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, December 19, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reported Security Incidents

Note: Western news agencies have nearly stopped covering the continuing political violence in Iraq, unless there are major, spectacular incidents. I am forced increasingly to rely on Aswat al-Iraq for this information. Iraq is about the size of Texas. I ask you to imagine if it were taken for granted, entirely unremarkable, and not even worth notice in the news, that there would be several bomb attacks on police, assassinations of government officials, and incidents of communal violence in Texas every day. -- C


Baghdad

Two coordinated IED attacks in al-Ghazaliyah, western Baghdad, injure 3 police and 3 soldiers.

A civilian is injured by a bomb placed in his car on Palestine Street.

An employee of a Kuwaiti satellite channel is injured by a bomb placed in his car.

Kirkuk

An employee of the state-owned Oil Products Company is assassinated in a drive-by shooting in front of his home.

Police find a bullet-riddled corpse behind a garage.

Other News of the Day

PM Nuri al-Maliki will make his nominations for cabinet positions on Monday, but he will not appoint ministers of interior, defence and national security, retaining those portfolios for himself. He says more time is needed to consider appointments to such sensitive posts. Parliament must approve the new government by Saturday.

However, Ahlul Bhayt News Agency tells a slightly different story, suggesting that a deal to fill the security posts is in place. We'll have to see.

Iraqiya has announced its nominees for high posts as part of the agreement for a national unity government.

The spokesperson of the Iraqiya Party, Dr. Shaker Kittab, told KUNA that "all Iraqi leaders agreed on leadership positions and future governmental nominations." He added that his party officially nominated Dr. Eyyad Allawi as a President of the National Council for Higher Policies, Tariq Al-Hashimin as Vice President and Saleh Al-Mutlaq as Deputy Prime Minister after lifting a ban on the three Sunni Muslim politicians who were barred from running in national elections last March after being accused of having ties to Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.

Not all the news is good, however, as Christians are fleeing to Kurdistan and seeking asylum abroad in the face of continuing threats and violence.

Thousands of Kurds demonstrate in Sulaimaniyah against a ban on demonstrations. I guess the law isn't very effective so far.

Afghanistan Update

Militants attack an army recruitment center in Kunduz, killing four Afghan soldiers and four police. Two of the attackers are also dead, but two survivors captured the building and resisted from within. In a later report, "After hours of fighting, the situation has been brought under control but unfortunately seven security personnel were martyred and 14 others sustained injuries," acting provincial governor Hamdullah Danishi told Xinhua."

Xinhua also reports two suicide bombers attacked an Afghan army bus in Kabul, killing five and wounding nine. A comparable attack has not occurred in Kabul since May.

NATO reports a service member killed in a bomb attack in Southern Afghanistan.

Quote of the Day

After almost a decade, the fix is in and the news is bad. Just as Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai has Barack Obama precisely where he wants him, so too Pakistan has the US leader where it would like to keep him - up against a wall, writing big fat cheques.

Paul McGeough

2 comments:

The Wiz said...

"I ask you to imagine if it were taken for granted, entirely unremarkable, and not even worth notice in the news, that there would be several bomb attacks on police, assassinations of government officials, and incidents of communal violence in Texas every day. -- C"

Interesting as there have been thirty thousand killed just south of the Texas border in Mexico but not one word about that war has been written here.

Cervantes said...

This blog isn't about Mexico. We haven't written anything about Pago Pago either.

What an utterly moronic comment.