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, January 23, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reported Security Incidents


A series of bombings in and near Baghdad reportedly kills 8 people and injures 34. As usual, casualty totals and accounts vary somewhat. According to the AP:

  1. Two separate car bomb attacks on police patrols killed two officers and a bystander;
  2. A bomb attack on the sewage department killed two people;
  3. An attack on a bus carrying Shiite pilgrims in Kazimiyah killed one and injured nine

Ahlul Bahyt offers additional detail on some of the attacks, reporting that 8 people, including 4 officers, were injured in one of the attacks on a police patrol. They also report an attack "on the banks of the Tigris," which could be the one AP reports as attacking the sewage department but it is not clear. This is said to kill one person and injure six.

They also report on attacks in unspecified locations, apparently not in Baghdad, which don't seem to map onto any other reports I can find:

  1. Two killed, and four injured in an explosion "25 km north of the capital." (This could be the attack in Taji.)O
  2. In a separate car bomb attack, two teenage boys, aged 13 and 14, were killed when a roadside bomb targeting a militiaman exploded. (This could be the attack in Tarmiyah.)

DPA says there were a total of 13 dead in violence in Baghdad but does not provide any specific accounts. Unfortunately, Aswat al-Iraq is down as I write, so they can't help me sort things out.


A car bomb kills a farmer and his son on their way to market.


Bomb near a school kills two boys.

Afghanistan Update

Former Pakistan security official Colonel Imam, known as the "Godfather of the Taliban" for his role in establishing the movement in Afghanistan initially, is killed after his family fails to pay a ransom demanded by kidnappers. (Whatever the full story, this shows how byzantine the politics are in Pakistan. - C)

Hamid Karzai drops his threat to postpone convening Parliament for one month, averting a constitutional crisis.

A Polish soldier and a civilian medic are killed by a mine in Ghazni.

NATO states that an Italian soldier killed on Tuesday was shot by an Afghan soldier, not insurgents as originally reported.

Quote of the Day

After nine years, the international community needs to recognise it lacks knowledge, it lacks power, it lacks legitimacy. There is no confidence in the ability of the United States to sort this out. It no longer has the trust or the legitimacy. I think it is extremely unlikely that the United States is going to develop a coherent focused policy towards negotiation.

British former diplomat and now conservative MP Rory Stewart.


dancewater said...

TAZA - A roadside bomb wounded a leader of a government-backed militia and three of his guards as they were driving by in a pickup truck in Taza, 210 km (130 miles) north of Baghdad, the Joint Coordination Centre in Kirkuk said.

Second bomb in Taza.

dancewater said...

Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A.

Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies.

Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.

Hatching schemes that are something of a cross between a Graham Greene novel and Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy,” Mr. Clarridge has sought to discredit Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar power broker who has long been on the C.I.A. payroll, and planned to set spies on his half brother, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, in hopes of collecting beard trimmings or other DNA samples that might prove Mr. Clarridge’s suspicions that the Afghan leader was a heroin addict, associates say.

Mr. Clarridge, 78, who was indicted on charges of lying to Congress in the Iran-contra scandal and later pardoned, is described by those who have worked with him as driven by the conviction that Washington is bloated with bureaucrats and lawyers who impede American troops in fighting adversaries and that leaders are overly reliant on mercurial allies.


Those Iran-contra shits should have been put in jail for decades.

I think this article also shows evidence that the US government is losing control over our military.

dancewater said...

If Chilcot is our finest inquisitor, thank heavens for WikiLeaks

BLAIR: another shit that should be sent to prison for life.

dancewater said...

Drones come home