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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

War News for Tuesday, September 07, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, September 5th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, September 7th.

News (DPA) is reporting the death of a Hungarian ISAF soldier in a Budapest hospital on Tuesday, September 7th. The soldier was wounded in a roadside bombing in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 23rd.

NATO asks for more troops for Afghanistan

US expects to spend big in Afghanistan for years

Japanese journalist says captors were Afghan soldiers

Reported security incidents

#1: At least 12 people, including four soldiers, have been killed and 29 others wounded after five suicide bombers armed with rifles attempted to storm an army base in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Two attackers blew themselves up at the back gate of the compound after being shot, while a third detonated a minibus packed with explosives at the entrance. The remaining two fought an hour-long gunbattle with troops before being killed, Major-General Qassim al-Moussawi, a Baghdad security spokesman, said. US military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Eric Bloom said US troops provided "suppressive fire" during the attack, as well as support through helicopters and drones. US explosives experts were also brought in to examine the site.

#2: An Iraqi journalist working for the country's official television was killed in western Baghdad on Tuesday morning, an Interior Ministry source said. Riyadh al-Sarray, presenter of political and religious programs in the state-run television Iraqia, was gunned down by armed men in their car in al-Harthiyah district when he was heading for work, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#3: Three police officers, one of them a colonel, were wounded on Monday when a roadside bomb went off in western Baghdad. “The blast targeted a police patrol in the al-Ghazaliya neighborhood, western Baghdad,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Four persons were wounded on Monday in a bomb blast in western Baghdad, a police source said. “Unknown gunmen blew up an improvised explosive device targeting a police vehicle patrol on Monday afternoon (Sept. 6) in al-Shuhadaa neighborhood in western Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the blast wounded a policeman and three passing civilians.

Thi Qar:
#1: The U.S. army on Monday announced that there is an increase in the attacks that targeted its convoys during Ramadan, according to a spokesperson of the U.S. army. “There is an increase in the attacks on the U.S. army convoys during Ramadan compared to the previous months,” Major Alan Brown told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “A Marines team will organize a training course to the river police in Thi-Qar,” he added, noting that the training should start today, but some security operation postponed it. The U.S. army in Thi-Qar has been attacked by four bombs since the beginning of Ramadan, during which two vehicles were damaged.

#2: A roadside bomb went off on Tuesday targeting a convoy of the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team (P.R.T) in western Nassiriya city, causing no casualties.

#1: Gunmen shot dead three family members execution style when they stormed their house in central Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iraqi police found the bodies of two men, including a policeman, in a parked car in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad late on Monday, police said. The bodies bore gunshot wounds and signs of torture, the source added

#1: The forensic medicine department received on Monday the body of a gunman, who had been killed by security forces, a police source said. “The Ninewa Operations Command on Monday afternoon (Sept. 6) handed over the body of a gunman, who had been killed by security forces in al-Arbajiya region, eastern Mosul, to the forensic medicine department,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body bore signs of gunshot wounds,” he added.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Finnish troops came under fire in the Samangan region of Afghanistan, but according to a statement by the Finnish Defence Forces on Monday no one was injured during the attack. The troops made up of Finnish and Swedish soldiers came under fire around 5 pm on Monday. The soldiers summoned air support during the incident. However, air support did not resort to the use of arms.

#2: Five more people, including some suspected militants, were killed in a drone attack by US spy planes on a car at Doga village in Dattakhel area in North Waziristan tribal region on Monday. Tribal sources said six US spy planes were flying over the border town of Dattakhel during the missile attack on the vehicle. Pleading anonymity, a security official based in Miramshah, the regional headquarters of North Waziristan, confirmed the latest drone attack in Dattakhel, and said it was the 4th attack by the US spy planes on the Pakistani soil during the last 72 hours. He said those killed in the attack were local tribal militants.

#3: Two militants were killed on Monday during an exchange of fire with the security forces in Shokhdhara area of Matta tehsil in Swat district, official sources said. The sources said they had been tipped off about the presence of militants who opened fire on the security personnel when they were encircled. The security forces returned the fire and shot dead two militants identified as Zarai alias Mulla Dad and Khan Sahib. The sources said it was not clear as to how many militants were present in the area as the bodies of only two were recovered from the spot. For the last one-week, more than 15 militants have been killed by the forces in various gun battles in Matta area.

#4: Anti-government militants gunned down a district chief in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province, Mahmoud Haqmal, the spokesman for provincial administration, said Tuesday. "Ahmad Masoud Jaushanpoor the governor of Nahrin district was on way to his home on Monday afternoon when the militants opened fire on his car in Jar-e-Khushk area killing him and his driver on the spot," Haqmal told Xinhua. Meantime, two bodyguards accompanying the ill-fated district chief went missing, he further said.

#5: A prominent Afghan television news journalist and political activist was stabbed to death near his Kabul home, police said on Monday. Sayed Hamid Noori, who was also deputy head of Afghanistan’s National Journalists’ Association, was found dead of knife wounds late on Sunday. “Someone called him and asked him to come down from his apartment last night. His body was found later by police in a tree-covered area near his home,” deputy Kabul police chief Khalilullah Dastyar told AFP.

#6: NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops killed an unspecified number of insurgents during an air strike in an area of southern Kandahar on Monday, the U.S. military said.

#7: Insurgents killed three Afghan children and wounded five in an attack on an ISAF combat outpost in southeastern Paktika province on Monday, the U.S. military said.

#8: Four Afghan government workers were kidnapped by approximately 15 suspected insurgents while travelling in eastern Kunar province on Monday, ISAF said. It gave no further details.

news: WO Gyorgy Kolozsvari

MoD: Lance Corporal Joseph McFarlane

MoD: Captain Andrew Griffiths


Cervantes said...

I could probably think of a better use for $3 trillion.

Cervantes said...

Well, at least these weren't combat deaths, right?

dancewater said...

Baghdad to Damascus, a road with no way back

Following the 2003 invasion, a tidal wave of Iraqis left their country, the numbers rising as the violence steadily worsened. The figures have long been disputed, but the United Nations estimates that some two million escaped to neighbouring Syria and Jordan alone, making it the largest Middle East migration in 50 years.
According to the UN, 40 per cent of Iraq's professional families fled the country, forced out by kidnappings and intercommunal warfare. Sunni Arabs from Baghdad made up a significant proportion of those arriving in Syria, but there were Shiites, too, along with Christians and a plethora of other minorities.

Although tens of thousands of Iraqis have voluntarily returned home since the worst of the violence in 2006 and 2007, about 1.5 million still live abroad, the UN says.

In June, the number of resettlement applications for Iraqis filed by the UN refugee agency surpassed 100,000. Antonio Guterres, the UN's high commissioner for refugees, came to Damascus to mark the occasion and to remind the world that, while the Americans might be winding down their war, the refugee crisis is far from over. He appealed to the international community for help and said it was too early and too unsafe for Iraqis to be told to return.

In fact, the flow of Iraqis into Syria continues, a testament to the scope of the continuing troubles. Up to 6,000 cross the border each day, some on business, some on holiday and some - usually from Baghdad, Mosul or Diyala - running away from violence, UN officials say.

The vast majority do not register as refugees, but many do. Between March and June the UN in Syria added more than 8,000 new cases to its list of almost 166,000. Many of the new arrivals had tried to cling on at home but now said they had little option but to leave.

"I waited until after the elections because I thought things would get better but they're getting worse again," said Umm Omar, 30, an English literature student and mother of two who arrived in Syria in July.

She has registered as a UN refugee, hoping, in what is effectively a lottery, to win resettlement in Europe. Determined not to abandon her home, Umm Omar had weathered the storm of violence in Baghdad when it peaked in 2006 but said the time had come to give up on Iraq entirely.

"It was a combination of things that made me finally decide," she explained. "The security is worse than they say it is. There are no public services, no jobs. You can't drink the water. There's no electricity and the politicians are only interested in themselves. There is only so much you can tolerate.

"In Iraq, we live like animals, not human beings. You eat and work and try to stay alive. I want more than that for my son and my daughter. If I were alone, I'd stay - I don't want to be weak or run away from things - but for their sakes, we have left and we are not going back."

dancewater said...

Afghanistan's dirty little secret

Western forces fighting in southern Afghanistan had a problem. Too often, soldiers on patrol passed an older man walking hand-in-hand with a pretty young boy. Their behavior suggested he was not the boy's father. Then, British soldiers found that young Afghan men were actually trying to "touch and fondle them," military investigator AnnaMaria Cardinalli told me. "The soldiers didn't understand."

All of this was so disconcerting that the Defense Department hired Cardinalli, a social scientist, to examine this mystery. Her report, "Pashtun Sexuality," startled not even one Afghan. But Western forces were shocked - and repulsed.

For centuries, Afghan men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a boy lover. Literally it means "boy player." The men like to boast about it. "Having a boy has become a custom for us," Enayatullah, a 42-year-old in Baghlan province, told a Reuters reporter. "Whoever wants to show off should have a boy."

Baghlan province is in the northeast, but Afghans say pedophilia is most prevalent among Pashtun men in the south. The Pashtun are Afghanistan's most important tribe. For centuries, the nation's leaders have been Pashtun.
In Kandahar, population about 500,000, and other towns, dance parties are a popular, often weekly, pastime. Young boys dress up as girls, wearing makeup and bells on their feet, and dance for a dozen or more leering middle-aged men who throw money at them and then take them home. A recent State Department report called "dancing boys" a "widespread, culturally sanctioned form of male rape."

So, why are American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud pedophiles, certainly more per capita than any other place on Earth? And how did Afghanistan become the pedophilia capital of Asia?

Sociologists and anthropologists say the problem results from perverse interpretation of Islamic law. Women are simply unapproachable. Afghan men cannot talk to an unrelated woman until after proposing marriage. Before then, they can't even look at a woman, except perhaps her feet. Otherwise she is covered, head to ankle. "How can you fall in love if you can't see her face," 29-year-old Mohammed Daud told reporters. "We can see the boys, so we can tell which are beautiful."

Even after marriage, many men keep their boys, suggesting a loveless life at home. A favored Afghan expression goes: "Women are for children, boys are for pleasure." Fundamentalist imams, exaggerating a biblical passage on menstruation, teach that women are "unclean" and therefore distasteful. One married man even asked Cardinalli's team "how his wife could become pregnant," her report said. When that was explained, he "reacted with disgust" and asked, "How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean?"

That helps explain why women are hidden away - and stoned to death if they are perceived to have misbehaved. Islamic law also forbids homosexuality. But the pedophiles explain that away. It's not homosexuality, they aver, because they aren't in love with their boys.

dancewater said...

War, corruption swell number of Afghan street kids

Kabul - At a center for disadvantaged children in Kabul, shy young girls step up to recite their duties as fasting Muslims for the visiting U.S. ambassador.
Teachers look on with pride at young Afghans who were once left at the mercy of the street.

Yet the disturbing reality in this war-torn nation - where Western powers battle Islamist forces to maintain a friendly government in power - is that at least 600,000 street children have no safety net to catch them.

The problem, experts say, is getting worse because of the deepening war and the scourge of corruption, despite the inflow of more than $35 billion from foreign donors since the Taliban were removed from power in 2001.

The dangers for children are many, they say: from drugs to the insurgency, from criminal gangs to sexual abuse. "Poverty is getting worse in Afghanistan and children are forced to find work," said Shafiqa Zaher, a social worker with Aschiana, the group receiving U.S. aid for its work.
A study by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in 2008 found around 60,000 minors involved in child labor in Kabul alone.

Nader Nadery, a senior commissioner at the AIHRC, says it's a consequence of Afghanistan's decades of conflict. "In the last three to four years an increasing number of displaced from the war affected areas - Helmand, Kandahar, Ghazni - have poured into Kabul city to seek refuge," he said.