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, March 11, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, March 11, 2012

A U.S. soldier left his base in Panjway district, Kandahar province, and entered the village of Belanji where he went on a murderous rampage. According to the NYT, villagers say he killed 15 civilians and injured 5, by shooting into houses. He then returned to his base and is in custody. According to Daily News and Analysis of India, an Afghan government minister says he entered three houses and killed 16 people. (Other accounts give lower death tolls.)

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi asks for restraint as the investigation takes place, fearing violent protests. A member of parliament from the area, Abdul Rahim Ahyoubi, says the death toll is 17, and gives a different name for the village, Alokozai.

An AP photographer has seen the bodies of 15 slain civilians.

The U.S. House Oversight Committee on Foreign Affairs and Investigations has called for the Government Accountability Office to investigate alleged theft of foreign aid by president Karzai and his family. The U.S. embassy has distanced itself from the letter, saying it is the personal view of committee Chair Dana Rohrbacher. I'm no fan of Rohrbacher, but there have been plenty of published reports implicating Karzai's brother in embezzlement. - C

Khaama discusses the ongoing talks about future strategic relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan. Karzai says the question of permanent U.S. bases will be discussed later, after other questions are worked out. (Wait -- I thought we were leaving?)

Given the great importance and likely repercussions of the incident in Kandahar, I will do an update later today if there is significant further information or reaction. -- C

Iraq Update

Gunmen break into a house in the village of Mishada, north of Baghdad, and kill five members of a family. The target appeared to be a bodyguard of the mayor of nearby Tarmiyah.

Milias are targeting people identified with the "Emo" subculture in Iraq, and 58 people have been killed. Apparently it is believed that they are gay. "Officials and human rights groups estimated as many as 58 Iraqis who are either gay or believed to be gay have been killed in the last six weeks alone - forecasting what experts fear is a return to the rampant hate crimes against homosexuals in 2009. This year, eyewitnesses and human rights groups say some of the victims have been bludgeoned to death by militiamen smashing in their skulls with heavy cement blocks."


dancewater said...

Reuters has a report out that it was more than one US soldier who went and killed the civilians.

dancewater said...

Office of Afghan woman's rights activist attacked

A prominent Afghan women's rights activist says gunmen have attacked her office in a western province in an apparent assassination attempt.

Malalai Joya is a former Afghan lawmaker and vocal critic of corruption and criminality in the Afghan government, as well as the Taliban. She says the overnight attack on her office in Farah province was the sixth attempt on her life.

Joya says armed men tried to storm the compound late on night on Saturday. The attackers did not get into the building but two of her guards were seriously injured and are currently in the hospital.

Joya says she was in Kabul at the time but had planned a trip to Farah soon and news of that may have leaked out. She believes the attackers thought she was in the building.

Lyndsey Garza said...

To the authors of War News Today,

I wanted to express how relevant and timely I found your compilation of Iraq news, in especially, the post today (March 11, 2012), detailing the horrible tragedy involving the rogue U.S. soldier who opened fire on innocent Afghan civilians.

Many news sources are dubbing this as the grisliest act by an American soldier since the beginning of the Afghan war, however, tensions in the area have been escalating since this event. The burning of Korans last month and the viral video of soldiers urinating on Afghan corpses should also be noted as proving detrimental to overall efforts of our military forces.

Reports have began to surface claiming the unidentified rogue soldier had recently suffered a mental breakdown. This should be emphasized, just like Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the 39-year-old psychiatrist and Fort Hood shooter, who also was described as unstable, aloof and even “schizoid” by fellow colleagues, students and faculty.

I firmly believe, in my opinion, this should make it clear how badly we need to bring our men and women home and pay extra close attention to their psychological morale and seek treatment for those who have been adversely effected by the gruesome warfare seen in the region. Perhaps if the rogue serviceman (and Hasan alike) had been evaluated and pushed to seek an evaluation or treatment, these tragedies and innocent lives could have been spared.

I wanted to share with you a video about the U.S. soldier rogue attack that I think you will find relevant to your coverage of this tragedy. I hope you enjoy it, as I included the link below.

“U.S. Soldier Kills 15 Afghan Civilians”

I hope you will embed this video into your blog and maybe in the future, we could swap blog roll links and widgets.

The clip does a great job of concisely sourcing and compiling news reports to emphasize the scope and context the content being reported on. Newsy synthesizes and analyzes news into neutral comprehensive video clips showing a variety of opinions on the story.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to working with you in the future,

Lyndsey Garza
Community for Newsy
Twitter: @newsyvideos

rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cervantes said...

I can't speak for Whisker, but I rarely link to videos. However, you are certainly free to comment and provide links whenever you like.

Afghan Newspapers said...

i dont like war.