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, April 17, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Gunmen invaded the home of a Shiite family living in a Sunni area and killed all 4 at about 1:00 pm Saturday. The dead are a 16 year old boy, a 14 year old girl, and their parents. Although it is not known whether the attack was motivated by sectarian animus, it is reminiscent of the violence during 2005-2007.

Three rockets launched from southern Baghdad fall on the airport. No information as to damage or casualties at this time. Separately, the Iraqi army discovered a launch pad with rockets aimed at the Green Zone.

Also, a civilian is injured by a roadside bomb in the Tunis district.

The bullet ridden body of a policeman is found in the Shaab district.

Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad

A roadside bomb hits an Iraqi army patrol, killing one soldier and injuring 2 others.

Ramadi

Bomb attack on the director of traffic police for Anbar province causes no casualties, but damages his vehicle. Separately, a police officer is injured by a roadside bomb in central Ramadi.

Kirkuk

Sticky bomb kills a man from Ramadi who was working in Kirkuk. The story describes him as a "contractor," it is unclear what that means. Reuters describes him as a "businessman." Separately, a roadside bomb injures and employee of the city's medical department.

Other News of the Day

Syrian authorities claim they seized a truckload of weapons in an attempted smuggling from Iraq. There is no explanation as to where they might have been going. One good guess might be Kurdish militants. -- C

Kuwaiti Airways is seeking Iraqi assets in compensation for equipment stolen during the 1991 war. UN protection of Iraqi assets against such claims expires June 30.

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner visits Baghdad, meets with PM al-Maliki. No doubt advises him to cut taxes on the wealthy. -- C

Afghanistan Update

NATO announces three more troop deaths that occurred on Saturday, bringing the total that day to 8. The additional deaths resulted from 2 separate roadside bomb incidents. The nationality of the troops was not disclosed.

Further details emerge on the incident yesterday at FOB Gamberi in which 5 NATO troops, four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter were killed. The perpetrator had joined the Afghan army one month ago. He detonated a suicide vest during a meeting. He was a Taliban agent.

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