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 15, 2012

War News for Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan man who crashed a stolen truck at an airfield as U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's plane was landing there died Thursday of extensive burns, a top U.S. general in Afghanistan said. U.S. Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparotti, the deputy commander of American forces in Afghanistan, told reporters traveling with Panetta in Kabul that the driver was an interpreter working for the foreign forces. The man apparently had a container of fuel in the car, which ignited during the crash Wednesday at the British airfield in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. "There was a puff of smoke and he came out engulfed in flames," Scaparotti said. He said the truck was headed toward a group of U.S. Marines assembled at the ramp. A U.S. military official said a British soldier was injured when he tried to stop the driver from stealing the truck on the base. The Afghan man hit the British soldier with the truck as he was driving away.

#2: update A motorcycle bomb killed an Afghan intelligence official and wounded three people in the southern city of Kandahar, a provincial government spokesman said. Two of the wounded were also intelligence officers, while the other person was a civilian.

#3: Six Afghan civilians, including four women and two children, were killed Thursday when a roadside bomb went off in the country's southern province of Uruzgan, police said.

#4: Afghan Defense Ministry following a press release on Wednesday announced at least 6 Afghan National Army soldiers were injured in various incidents across the country. The source further added, the Afghan Army soldiers were injured in various regions of the country while discovering and defusing improvised explosive devices and roadside bomb explosions. At least 3 Afghan Army soldiers were injured at Greshk district, 2 soldiers were injured Kajaki district in Helmand and another Afghan soldier was injured at Panjwai district in Kandahar province.

#1: A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest next to a police vehicle in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing one policeman and injuring seven, police officials said.

Three policemen were killed and another was injured in a suicide blast that took place on Thursday morning in Pakistan's northwest city of Peshawar, said local police. Shafqat Malik, Assistant Inspector General of police in Peshawar, said that the attack took place at about 9:30 a.m. local time when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a police vehicle in Pishtakhura area of the city. Superintendent Police Kalam Khan who was on an inspection tour of check posts at the outskirts of Peshawar was killed right on the spot while his three colleagues in the vehicle were wounded in the blast. Two of the injured police later died in hospital.

#2: A homemade bomb exploded near a group of pro-government tribal militiamen in the Mamund area of the northwestern Bajaur tribal region, killing five militiamen and wounding two, security officials said.


Cervantes said...

Connect the dots. Staff Sergeant accused of massacre has been flown out of Afghanistan, enraging Afghans. And, from the NYT:

"The question of how to proceed with the case remains extraordinarily delicate, with the Afghans seeking swift and open punishment and the military committed to its own judicial process on what could be capital charges — a trial that could take years. Already, details of the sergeant’s identity and background as well as particulars of the judicial process he faces have been withheld longer than might be routine.

Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School, said it was highly unusual for the sergeant’s identity to be concealed for long. Already, the deadlines for various stages of the due process that come with detention have passed or are approaching quickly . . .

It is not clear whether the sergeant has already made an unambiguous and admissible confession. Nor is it known what kind of physical evidence has been obtained from the scene, or by whom, or whether forensic examination of the victims has been possible.

Yet another complicating factor, should the case go to trial as a capital offense, is the fact that the Uniform Code of Military Justice does not permit the prosecution to use deposition evidence in death-penalty cases. As a result, the sergeant would have a right to confront any witness against him “eyeball to eyeball,” Mr. Fidell said."

What's the over/under on this guy ever being convicted of anything more than AWOL?

dancewater said...

It is interesting how they are protecting this guy, but threw the book at Manning (and tortured him) for telling the truth and thereby saving lives.

I believe the locals - it was more than one US soldier that did this.