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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

News of the Day for Thursday, October 28, 2010

As I indicated might happen, this will be a quickie post. -- C

Reported Security Incidents


Ansar al-Sunna resurfaces, kidnapping the daughters of a Kurdish tribal leader and demanding the release of seven of its members from prison. The father, Walid Jalal Agha, managed to kill one of the attackers but they still escaped with the hostages. Ansar al-Sunna, formerly known as Ansar al-Islam, is the Kurdish Islamist group which George W. Bush and Colin Powell falsely claimed was somehow harbored by Saddam Hussein as part of the campaign of lies which they used to justify the invasion of Iraq. In fact, during the Saddam era, the group operated in Iraqi Kurdistan, protected from Saddam Hussein by U.S. and British air power, which was lucky for them because Saddam was trying to kill them. Their leader, known as Mullah Krekar, was at that time enjoying political asylum in Norway for precisely that reason. Saddam is gone, but they are still there. --C

Bursa, near Mosul

One police officer killed and seven injured in a suicide car bombing of police headquarters.


KUNA describes three attacks on public officials.

1) A police source told KUNA that unidentified militants planted a bomb in the car of Brigadier Abdulrazzaq Abdulwahab who works at the oil facilities protection department. The bomb exploded as Abdulwahab was driving his car in Al-Aamil neighborhood, killing him immediately and damaging his car and several close civilian vehicles, he added.
2) Another bomb exploded in the car of Brigadier Hussein Mahdi Jumaa in the same neighborhood, who was injured.
3) A third bomb exploded in the car of an employee in the Reconstruction and Housing Ministry in Al-Karrada neighborhood in central Baghdad, injuring him.

Other News of the Day

Governor of Salah U'Din Province Khaled Hassan Mehdi is suspended for alleged ties to the Baath Party. This is of course just more of the settling of scores which threatens the integrity of the Iraqi state. -- C Excerpt:

Provincial politicians speaking on condition of anonymity suggested that the allegations against Mehdi were a settling of accounts by supporters of former governor Mutasher Hussein Ellewi, who was sacked for alleged corruption in 2009.

Shortly after the 2003 invasion, the US-led occupation authority barred all senior and middle-ranking Baathists from public life, depriving tens of thousands of government employees of their jobs. Implementation of the law is now overseen by the JAC, which disqualified 456 candidates from Iraq's March 7 general election for alleged membership of the party.

Headed by leading politicians from Iraq's Shiite majority community, the JAC has been accused of pursuing a witchhunt against members of the Sunni Arab minority which dominated Saddam's regime.

Afghanistan Update

ISAF soldier killed by IED in southern Afghanistan. No further details at this time.

Taliban raid a police checkpoint in Takhar province, kill one police officer and injure another.

Several "militants" said to be killed by drone attacks in Pakistan. TOLO sources this only to "officials," presumably Pakistani.

Mikhail Gorbachev has some advice for President Obama: Victory is impossible, get the hell out.