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

Friday, October 7, 2011

War News for Friday, October 07, 2011

NATO: Enemy Initiated Attack Statistics (PDF)

Britain, the U.S. and their NATO allies are only 'just over half way' to reaching their goals in Afghanistan - despite 10 years of conflict, the loss of 2,753 soldiers' lives and a cost of £258billion ($400billion).

White House won’t herald anniversary of Afghan war

Afghanistan marks 10 years of war

Most Britons want Afghan pullout: poll

With Afghan drawdown looming, U.S. scales back ambitions

One soldier killed in mine blast in southeast Turkey

Reported security incidents

#1: Five people were killed and 20 others wounded in two successive roadside bombing attacks that hit northern Baghdad late on Thursday, an Interior Ministry source said. The first roadside bomb went off in Autafiya district in northern Baghdad and struck a passing car on Thursday evening. The second one ensued when police and civilians gathered at the blast scene later, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The two explosions killed five civilians and wounded 20 others including four policemen, the source added.

Five civilians were killed and twenty injured in a bomb blast in Itafiyah area, central Baghdad, security sources said today. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the bomb exploded in crowded street which led to the injuries and material losses in a number of civilian vehicles.

#2: Earlier in the evening, another roadside bomb detonated near a school playground in Zaferaniya area in southern Baghdad, wounding five people, the same source told Xinhua.

Five civilians were injured due to a bomb blast near a football playing yard in southeast Baghdad, police sources said today. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the bomb was planted in the yard. It exploded when young men gathered to play football and led to the injuries among the spectators.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two missiles fired by a U.S. drone aircraft hit a car in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Thursday, killing four militants, local intelligence officials said. There was no independent confirmation of the strike.


dancewater said...

10 years on and life grim for Afghans
But for Afghans, it has been a decade of one step forward and two steps back

By Kathy Gannon

Asif Khan sits on a dirty, once-white blanket in an abandoned cinema and fights back tears of desperation.

He can't find a job for his eldest son, who "even knows computers," without paying a bribe. He can't afford uniforms, books or pencils for his nine daughters to go to school. And so they all live with him in the old cinema, where mangled rebars dangle like tentacles from the ceiling and a cold wind whips through windows with no glass.

It's a long way from the optimism Khan felt when he returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan after the U.S. defeated the Taliban in 2001. Now, he says, "I have no hope."

As the U.S. and NATO mark 10 years of war in Afghanistan, a grim picture emerges from scores of interviews over six months across the country with ordinary Afghans, government officials, soldiers, and former and current Taliban, along with recent data. The difference between the often optimistic assessment of U.S. generals and the reality on the ground for Afghans is stark.

There are signs of progress — an important one is that schools are open. More than 6 million children are in school today, according to the United Nations. During the Taliban, girls were denied schooling, and before that most schools were closed because of fighting. The media is also flourishing, with several newspapers, weekly magazines and 10 television channels in operation.

But for Afghans, it has been a decade of one step forward and two steps back.

Afghanistan is failing in two major areas in particular: Security and good government. Violence has gone up sharply this year with increasingly brazen attacks, and has spread to the once-peaceful north of the country. And widespread corruption is bedeviling attempts to create a viable Afghan government and institutions to take over when the U.S. and NATO leave in 2014.

"You know right now we have no idea who to be afraid of. We are afraid of everyone. Every street has its own ruler, own thugs," said Rangina Hamidi, the daughter of Kandahar mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi. "I don't feel safe going out of my house. To be honest I have no idea what will happen."

Just months after Hamidi spoke with the AP, her father was killed in a suicide bombing.

Read more:

dancewater said...

Afghans hold anti-U.S. rally on eve of war anniversary
"No to occupation" said another placard, as a U.S. flag was set on fire

Read more:

dancewater said...

I am a part of the October2011 movement in DC this week, which has blended with the OccupyDC movement. Last night, we had a half dozen Veterans from the war on Afghanistan speak, and they connected with the Afghan Peace Volunteers inside Afghanistan. We also held a candlelight vigil for all the lives lost and destroyed in this insane war of aggression and occupation.