Reported Security Incidents
Policeman injured by IED attack on a patrol.
Gunmen kill an electrician. No motive or explanation is offered.
Nine civilians injured by IED in Iskan district.
Other News of the Day
McClatchy and the Center for Public Integrity find that the Pentagon's 5 year, $17 billion effort to develop technical means to counter roadside bombs has failed. Excerpt:
In February 2006, with roadside bombs killing more and more American soldiers in Iraq, the Pentagon created an agency to defeat the deadly threat and gave a retired four-star general the task of running it.
Five years later, the agency has ballooned into a 1,900-employee behemoth and has spent nearly $17 billion on hundreds of initiatives. Yet the technologies it has developed have failed to significantly improve U.S. soldiers' ability to detect unexploded roadside bombs and have never been able to find them at long distances. The best detectors remain the low-tech methods: trained dogs, local handlers and soldiers themselves.
Jalal Talabani, in the guise of Iraqi president, is visiting Iran, where he says the two nations share a common experience of struggling against dictatorships [sic] and calls for strategic ties.
Meanwhile, Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki says intervention by Sunni neighbors in Bahrain could ignite a sectarian war. Speaking to the BBC Arabic service, he said 'We did not move to support the Shias in Bahrain but we called for interference in Bahraini affairs to be stopped and don't want to make it a sectarian issue. Because if it happens, it will be like a snowball, it will get bigger if it is ignored ... The region may be drawn into a sectarian war.' Uh oh. Is that a threat?.
Taliban kidnap dozens of off-duty policemen in Kunar province. The men were unarmed and in civilian clothing, traveling from Nuristan for leave after completing training. The Taliban give the number of people seized as 50, though other accounts have slightly fewer. Note that the Taliban must have had intelligence info that led them to the target. -- C
Although other reports have it that an official decision has yet to be made, the WSJ reports that Kabul bank will be liquidated next month. As you may recall, the bank was essentially looted by cronies of president Karzai. This AP story gives more background info.
But, you don't have to be Afghan to be corrupt. Two U.S. soldiers are charged with embezzling precisely $1,297,959.31 in vendor payments owed to an Afghan company. Edwin Vando and Juan Lamboy Rivera worked at camp Eggers in 2009, overseeing payments to commercial vendors.
Well, this hardly ever happens: A provincial governor in Afghanistan’s dangerous south said yesterday that seven civilians were accidentally killed when a NATO helicopter fired on two vehicles believed to be carrying Taliban fighters. The incident happened Friday in Helmand province. The dead included 2 women and 3 children. Five other civilians were injured.
Afghan activist Malalai Joya speaks in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (where Cervantes lived until last month and where I'm still trying to sell my condo, in case anyone is interested). A former member of the Afghan Parliament who was expelled for "insulting" fellow lawmakers, she was initially denied a visa to come to the U.S. "She said she did not fear a US troop withdrawal, which Obama has said would occur by 2014. “We have three enemies: the warlords, the Taliban, and foreign occupation. When the occupation ends, we’ll only have two.'"