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, August 22, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Iraqi soldier stands guard as an electrical worker snips illegally placed wires used to steal electricity from the national grid in Baghdad on June 27. Dozens of Iraqis violently protested in the southern city of Nasiriyah to demand better power supplies, wounding 16 people including 10 policemen, witnesses and officials said. (AFP/File/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

Reported Security Incidents

Basra Province, undisclosed location

U.S. military says a soldier is killed "while conducting operations", gives no further details including whether the death is the result of hostile action. Well, whatever happened, by definition it could not have been "combat," right? -- C


Gunmen attack a vehicle carrying 700 million Iraqi dinars ($600,000) in government payroll, get away with the money. Police suspect inside assistance. Aswat al-Iraq reports specifically that this was payroll for the Baghdad University Veterinary College.

A rash of bombs hits the capital, with reported casualty tolls in double figures. KUNA reports a bomb in Al-Beyaa injures 1; a bomb in Al-Siyadiya injures 5; and a car bomb in Al-Huriya injures 1 and damages several buildings. KUNA includes the incident in Mussayab in this report -- see below.)

Reuters reports an incident that may or may not correspond to one of the above, in which a sticky bomb injures a member of the Badr militia. (Remember them? The armed wing of SIIC.)


Police clash with demonstrators protesting the lack of electricity, 10 police and 6 civilians are injured. AFP reports: "Iraq's daily power generation averages 8,000 megawatts, while demand in the summer, when temperatures have hit 54 degrees Celsius (130 degrees Fahrenheit), is typically more than 14,000 megawatts, forcing the use of rationing. Only those with access to their own generators and fuel have been able to refrigerate foodstuffs or air-condition their homes around the clock, while others have been rendered helpless in the oppressive summer heat, triggering the protests."


Bomb in a market, possibly placed inside a store, kills 1 and wounds 6, according to Reuters. KUNA reports 2 killed, 8 injured.


Roadside bomb injures 2.

Other News of the Day

Iraq's Justice Ministry admits that Ali Lutfi Jassar al-Rawi, sentenced to life in prison for the murder of British aid worker Margaret Hassan, has escaped and is at large. Apparently he escaped some time ago but the government concealed the fact.

Kurdish police officer dies of injuries sustained more than a week ago in a clash with gunmen in Sulaimani.

Afghanistan Update

Two U.S. soldiers killed in eastern Afghanistan. No further details at this time.

MOD confirms the death of a soldier from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment on Saturday, in southern Afghanistan.

DPA rounds up several security incidents.

  1. A roadside bomb struck a vehicle in the western province of Faryab, killing a local commander and four others, the Afghan interior ministry said.

  2. ISAF forces killed two insurgents in the southern province of Zabul on Saturday. The troops were in pursuit of a Taliban commander who led attacks on Afghan civilians and security forces, ISAF said.

  3. I Helmand, insurgents killed two female civilians while attempting to target a patrol of Afghan and international troops.

  4. In Kandahar province, three Taliban commanders where killed in a raid by Afghan and ISAF troops on a Taliban hideout in Arghandab district on Saturday night, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.

Gunmen kidnap Ghulam Nabi, "sub-Governor" of Sawki district in Kunar province, and his son. Such kidnappings often result in ransom demands.

Quote of the Day

We watched the continuous news stories about the "last combat brigade in Iraq" leaving with mixed emotions. We all worked together with that unit, and took over their area of responsibility when they got ready to leave. We ensured the road they traveled on was free of IEDs and the enemy to make sure they made it out safe. I am glad for them and their families that they made it out of Iraq and are on the way home. . . . That being said, it is somewhat frustrating to see the coverage and the message being sent out. Is combat really over in Iraq? . . . [I]t is hard to explain this message to our soldiers still here in Iraq as they dodged the six mortar rounds which slammed into our base two days ago. Families back home watching the news coverage were e-mailing loved ones here asking if we were coming home since we've been in combat for over eight months now. Unfortunately, our homecoming will have to wait; there is still a mission here for us to do.

While our primary mission is to advise and assist the Iraqis, make no mistake about our capabilities. We are a heavily armed and equipped combat brigade with the training, equipment and soldiers to defend ourselves and take the fight to the enemy if ordered to do so. And there is a very active enemy out there who has no intention of slowing down his attacks. Don't let the news stories deceive you. There still will be a very active and lethal fight going on here in Iraq after Sept. 1.

Maj. Mike Sullivan, operations officer of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division


The Wiz said...

Here's an interesting article < on the role India plays in Afhganistan

Cervantes said...

It's certainly true -- the India/Pakistan rivalry is a big complication in Afghanistan and also, BTW, a major danger for the world since both have nukes. Karzai is thought to be somewhat partial to India and a major reason why the Pakistani ISI covertly supports elements of the Taliban is to gain influence within Afghanistan as a counter to India.

Unfortunately, the U.S. is not in much of a position to try to broker reconciliation between India and Pakistan. The main irritant between the two countries is the Kashmir, and actually Pakistan has a decent case there. But the U.S. will never recognize it.

The Wiz said...

I knew they were enemies as there have been several wars and skirmishes over Kashmir throughout my life time. But I didn't know that India had been a backer of the Northern Alliance, which we allied with to overthrow the Taliban.

Shame the traditional media hasn't brought this to light. If they did maybe world pressure would help bring about some sort of security agreement keeping A'stan out of Paki/Indian affairs.

dancewater said...

OUR corporate media did not cover the proxy fighting between Pakistan and India in Afghanistan, but the REST OF THE WORLD DID.