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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

News of the Day for Thursday, March 29, 2012

Note: Whisker is off the net this morning so I'm filling in with a quick post. -- C

One ISAF service member reported killed by an IED, another from non-combat injuries. No further details at this time.

Insurgents ambush a NATO supply convoy in western Afghanistan (the exact location is not given). In a three hour firefight, 14 militants, 5 security guards, and an Afghan soldier are reported dead.

Australian soldier is injured in a raid on an "insurgent" drug laboratory. The exact date of the incident is not given, but it is reported today. I put "insurgent" in quotes because I'm not sure what the distinction is between insurgent and non-insurgent drug laboratories. Are there Afghan government drug labs?

U.S. military identifies Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine of Waldwick, N.J., killed in action on Tuesday. D'Augustine was assigned to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, part of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune.

UK Diplomat Alistair Burt decries the corrupt Afghan government. Note: The article calls him "Foreign Office Secretary." He is a Conservative MP and he is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. -- C

U.S. adopts measures to protect its troops from the Afghan allies who they are liberating. These include "guardian angels," fellow troops who will watch over them as they sleep; making sure they do not sit with their backs to doors; carrying weapons inside Afghan government facilities; and other unspecified measures.

Human Rights Watch reports that the liberation has yet to reach at least half the population, as hundreds of Afghan women are currently jailed for "moral" crimes such as running away from abusive husbands and being raped.

U.S. investigators have not been given access to the scene of the Panjwai massacre, potentially imperiling any prosecution. (The linked article also has additional details about the story military officials are telling about what happened that night, which is growing ever more bizarre. Supposedly, Bales went out and killed a bunch of people, then came back onto the base, awakened his roommate, and declared that he had been off base murdering Afghans. Then he left the base again and killed some more people. Since talking to his roommate, he is said to have totally clammed up.)

Local officials call for military intervention after Pakistani Taliban reportedly overrun several districts in Nuristan. "Ghulamullah Nuristani, the security chief in Nuristan, says the militants captured the Kamdesh and Bargmatal districts of Nuristan two weeks ago and have torched dozens of homes and threatened to kill local villagers who work for the Afghan government." NATO no longer has any forces in the province.


dancewater said...

looks like a really fucked up situation there in Afghanistan, just like Iraq .... hopefully, the Afghan people will kick the US military out (like Iraq did) soon......

dancewater said...

In honoring their memory, I write their names below, and the little we know about them: that nine of them were children, three were women.
The dead:
Mohamed Dawood son of Abdullah
Khudaydad son of Mohamed Juma
Nazar Mohamed
Shatarina daughter of Sultan Mohamed
Zahra daughter of Abdul Hamid
Nazia daughter of Dost Mohamed
Masooma daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Farida daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Palwasha daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Nabia daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Esmatullah daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Faizullah son of Mohamed Wazir
Essa Mohamed son of Mohamed Hussain
Akhtar Mohamed son of Murrad Ali
The wounded:
Haji Mohamed Naim son of Haji Sakhawat
Mohamed Sediq son of Mohamed Naim