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, September 25, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reported Security Incidents


A series of four explosions targeting people lined up for ID cards and passports kills 16 people, injures dozens. After the first blast, three more went off as emergency vehicles arrived. Reported casualty tolls vary, but as always, the numbers go up over time. The total number killed is likely to exceed 16 by the time we know the full story. --C Al Jazeera as of 10:00 GMT was reporting a lower casualty total but has more details, including a photograph.

Khalidiya, near Ramadi

An explosion injures a civilian. When police arrive, a second explosion kills 2 police and injures 2 more.

Sinjar Township, Ninevah Province

Two members of the Yezidi sect are abducted. For those who don't know, the Yezidi, or Yazidi, are Kurdish speaking adherents of a distinctive religion. They are highly insular and have sometimes had strained relations with their Muslim neighbors. Sinjar is a Yezidi population center and there have been deadly attacks there in recent years.


Iraqi Director General of Human Rights, Ahmed Ali, is assassinated on his way to work.


Unknown attackers throw 3 hand grenades at the branch of the Central Bank of Iraq, injuring two security guards, late on Saturday.

Other News of the Day

The U.S. is considering a military trial for Ali Mussa Daqduq, captured in Iraq in 2007, who has been linked to an incident in which 4 U.S. soldiers were abducted and killed in Karbala. Daqduq is a commander in the Lebanese Hezbollah organization, which is backed by Iran. This situation is convoluted. The Bush Administration had planned to prosecute Daqduq in U.S. civilian court, but opposition from Republicans prevented that. On the other hand, the Obama Administration has pledged not to send additional prisoners to Guantanamo, and so plans to prosecute him on U.S. soil, to which Republicans also object. Under an agreement with Iraq, he must be remanded to Iraq by the end of this year, although presumably if he is serving a sentence in the U.S. that will not happen.

Sinan Salaheddin discusses efforts to revive Iraq's date palm industry. In the 1960s, Iraq was the world's leading producer of dates; but now it has only half the number of trees it once did. Shortages of water, electricity and other infrastructure pose a challenge, however.

Afghanistan Update

A local militia commander and his son are shot dead in Kunduz. (Watch out -- obnoxious pop-up with unlistenable music.)

Pakistan's military has fired hundreds of mortars and rockets into border provinces in neighbouring Afghanistan, killing at least one civilian, destroying homes and forcing scores of villagers to flee, Afghan officials said on Sunday. The ordinance has rained on Kunar province, with smaller numbers of shells falling in Nuristan. Two mosques have also been destroyed.

A spokesman for Hamid Karzai says recent assassinations of prominent Afghans were plotted in Pakistan. At a memorial service, "Sebghatullah Mujadidi, former speaker of the Upper House of Parliament, accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of being behind the death of Burhanuddin Rabbani, Karzai's special envoy who was tasked with brokering peace with the Taliban." Hoo boy. - C

Police thwart an attempted suicide attack on a government building in Zabul.


dancewater said...

another mini-TET in Kabul:

Gunfire and a possible explosion Sunday night rattled the building believed to house the CIA office in Kabul.

dancewater said...

Rep. Charlie Wilson's old friends, back when they were the good guys. Now they are the bad guys (even though they are doing the same thing - throwing foreigners out of their country) and it is all Pakistan's fault:

For years, American officials have urged Pakistan to move against the Haqqanis’ base of operations in North Waziristan. They typically are rebuffed by military and intelligence officials in Islamabad, who say that Pakistan’s military is overstretched from operations elsewhere in the tribal areas and is not ready for an offensive against the Haqqanis.

Link here