-duty policeman killed him and wounded three others in Baghdad's southern Saidiya district, an interior ministry source said. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen [Yet another incident reported only in a photo caption!]

Reported Security Incidents


Gunmen using silenced pistols killed two policemen at a checkpoint in western Mosul on Saturday, according to a military source.

Sixteen civilian bystanders injured in a grenade attack on a police patrol, also on Saturday.

One police officer killed, a second is wounded along with a child in a bomb attack on a police patrol.

Other News of the Day

Iraqi Ministry of Defense claims to have arrested three al-Qaeda leaders.

Iraqi soldiers arrested Saleem Khalid al-Zawbayi, the minister of defence for the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)," [Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed] Askari said. "He was arrested on Wednesday evening south of Baghdad," he added.

Zawbayi is suspected of organising a July 18 suicide bombing in the town of Radwaniyah, west of Baghdad, targeting anti-Qaeda militiamen being paid their wages. Forty-five people were killed and 46 wounded.

Askari also said that two brothers -- Jaabar and Qadoori Radhi Khamis al-Zaidi -- believed to have been responsible for operations in Diyala, were arrested in the northern city of Tikrit, where they were based."

FIFA may ban the Iraqi football team from international competition as sectarian politics fuel government meddling in its leadership. Excerpt:

The battle over who will lead Iraq's most popular sport after Saturday's [Iraqi Football Association] IFA poll elections has fueled the country's bitterly sectarian politics as the authorities struggle to form a new government more than four months after the inconclusive parliamentary elections in March.

The bickering spilled over into football with the government backing Shi'ite Falah Hassan against the incumbent Hussein Saeed - named in one of the arrest warrants - for the top job at the IFA. The Shi'ite-dominated government has long wanted to purge IFA of any officials with alleged ties to the former Ba'athist administration.

Last Sunday men in military-style uniforms raided the IFA offices carrying arrest warrants for several of its officials. On Wednesday Fifa warned that any governmental meddling in the association's electoral process could lead to a suspension.

Carlos Hamann for AFP discusses the ethnically fueled instability along the Kurdish-Arab border region. Excerpt:

The US military withdrawal from Iraq is on schedule, according to the commander of US forces there, General Raymond Odierno. Just 50,000 troops will remain after August 31, down from a peak of more than 170,000 and ahead of a full withdrawal in 2011.

Odierno however acknowledged to reporters in Washington at mid-week that despite some progress, "we have not solved the problems of the disputed areas" of northern Iraq. "That's a problem that has to be dealt with in the future," he said. "Do I think this will be resolved by the end of 2011? No." The US intelligence community's annual threat assessment earlier warned about the volatile region.

Regional tensions "have the potential to derail Iraq's generally positive security trajectory, including triggering conflict among Iraq 's ethno-sectarian groups," then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair wrote in the assessment, out in February. Land ownership, control of oil resources, and integrating Kurdish peshmerga fighters into Iraq's army are issues that "still need to be worked out, and miscalculations or misperceptions on either side risk an inadvertent escalation of violence."

From The Guardian: A key witness to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war has accused Whitehall of trying to silence embarrassing testimony undermining the case for the invasion. In today's Observer, Carne Ross, the UK's Iraq expert at the UN between 1997 and 2002, writes that the inquiry is being prevented by "deep state" forces from establishing the government's true motivation for invading Iraq. Ross, who appeared before the inquiry this month, says he was not provided with key documents relevant to his testimony and was warned by officials not to refer to an internal Foreign Office memo that contradicted the government's public case for war.

Afghanistan Update

Earlier reports that the Taliban have captured 2 U.S. naval personnel in Charkh appear to be inaccurate. Most reports are now indicating that one of the men was killed in the initial confrontation, and only one has been captured. According to the WaPo, "The Charkh district chief, Samer Gul Rashid, said that about 6 p.m., the Americans drove through the district in an armored SUV. Gunfire and a grenade attack broke out, he said, and the vehicle was torched. He added that residents at the scene told him that one of the Americans was killed by gunfire and another was slightly wounded in the hand. On Sunday morning, he said, U.S. and Afghan forces found the body of the slain American in a garden known as Qala-e-Now, and that U.S. troops now have the body." According to a recent Reuters report, a Taliban spokesman has confirmed this. The U.S. has not given further information about the men or their role. [The most common role for naval personnel in Afghanistan is as combat medics attached to Marine units, as the Marines do not have their own medical corps. However, naval special forces and military police also operate in Afghanistan. It has not been explained why these individuals were driving off base.]

A candidate for Parliament in Ghazni is abducted. "'A group of armed militants went to the house of Hajji Najibullah in Jangalak village of Qarabagh district on Saturday evening and took him away to unknown location,' district governor Mohibullah Khapalwak told Xinhua."

Taliban militants captured the mountainous Barg-e-Matal district in Afghanistan's eastern Nuristan province after a fierce clash with police, a private television channel Tolo reported Sunday. Citing provincial governor Jamaludin Badar, the television reported that police had retreated Saturday, allowing militants to overrun Barg-e-Matal district.

Reuters confirms the Taliban advance in Nuristan and also refers to "reports by residents that dozens of civilians were killed in a raid by foreign forces on Friday [in Helmand]. Further details were not immediately available."

Quote of the Day

Jihad is a Muslim’s duty. The local government is afraid of this word. A preacher cannot call himself a preacher if he does not condemn the occupation [by the American military] and describe jihad as a religious obligation.

Sunni cleric Sheikh Muntasar al-Majmaei of Katoon mosque in Baquba, reacting to a government ban on incendiary sermons. Many believe this will be exercised selectively against Sunnis.


Cervantes said...

For those who, for whatever reason, are interested in the history of the Clinton administration and Iraq, Juan Cole offers this:

The move [a petition calling on Israel to attack Iran] is reminiscent of the 1998 letter the Project for a New American Century signatories sent to President Clinton, putting pressure on him to initiate war on Iraq. They did maneuver him into pulling out UN weapons inspectors and bombing Iraq. The US removal of the inspectors made the West blind as to the lack of Iraqi weapons programs, since their absence could no longer be certified. In turn, Iraq’s opaqueness as a result of the Clinton actions allowed the Bill Kristol crowd and the rest of the Israel, war industry and oil lobbies to propagandize America into the fruitless and ruinous Iraq War. Now they are repeating this pattern with regard to Iran.

Anonymous said...

So Clinton was tricked into bombing Iraq by those mean little NEOCONS!!!

What a pathetic joke.


dancewater said...

Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

• Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops
• Covert unit hunts leaders for 'kill or capture'
• Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato

It also appears that our "ally" Pakistan and our "enemy" the Taliban are often one and the same.

Read all about what your blood-thirsty government has been up to.

dancewater said...

State Dept. planning to field a small army in Iraq

Can diplomats field their own army? The State Department is laying plans to do precisely that in Iraq, in an unprecedented experiment that U.S. officials and some nervous lawmakers say could be risky.

In little more than a year, State Department contractors in Iraq could be driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft, operating surveillance systems, even retrieving casualties if there are violent incidents and disposing of unexploded ordnance.

Under the terms of a 2008 status of forces agreement, all U.S. troops must be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, but they’ll leave behind a sizable American civilian presence, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world, and five consulate-like "Enduring Presence Posts" in the Iraqi hinterlands.


The US government elites are not going to leave that oil to the Iraqi people.

dancewater said...

Clinton was in cahoots with those blood sucking, blood thirsty little neocons.

He is a member of their evil little "club".

Anonymous said...


lololol Clinton was a neocon lololol

You guys just get better and better