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, July 10, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reported Security Incidents


Fifteen people are injured by a motorcycle bomb in a marketplace on Saturday afternoon. The injured include two police officers.

Sticky bomb injures a civilian.

Xinhua also reports a civilian is injured by a gun attack on his home.

Rutba, Anbar Province

Roadside bomb injures kills on civilian, injures two. (Rutba, or Ar-Rutbah, is a way station on the highway between Baghdad and Amman.)


Armed attack by unidentified perpetrators kills two young men, injures two others on Saturday night. Reuters says the perpetrators opened fire at random, though I'm not sure how anyone could know that.


The son of a local mayor is killed in a drive-by shooting Saturday night.

Other News of the Day

The Idaho Statesman identifies soldiers killed and injured in Iraq on Thursday.

Spc. Nicholas W. Newby, 20, and Spc. Nathan R. Beyers, 24, died of injuries suffered when their convoy hit an improvised explosive device. They are the 56th and 57th Idahoans to die since the U.S. began military actions following Sept. 11, 2001. Staff Sgt. Jason Rzepa, 30, also of Coeur d’Alene, suffered serious leg injuries in the same explosion. He is being treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Newby and Beyers were assigned to the Post Falls-based 145th Brigade Support Battalion of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team. . . . Beyers and his wife, Vanessa, had their first child, a daughter, on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

Not-sure-quite-what-this-means Department: Does this refer to officers of the Saddam Hussein army? Why these guys, and why now? Two high-ranking officers of Iraq’s former Army have been detained, together with two other persons, by a joint Iraqi-U.S. Force that came from Baghdad on Sunday, a police source in Tikrit said. “A Joint Iraqi-U.S. Army force, that came from Baghdad, has detained two high-ranking former Iraqi Army officers, Lt-Brigadier, Abdul-Rahman Dalli and Lt-Brigadier, Hussein Helan, at their houses in Daur township, 25 km to the northeast of Tikrit, along with the detention of two civilians,” the police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He added that the said force had been looking for “five other officers, but it failed to find them, whilst it drove the detained officers and persons to an unknown destination."

Shiite militant group Asaib Ahel al-Haq, or League of the Righteous, says it still holds British citizen Alan McMenemy, abducted four years ago, and will not release him until their demands are met. The British, however, continue to believe that NcMenemy is dead.

The Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Danaeefar says "Iran is ready to have security cooperation with Iraq, and supply weapons to the country and train the Iraqi security forces . .. after the departure of U.S. troops." Alright then, problem solved!

Afghanistan Update

Danish soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand. (The Danes will withdraw their combat forces this year.)

Six members of a mine removal team who were abducted last week in Farah Province are found dead. Thirty-one people in total were apparently abducted in the incident; so far two have been released. The Taliban say the perpetrators are "outlaws" and that the Taliban are not involved. Other reports say that 7 of the deminers were found dead, and that 28, not 31, were kidnapped in total, and that none have been released. Take your pick.

Al Jazeera also reports that the District Governor of Moqur in western Badghis province was killed by a roadside bomb on Sunday, with four of his bodyguards and a civilian also injured. In Kandahar, two policemen and a civilian are killed and six people are injured in a bomb attack on a police vehicle.

Three NATO soldiers are killed on Sunday, two by a bomb in southern Afghanistan, one by an "insurgent attack" in the east. As usual, NATO does not immediately provide any more specific information.

In Panjshir Province, an agent of the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security kills one ISAF soldier, and a civilian working for ISAF, and injures a third person, who in turn shoots him dead. (Other reports have both victims as military, but NATO says otherwise.)

Gen. Petraeus says insurgent attacks have started to decline. If you say so, but I haven't particularly noticed that. -- C