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, March 20, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reported Security Incidents


Roadside bomb kills 1 civilian, injures 7 people, including 3 police, in central Baghdad. A few minutes later, a second bomb injures 6 people, including 3 police. Aswat al-Iraq gives different casualty totals -- see next link.

Mortar attack on security headquarters in Baladiyat district, no word on casualties.

VoI describes 4 separate explosions late Saturday and (apparently) early Sunday, killing 3 and injuring 22. Attack on an army patrol in Aadhamiya kills 2 soldiers and one civilian, injures 6 soldiers an 1 civilian. Explosion in a road tunnel in Aadhamiya also injures 4 persons. Attack on an army patrol in al-Shaab injures 5 soldiers, and an explosion in Karrada injures 4 civilians.

al-Sherqat, Salhudin Province

Two Turkish nationals, employed by the Iraqi government to build a school, are kidnapped by unknown gunmen. (This strange policy of employing foreigners on government projects apparently continued. With unemployment at unacceptable levels in Iraq, it is difficult to explain. -- C

Other News of the Day

Director of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council says it has released nearly 13,000 prisoners in the past two months, either through acquittal or pardon. Large scale detentions have provoked demonstrations recently. It is not clear, but one suspects many of these prisoners were among those turned over to Iraqi control by the U.S. -- C

Hey kids! Did you know that Operation Iraqi Freedom began on March 20, 2003? Yes, today is the eighth anniversary of the day of Shock and Awe. It seems a few hundred people in California noticed, but hardly anybody else did. Down the memory hole . . .

Afghanistan Update

District governor of Burka, Baghlan province says NATO forces have killed 7 Taliban. A Taliban spokesman confirms the death but says NATO also suffered casualties.

British MoD announces the death of Private Daniel Steven Prior on Saturday. Prior was injured by a bomb in Helmand on Thursday.

Trainers from the U.S. Army Reserve's 98th Division will soon be deployed to Afghanistan. What is interesting in this Tolo News dispatch is the observation that "Officers in the unit find it more challenging as they think Afghan soldiers are not used to being under a unified command."

Joe Biden chats on the phone with Hamid Karzai. This Kuna dispatch also mentions in passing that a U.S. drone strike killed 1 civilian and injured 4 in Nangarhar. Hardly worth mentioning.

Two NATO soldiers of unidentified nationality are killed on Saturday, apparently by an Afghan security guard. No details are available as of now.

Quote of the Day

When Israel bombed Gaza at the end of 2008 in a brutal action which killed 1,300 people and destroyed 20,000 buildings, there was no question of the US allowing the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza to protect its people, 50% of which are children.

Sasha Simic


dancewater said...

regarding the 8th anniversary - there were about a thousand of us who noticed in DC, and a hundred or so who got arrested at the White House.

Cervantes said...

Thanks for that, but you didn't get noticed by corporate media as far as I can tell.