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, September 5, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, September 5, 2010

Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

8 dead, 29 injured in complex attack on headquarters of Iraqi Army's 11th Division and an attached military recruitment center, according to AP. (This is the same location where 61 applicants for the army were killed in mid-August.) In this account, a car bomb first killed 2 people, then gunmen tried to shoot their way into the building, killing 6 more, with 5 soldiers among the dead. Other accounts say there was a second explosion, caused by a suicide bomber among the attackers. There may also have been a sniper in the area, and a second suicide bomber whose device failed to fully detonate. KUNA now reports that there were in fact 12 fatalities including the attackers.

Sticky bomb kills 1, injures 2 in Dora.

Roadside bomb injures 2 civilians in al-Kamaliya, eastern Baghdad.

Civilian killed, 7 injured by IEDs on al-Madaris street, al-Hurriya, late Saturday. This is apparently the same incident Reuters reports as targeting an army patrol.

Other News of the Day

The Iraqi National Alliance proposes VP Adel Abdul-Mahdi to replace Nuri al-Maliki as PM of a Shiite coalition government. The INA includes the Sadrists, who are particularly opposed to Maliki.

Gen. Richard Dannatt, former head of the British army, says in a memoir that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did not adequately fund the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suppose that's what the generals will always say. -- C

Afghanistan Update

British soldier from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland killed by an RPG in Helmand Province.

U.S. and Afghan governments to jointly bail out Kabul Bank, which is in danger of collapse as depositors continue to line up to withdraw their funds. The bank is partly owned by President Hamid Karzai's brother Mahmoud and its trouble stem in part from loans to allies of the president.

A Japanese journalist abducted 5 months ago, apparently by Taliban, is released. The journalist, Kosuke Tsuneoka, had converted to Islam in 2000 and that was a factor in his release, according to the Japanese news agency Kyodo.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tells Reuters the Taliban will disrupt the Sept. 18 parliamentary elections. This Reuters article also features a broad discussion of the security situation leading up to the election, and problems of electoral integrity.

The head of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission, Fazel Ahmad Manawi, says that if the security situation continues to deteriorate, the IEC will choose unspecified "other options" for polling. I am not sure what this could mean. 938 polling stations are currently planned not to open due to security threats. The Electoral Complaints Commission, meanwhile, asserts that 2 ministers and a governor are using government facilities on behalf of favored candidates.

Karzai to form a "High Council of Peace to lead peace talks with the Taliban. He will announce membership after Eid al-Fitr.

Quote of the Day

The Americans, beginning 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, killed wantonly, tortured ... the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women's rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives ... More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile ... The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium ... the most awful birth defects ... unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up ... an army of young Islamic men went to Iraq to fight the American invaders; they left the country more militant, hardened by war, to spread across the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia ... a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris ... through a country that may never be put back together again.

William Blum

2 comments:

dancewater said...

That quote tells the truth.

And now they intend to do the same for Afghanistan, and probably Pakistan and Yemen.

Our country is run by sociopaths, and a large part of our population is taking anti-depressants or addicted to TV.

Freedom's just another word....

Anonymous said...

Mr. bush
Americans will soon start paying huge hatred over u. All the deaths are cursing on u and will certainly be cursing to generations.