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, December 24, 2011

War News for Saturday, December 24, 2011

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Spc. Mikayla A. Bragg died from unreported causes in Khowst province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 21st. News reports that she died of gunshot wounds.

CIA has suspended drone attacks in Pakistan, U.S. officials say

Reported security incidents

#1: A suicide car bomb attack in northwest Pakistan killed six soldiers and wounded about a dozen others on Saturday, police said. The attack took place in Bannu city where the bomber targeted the camp office of the paramilitary Frontier Corps troops, who are deployed in militant-infested North Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. "The bomber drove his explosives-packed vehicle into the FC building," local police official Muhammad Shafiq told AFP.

#2: Officials in ministry of interior affairs of Afghanistan on Saturday following a press release said, at least four militants were killed in southern Kandahar province. The source further added, The operations were conducted by Afghan national police forces in conjunction with the other Afghan security forces and NATO-led coalition forces at Arghandab district of southern Kandahar province. The statement also said, at least two other militants were detained during the military operations.

#3: One soldier and four militants were killed in a skirmish between Pakistani forces and militants in the northwestern Kurram tribal region near the border with Afghanistan, security officials said. There was no independent confirmation of the incident and militants often dispute official accounts.

#4: Pakistani fighter jets bombed three militant hideouts in the northwestern Orakzai tribal region, killing 10 militants and wounding another 12, security officials said.

#5: Militants attacked a paramilitary base in the early hours of Friday in the Mulazai area of the northwestern Tank district, killing a soldier and wounding two, security officials said. A senior police official in the area said 15 soldiers had gone missing during the attack. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the violence, and said the 15 missing soldiers were in its custody.


dancewater said...

Iraqi PM chides Sunni provinces for pushing for autonomy, warns rivers of blood

Iraq’s anti-American Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, launched an initiative Saturday calling for peaceful coexistence among all Iraqis after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. The last soldiers left Dec. 18.

Al-Sadr, whose militiamen were blamed for sectarian killings during the worst years of Iraq’s violence, is seeking to assert his political weight Iraq after the U.S. pullout.

Al-Sadr’s proposal comes just two days after a terrifying wave of Baghdad bombings killed 69 people and wounded nearly 200. The bombs tore through mostly Shiite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital, evoking fears the country could descend into a new round of sectarian violence.

Al-Sadr’s associates handed out to the media a 14-point “peace code” proposal written by the radical cleric. It warns against spilling Iraqi blood and urges respect for all religions, sects and ethnic groups.

Al-Sadr’s aide Salah al-Obeidi described the code as an attempt “to preserve the unity of the country and save it from fighting.”

It remained too early to say how much traction al-Sadr’s proposal could gain among Iraqis or the country’ top leadership.

Also Saturday, two policemen were killed and two other people were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in Hawija, 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of Baghdad, said Kirkuk police commander Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir.


the really, really, really, REALLY cool part:

"Al-Sadr’s associates handed out to the media a 14-point “peace code” proposal written by the radical cleric. It warns against spilling Iraqi blood and urges respect for all religions, sects and ethnic groups."


dancewater said...

69 killed and hundreds injured in bombings in Baghdad, Iraq

At least 69 people were killed and more than 190 wounded in a wave of co-ordinated bombings across Baghdad yesterday, days after U.S. forces finally left.

The 16 blasts were immediately blamed on Al Qaeda in Iraq because of the sheer scale of the operation and the expertise involved.

A variety of bombing techniques were used in 11 neighbourhoods. There was one suicide bomber, two vehicles packed with explosives, some roadside bombs and other so-called ‘sticky’ bombs underneath cars.

Security spokesman Major General Qassim Atta said the bombers targeted schools, workers and an anti-corruption agency. ‘They were not security targets,’ he said. One blast killed seven people as they helped the victims of a previous explosion.

The carnage – the worst to hit Baghdad in months – came after the last American troops left Iraq last Sunday, nearly nine years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

dancewater said...

from December 22:

(AGI) Baquba - A family active in the fight against Al Qaeda in eastern Iraq has been murdered. An entire family of five, father, mother, two daughters and a son, were shot dead at their home in Baquba, capital of Diyala province. Sources in the local security forces said the father and son both belonged to the pro-government Sunni Sahwa militia, also known as the National Council for the Awakening of Iraq, or the Sons of Iraq. .

dancewater said...

Iraqi Vice President

Tariq al-Hashimi, the fugitive Iraqi vice president who is accused of ordering the deaths of political opponents, has told Al Jazeera he will not return to Baghdad to face trial but is willing to go before a court in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Hashimi, the country's most senior Sunni official who says the allegations are part of a political plot against him, was speaking after Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraq's Shia prime minister, called on Kurdish authorities to hand him over.

"There is no transparency and the system is affected by corruption," Hashimi told Al Jazeera from Erbil, the Kurdish capital where he fled on Sunday a day after officials in Baghdad issued a warrant for his arrest.

"Iraq's justice system is in crisis, it has lost its credibility. It's a tool in the hands of some politicians. Therefore it is not realistic for me to stand trial in front of the system.

"I reiterate what I said before; I am more than happy to face charges in Kurdistan where I can be treated justly."

dancewater said...

Jack Healy reports from Baquba:

The governor has fled this uneasy city. Half the members of the provincial council are camped out in northern Iraq, afraid to return to their offices. Peaceful protesters fill the dusty streets, though just days ago angrier crowds blockaded the highways with burning tires and shattered glass.

All of this because the local government here in northeastern Diyala Province recently dared to raise a simple but explosive question, one that is central to the unrest now surging through Iraq’s shaky democracy: Should a post-American Iraq exist as one unified nation, or will it split into a loose confederation of islands unto themselves?

A dire political crisis exploded in Baghdad this week, after an arrest warrant was issued against the Sunni Arab vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi, accusing him of running a death squad. But years of accumulated anger and disenfranchisement are now driving some of the country’s largely Sunni Arab provinces to seek greater control over their security and finances by distancing themselves from Iraq’s Shiite leaders.

Many Sunni leaders have rallied to the cause while top Shiites in Baghdad have fought the efforts, aggravating the sectarian divisions among the country’s political elite.

“They feel that they have no future with the central government,” said Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, a prominent Sunni.

dancewater said...

from December 21, 2011:

(700) US trainers will stay in Iraq, Maliki

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Premier Nouri al- Maliki said that 700 US trainers will work to train Iraqi forces, adding that the number of US embassy in Baghdad will not exceed 2000.

In a press conference, held today, he added that they will be in their barracks, with possibilities to decrease this figure.


war without end????

dancewater said...

Karzai Sacks Human Rights Commissioner: Nader Naderi, Human Rights Commissioner, Fahim Hakim, Mawlawi Ghulam Mohammad Gharib and two other members of the commission were sacked by the president over publishing a report about violation of human rights by some high ranking government officials and disagreements between the commission and the government