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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

War News for Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Note: in about two weeks I’m ending the Iraq portion of this blog and my research and I will focus mainly upon the Afghanistan war. We will change the blogs name but the link should remain the same. – whisker

The DoD is reporting a new death unreported by the military. Lance Cpl. Christopher P. J. Levy died Saturday, December 10th. He was originally wounded during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 7th. News reports that he died at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany from small arms fire/gunshot wound to his head.

Four Army aviators killed in JBLM helicopter crash

West Frankfort soldier severely wounded on battlefield

Containers' checking intensified to ensure Nato blockade

Reported security incidents

#1: Four civilians have been seriously injured in an attack byunknown gunmen again a shop selling alcohol in central Baghdad on Monday, asecurity source reported on Tuesday. "A groupof unknown gunmen have opened fire using light-weapons on a shop, sellingalcoholic drinks in central Baghdad's Battawin district, seriously wounding 4civilians and escaping for an unknown destination," the security sourcetold Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: In Baghdad, gunmen assassinated two Iraqi Interior Ministry officials in two separate incidents Monday night, Baghdad police officials said.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: An explosion at a police checkpoint in the city of Abu Ghreib, located 20 kilometres east of the capital Baghdad, killed two policemen and one civilian. Five people were also injured in the attack.

Salah a Din Prv:
#1: And another senior officer, Omar Ali, was killed overnight in the northern province of Salahadin. 'A bomb had exploded right outside his house and when the officer went out to check the situation, a second bomb placed in his car exploded, killing him,' the official told dpa.

#1: In the north of the country, senior police officer Iyad Kejika was killed by unknown gunmen near his home, east of Mosul city. A bodyguard was also shot dead.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Gunmen using silenced weapons and a bomb attacked a minibus carrying judges near a police checkpoint, killing three people, including two policemen and one civilian. Five others were wounded, including three judges and two guards, in central Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Militants opened fire on villagers Tuesday, killing at least five civilians and wounding another six in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, government officials said. The attack took place in the Shalobar area of Khyber, part of the semi-autonomous tribal belt where the military is fighting homegrown militants led by warlord Mangal Bagh. “Five villagers were killed and six were injured,” Sayed Ahmad Jan, a senior government official in Khyber, told AFP by telephone. “Militants came in a pick-up and fired on the villagers who were standing on the side of the road,” Jan added. An intelligence official in Khyber said villagers were helping the Frontier Corps (FC) dislodge militants, confirming that paramilitary troops had launched a search operation in the area on Tuesday.

#2: Elsewhere in Shalobar, seven people, including two children and three women, were wounded when a mortar shell slammed into their home, Jan said.

#3: A suicide attacker blew himself up in western Afghanistan on Tuesday after police stopped him from gaining access to an airport, a provincial governor said. The suicide bomber was killed but there were no other casualties from the failed attack at the airport in Qala-i-Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis, Dilbar Jan Arman said. 'At around 11am (2.30pm Singapore time), a suicide bomber on foot tried to enter Qala-i-Naw airport, but was stopped by police,' he said.

#4: Afghan and NATO-led Coalition forces have eliminated 18 insurgents and detained 55 others during military operations in different parts of the country over the past 24 hours, the country's Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. "The Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan National Army, NDS or intelligence agency and International Security Assistance Force ( ISAF) forces launched 12 joint operations in areas surrounding Kabul, Kunar, Nangarhar, Helmand, Khost, Uruzgan, Logar, and Ghazni provinces over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a press release providing daily operational updates to media here. "As a result of these operations, 18 armed insurgents were killed, six wounded and 55 others were arrested," the press release said.

#5: Unknown gunmen killed two civilians in the Bati Kot district of eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor. The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying and said they killed a policeman and his body guard.

#6: Unknown gunmen killed four civilians and wounded one in Jalalabad city, Nangarhar province, on Monday, said Mahsom Khan Hashimi a senior police detective in the province.


Cervantes said...

Gawker has all the incident reports on Blackwater shooting Iraqis. Oh my.

"Blackwater, the private mercenary firm that became synonymous with Bush-era war profiteering and reckless combat-tourism, announced yesterday that it has changed its name to Academi (after a previous incarnation as Xe Services) in a bid to distance itself from its history of wanton lawlessness. We’ve obtained a 4,500-page record of that history in the form of State Department incident reports documenting every time a Blackwater guard shot at an Iraqi between 2005 and 2007. . . .

In Iraq, Blackwater’s “protective services” consisted in large part of preemptively shooting any car that drove near its convoys. Page after page of the reports feature drivers (and occasionally boat pilots) who were fired upon simply because they drove “aggressively,” attempted to pass, or didn’t heed warnings to keep their distance. There was no routine mechanism for following up with the drivers to determine if they were injured or were actually hostile. Blackwater (and DynCorp and Triple Canopy) guards roamed Iraqi cities and highways, ignoring traffic rules and shooting at other drivers literally at will, and driving on. .. .

In February 2005, a Blackwater team fired hundreds of rounds at two different “aggressive” cars during an operation in Baghdad. Team members subsequently told State Department investigators that 1) one of the cars’ occupants fired on them, striking a vehicle in the motorcade, and 2) one of the cars was on a Be on the Lookout (BOLO) list as a suspected insurgent vehicle. Both were lies. Investigators later found that bullet holes in the Blackwater vehicle had been caused by friendly fire and that none of the Blackwater guards involved could recall the make or model of the car that was allegedly on the BOLO list, making it impossible for them to have known such a car was on the list. (The team’s leader told one investigator that he always claimed that cars he fired on were on the BOLO list, whether they were or not. Indeed, the vast majority of shooting reports claim that the target vehicles were on the BOLO list.)

State Department investigators came to the conclusion that the Blackwater team was unjustified in firing on the cars, coordinated their stories to avoid suspicion, and lied about it later. So what it it do? “[Investigating agents] concluded that several of the…individual [sic] involved in the shooting provided false statements to the investigators as well as failed to justify their actions. When investigators briefed [the State Department Regional Security Officer] on their findings and inquired about what disciplinary actions were to occur, RSO informed the investigators that any disciplinary actions would be deemed as lowering the morale of the entire [personal security detail] entity.” No one knows if the occupants of the targeted cars were injured of killed. "

And on and on. This has mostly been reported before, but nobody apparently gave a shit. Now they've changed their name and they want back in to Iraq.

dancewater said...

A rose by any other name, in this case, would also stink to high heaven

The US security firm at the centre of allegations that its guards killed civilians in Iraq is changing its name once more.

The company, known as Blackwater at the time of the events, became Xe Services in 2009.

Now Xe is to become Academi, named after Plato's institution in ancient Greece.

dancewater said...

Thank you, whisker, for all the posts over the years, on Iraq. I would like to see security incidents still posted, but then I am not the one doing the work.

I will continue to post comments on articles about Iraq that I find.

dancewater said...

Rare photographs show ground zero of the drone war in Pakistan

Behram arrived in Datta Khel, a district not far from Mirin Shah -- North Waziristan’s main city -- after the funerals for the victims of this strike. He was told that six people died, but didn’t see the corpses. One of the dead was said to be a man in his thirties who was supposed to soon be married, the cousin of the teenager in the maroon shirt shown here.

The teenager helped with the cleanup and rescue effort at the scene of his cousin's death. Along with some other local children, when he saw Behram taking photos, he ran over to Behram to express how angry he was. He gathered the children and they showed Behram fragments of the missile they recovered. Three U.S. ordnance experts examined Behrams' photos of these pieces, are concluded that they were Hellfires -- the missiles fired by U.S. drones and helicopters.

The teenager in the maroon shirt and his friend in the black, about the same age, were an emotional mixture of anger, grief and exhaustion. "They were pissed because he's one of these guys' cousin," Behram recalls, "but at the same time they were overworked in the rescue, so they were not saying much."

dancewater said...

No comfort in being right

In 18 days, the last of the remaining U.S. forces will have left Iraq. So far, no fanfare has heralded this significant event, which has been quiet and orderly — nothing like the “shock and awe” of the initial invasion in March 2003, or the furor and tumult that marked the nearly nine-year occupation afterward.

After years of talking about what victory would look like (and downgrading that definition, conveniently, to accommodate evolving realities “on the ground”) it seems to matter little. No one — not the most strident defender of Bush’s preemptive strike strategy or the war’s greatest skeptic — can say with any sincerity that the U.S. and its coalition partners have achieved greatness in Iraq.


Although the oft-marginalized critics of the Iraq (mis)adventure could be validated a hundred times over, it is but a lonely and fruitless perch, sitting on laurels laced with thorns. Plus, there are plenty of diehards who will never admit they were wrong, and unfortunately, they still have the biggest soapbox in politics today. They — including almost all of the Republicans running for president — would prefer we stay in Iraq forever.

Kimberly and Frederick Kagan, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars who helped get us in this mess in the first place, said as much in a Washington Post op-ed Monday.


I wonder if the war supporters even noticed how much Iraqis have suffered. My guess is "no" but if they did notice, they sure as shit do not care - just like they don't care about all the lies that were told that got us into Iraq in the first place.

I still cannot believe that there were any Americans who would vote for liar Bush/Cheney in 2004. Those who did vote for him had no morals at all.

BMW GT1 said...

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