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, February 15, 2011

War News for Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an IED attack in the Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Monday, February 14th. This was reported by NATO in this release yesterday.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, February 15th.

Pakistan and Afghanistan to Get New U.S. Envoy

Reported security incidents

#1: "Four people were killed in two bomb explosions today in a marketplace in Zafaraniyah," a hospital source in the southern Baghdad district told AFP. "We received the bodies of three men and one woman, as well as six wounded."

Diyala Prv:
#1: The policeman was killed when a bomb exploded outside his home in the city of Baquba in the restive Diyala province north of the capital, a provincial police source said.

#1: Gunmen killed a civilian in front of his house in northern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, a source in the Kirkuk security operations centre said.

#2: A grocery store owner was stabbed to death inside his shop in southern Kirkuk, a source in the Kirkuk security operations centre said.

#1: An Iraqi civilian has been injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in northern Iraq's Mosul city on Tuesday, a Ninewa security source said. "A civilian has been injured in an IED blast in central Mosul's Bab-Ligish area on Tuesday," the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that the blast took place in a popular area and did not target any security force.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two policemen were injured in a remote-controlled explosion in southwest Pakistani city of Quetta on Tuesday, local media reported. According to Urdu TV Duniya report, a local police van was on its routine patrol around the city when a remote-controlled bomb went off near it. A police official and another policeman were wounded in the blast and the car was partially destroyed.


Cervantes said...

Political violence aside, non-violent protest is erupting all over Iraq. It will be very interesting to see where this leads. Iraq theoretically has a democratic constitution and an elected government, but it is deeply corrupt and ineffectual at delivering basic government services. Exactly where a grassroots uprising might lead is unclear . . .

Cervantes said...

Curveball confesses, but he was obviously bogus to begin with.

The Wiz said...

The very fact that they are not afraid to demonstrate is a huge statement in of it self. Plus they are widespread, showing it is not just a call to the streets by some radical cleric like Sadr.

And they are all very small, a couple of thousand at most. That shows they are not afraid to speak out, even in small numbers. And much seems to be about local issues. All good to see.

And it is interesting that they are calling for better government and one that listens to the people. And protesting against corruption shows they are realizing they are in charge, not corrupt officials.

Plus look at the pictures. Several have military or police men protecting them instead of killing them. That is amazing!

Perhaps some of this has started because al-Maliki has said he is not going to run for office. This may be the starting of a vibrant, contested election.

I see it as all good, as long as it doesn't get violent.

The Wiz said...

And there is no doubt that Bush's push for democracy has had an affect in the ME. Read some of the old blog posts and see what discussions were started in response. All over the ME, people were asking the same questions and demanding answers. Now they are demanding results.

What amazed me most is that they had such a thirst for democracy that they had studied all the Founding Fathers of the US. Many people could quote Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Paine and more. They had read the Federalist Papers. They knew early American history better than 90% of Americans.

Democracy is spreading. It will not always be pretty and there will be set backs. But soon the ME will be populated by free peoples.

Cervantes said...

I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself Wiz -- it remains to be seen where all this will lead. But sure, let's all hope for the best.

As for crediting Chimpy, it is to laugh.

The Wiz said...

Didn't mean to sound to optimistic...can't have that here. I was just pointing out the vast improvements in Iraq. And I know of no other Arab country that this could happen...until this year.

And I can think of know other leader in the ME that announced he would not run for re-election more than a year in advance...again before this year. This will give the country lots of time for good political debate and the chance for new parties and leaders to emerge.

It may yet turn out bad...especially if if you get your way and the US pulls out too soon. But what is going on in Iraq and throughout the ME was unthinkable less than a decade ago. And while you laugh, the ME will continue on its path toward democracy.

As for Egypt, I am optimistic but concerned. They seem to have a good start but a long way to go. One thing that I have picked up on other ME blogs is that they have seen the ruthless methodology of the radicals. They have seen them deliberately attack and kill thousands fellow Muslims just to gain power. They now know the radical Islamists do not have their interests at heart. And they can see in Iran what their future holds should they allow the radicals to take charge.

Bush gave many speeches about democracy in the ME. He stated often that the Arab people have every right to live in liberty. And he said that once the seed was planted, it would spread throughout the region. Hard as it may to admit, it may soon be evident Bush was right

Black Friday said...

Bush was "right" to dodge the draft and avoid the bullets and dirt in Vietnam. Thank God Crawford got it's idiot back. As for you, The Wiz, have you still not gone down to the recruiting office, picked up your tin hat and gun and gone off to "fight for democracy" yet? Guess it's best to follow George and let others do the dying eh?

dancewater said...

There has not been 'vast improvement' in Iraq.

It is exactly the opposite.... things are horrible in Iraq.