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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

War News for Saturday, April 23, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, April 22nd.

Reported security incidents

#1: “A group of unknown gunmen opened fire from silencer-guns have opened fire on an officer, with a colonel rank, in west Baghdad’s al-Nisour Square, seriously injuring him and he lost his life while driven to hospital,” the security source added.

#2: He said that an Iraqi Housing & Reconstruction Ministry official was killed, also by armed men, while passing on the highway passing through southern Baghdad’s al-Doura district.

#3: “A high-ranking employee in Iraq’s Foreign Ministry was also killed and his wife, injured, in an attack by unknown gunmen in northwest Baghdad’s al-Uteifiya

#4: An Iraqi Intelligence element has been shot dead by unknown gunmen, using silencer-guns, west of Baghdad on Saturday, a security source said.“A group of armed men, opened their silencer-gun fire on an element of the Iraqi Intelligence, when his car passed through west Baghdad’s al-Adel district, killing him on the spot, whilst the attackers fled to an unknown destination,” the security source told Aswat

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two Afghan policemen died and two more were wounded in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan Saturday, officials said. The interior ministry said the attack in Dara-i-Nur district in Nangarhar province was carried out by the "enemies of peace and stability", a term often used to describe the Taliban.

#2: A foreign forces helicopter meanwhile crash-landed in Kapisa province, northeast of the capital Kabul, with two foreign troops rescued after what international forces called a "hard landing" The helicopter was forced to land after hitting a cable, said Kapisa deputy provincial governor Aziz Ul Rahman. "Initial information we have says that a helicopter of the foreign forces has hit a cable that the local people in Alasay district had erected between two mountains to ferry rocks," he said. "We have sent an investigation team to the area and the team will report back in few hours." The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman Major Michael Johnson added that both crew members were alive and under the care of coalition forces, but said he could not comment on the extent of their injuries.

#3: Two insurgents were killed in an airstrike while burying an IED and setting up an ambush with several others in the Andar district of Ghazni province, ISAF said.


dancewater said...

Analysis: Conflict leads to Afghan displacement, but which side most to blame?

One irony of the current security situation in Afghanistan is that foreign forces, whose ostensible aim is to protect civilians while fighting the Taliban, may be responsible - directly or indirectly - for the bulk of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country, whose number is rising.

About 400 individuals were displaced each day in 2006-2010 - 730,000 in total - mostly due to military operations by US/NATO forces, according to the Oslo-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), an affiliate of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The so-called “surge” in US/NATO troops and increased counterinsurgency operations in 2010 resulted in the displacement of about 85,000 people in the volatile south of the country alone. About 10,000 were also displaced by anti-insurgent offensives in the north, IDMC said.

“The US and ISAF [NATO-led International Security Assistance Force] currently lack an understanding of internal displacement in the context of their operations,” Jacob Rothing, an IDMC country analyst, told IRIN, adding that their own standard operating procedures to minimize civilian displacement were not developed and used by US/NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, local militias hired by the government and its US/NATO allies for counterinsurgency purposes, were extorting communities and grabbing land, resulting in further internal displacements, Rothing alleged.

dancewater said...

From IVAW email:

Iraqis continue protests against the US Occupation and Maliki’s government in Mosul

Two weeks ago, we reported that a national sit-in movement launched across Iraq. The city of Mosul in northern Iraq seems to have become the epicenter of the continuing protests this week.

An estimated three hundred Iraqis initially set up tents in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to demand an end to the U.S. occupation, the release of political prisoners, rewriting of the constitution, and the departure of what they call the ‘Green Zone’ government, headed by Nouri al-Maliki.

Among the dozens of grassroots organizations calling for sit-ins in front of U.S. military bases, two of the most prominent taking part in Mosul are the Popular Movement to Save Iraq and The Free Iraqis of Mosul. Contingents of Iraqis from as far south as Nasiriyah and al-Basra are at the Mosul sit-in being held in what has become known as ‘Prisoner’s Square.’ The calls for nation-wide demonstrations in Iraq comes in the wake of high-ranking U.S. politicians including Senator Kerry, Vice President Biden, and most recently Secretary Gates all implying that U.S. forces may stay past the December 2011 deadline.

Last week, Iraqi Facebook pages administered directly by protest organizers reported that government security forces encircled their camp, surveiled and taunted them, and called on them to end their sit-in. Protesters also reported that a low-flying American military helicopter swept towards the demonstrators, in what was interpreted as an attempt to intimidate them. Their response, captured in the video below, was to throw dozens of shoes towards the helicopter, and has prompted them to ask for an investigation into why this military vehicle was sent towards them.

Demonstrations have been joined by dozens of women, who are calling for the end of the U.S. occupation and the release of their sons and brothers who are held in both Iraqi and US prisons throughout Iraq. This week tribal chieftains from nearby Anbar province joined the Mosul protests as well.

As of today, reports now estimate the growing crowds in Mosul to number in the thousands, comprised of many young people who were last seen marching toward the 4th bridge, where they were stopped by government troops preventing them from going to the square to join with other protesters.

Demonstrators are insistent on continuing their sit-in until all their demands are met, foremost of which are:

* Complete departure of the U.S. occupying forces.
* No extension of the security agreement between the Maliki government and the U.S.
* The release of innocent prisoners.

We will keep you informed of new developments in this growing Iraqi protest movement.

Thanks again to Ali Issa at War Resister's League for helping to compile this report.

In Solidarity,

Iraq Veterans Against the War

wfs said...

When will it be done?. Why do this to fellow human?