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 24, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reported Security Incidents

Southern Iraq, undisclosed location

The U.S. military announced that two U.S. soldiers were killed Friday "while conducting operations in southern Iraq", without releasing further details pending notification of next of kin. However, relatives of Lt. Omar Vazquez of Hamilton, New Jersey, told reporters that he was one of the casualties, and that the deaths were the result of an IED attack on his convoy.


Bomb attack near the entrance of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Karrada injures two police officers and two civilians.

VoI reports two serious incidents not reported elsewhere:

  1. Gunmen attacked the car of Director-General of the Iraqi Taxes Commission, Fuad Fadhel Abbas, killing him on the spot.
  2. Armed men kill a Defense Ministry employee in Saydiya district.

And Reuters reports two more:

  1. Defence Ministry Brigadier-General Abdul-Ghani Mohammad was seriously wounded when a sticky bomb attached to his car exploded in Baghdad's western Amiriya district, an Interior Ministry source said. (This was also reported by VoI, but without identifying the victim)
  2. Defence Ministry Lieutenant-Colonel Yahya Fadhel Abbas escaped unharmed when a sticky bomb attached to his vehicle exploded in central Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.


A police captain is killed by a sticky bomb attached to his car.

An Iraqi soldier is killed, his wife and child are injured, in a separate sticky bomb attack.

Numaniya township, Wassit

IED attack on a U.S. Army patrol, casualties unknown at this time. Note: It is unclear why there appears to me so much U.S. military activity lately in Southern Iraq, associated with what appears to be active resistance and U.S. casualties. This is a Shiite dominated area where the U.S. was not very active in the previous phase of active warfare. Of course, it would be too much to expect the U.S. military to tell the citizens what is going on. -- C

Other News of the Day

PM Al-Maliki rules out extending the Status of Forces Agreement, says that U.S. forces will leave Iraq as scheduled in December. This is in response to suggestions by U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen that U.S. forces might remain longer.

Afghanistan Update

Three NATO service members are killed by Roadside bombs in southern Afghanistan, one in an attack on Sunday, and two on Saturday. No further information at this time.

NATO helicopter crash in Kapisa province kills one crew member, injures the other. "When coalition rescue forces arrived at the crash site, ISAF said, they immediately came under fire from insurgents. "Coalition forces returned fire with small arms and an air weapons team while working to evacuate the two crew members of the aircraft," an ISAF spokesperson said." A Taliban spokesman claimed credit for shooting down the aircraft but ISAF has no comment as to the cause.

Pakistan halted NATO supply shipments to Afghanistan on Saturday after thousands of protesters rallied on the main road to the border to demand Washington stop firing missiles against militants sheltering inside the country. AP reports that the stoppage is temporary.

Gunmen kill Haji Zahir Arian, former district chief of Marja, Helmand Province.

Quote of the Day

Iraqis wonder aloud whether the US and Britain would have invaded Iraq if its main export had been cabbages instead of oil. However obvious the answer, a remarkable array of American pundits and pseudo-savants have resisted giving the oil factor any pride of place among the motives behind the US/U.K. decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

Ray McGovern


dancewater said...

While the Pakistan people were blocking the supply routes for NATO in a non-violent manner, over in NY state, there were a hundred and fifty protesters against the drone attacks with 37 blocking Hancock Air Base and getting arrested.

Two fine examples of pacifism in ACTION!!

dancewater said...


Wikileaks: Many at Guantanamo 'not dangerous'

Files released by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks have revealed that the US believed many of those held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent or only low-level operatives.