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, September 16, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, September 16, 2012

Local authorities say 8 civilians killed, 5 injured in a NATO airstrike in Laghman province. AFP reports that all of the vicims were women, and that 8 were injured along with the 8 dead. The women were said to be gathering firewood. ISAF initially announced that "its troops had called in an air strike against about 45 insurgents in Laghman "after positively identifying hostile intent" and that "a large number of the insurgents" were killed," but now says it is investigating. Local people transported some of the bodies to the provincial capital, where they demonstrated outside the governor's office chanting "Death to America, Death to the Jews."

Afghan police officer kills 4 NATO troops  in Zabul province. Although the occupying forces have yet to release any details, a local official says that when coalition forces responded to an attack on a police post in Mizana district, one of the local police officers opened fire on them. Some reports say the dead were Americans.

Meanwhile MoD has released some information on the British troops killed by Afghan police on Saturday. They were 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

A roadside bomb in Pakistan near the Afghan border kills 14 civilians. Taliban take responsibility, saying the action was in response to the villagers support for the government. "'We have informed them of the repercussions of supporting the government but they didn't stop backing the armed forces,' Taliban spokesman Sirajuddin Ahmad said by telephone from an undisclosed location."

More details emerge on the attack on Camp Bastion yesterday, notably that the attackers wore U.S. military uniforms, and that they destroyed 6 British Harrier jets as well as killing two U.S. Marines. ISAF says 14 of the 15 attackers were killed and one captured. Update: CNN erred -- the jets were American, not British. U.S. taxpayers might want to know that they cost about $20 million each. (And btw, how in tarnation do 15 guys with RPGs just walk onto the base and start blowing up fighter jets. Don't they even have a perimeter? Heads ought to roll, starting with Gen. John R. Allen, who should get a letter of reprimand, and retire. -- C)

Students demonstrate in Kabul and Herat in response to the inane film attacking Islam that some Christian extremists posted to YouTube. They demand the closure of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. (This is no big deal. -- C)

ISAF says it has captured a Taliban commander responsible for the shootdown of a U.S. Kiowa chopper two weeks ago that killed the two crew members. (Oh, so I guess it wasn't mechanical trouble after all. -- C)

Northern Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor condemns religious leaders for their reticence to condemn suicide attacks and other violence:

"It is really embarrassing that the religious scholars and the Ulema National Council see all the crimes and just release a statement to the President. Why do they not say to the people that those who are destroying, killing are the criminals? Killing is the biggest sin and forbidden in Islam," he said at the ceremony in Balkh's capital Mazar-e-Sharif. . . .

Noor's comments come a day after the Taliban released a statement saying there was a big difference between suicide and the martyrdom of suicide bombers. "Suicide is self-killing and martyrdom attack is seeking of martyrdom willingly," the statement said. "The reason behind suicide is frustration from life and the seeking of martyrdom is actually seeking the consent of Allah. It elevates the word of Allah and strengthens the Muslims. The objective is to frighten the enemy, kill them and eventually defeat them." . .. "It is repeatedly reminded to the Mujahidin to desist from public casualties and be cautious in choosing the target. But most of the time our sly enemy and their stooges blast bombs amid the masses and then blame Mujahidin for it. They have done it in other countries as well."


Anonymous said...

The Brits don't have Harriers any more...they were retired from service in 2011.

Cervantes said...

Well, read the article. That's what it says.

Cervantes said...

I've done a little research and the commenter is correct. Either those weren't Harriers, or they weren't British. CNN somehow got the story wrong.

whisker said...

The Brits may not have Harriers any more, but the U.S. and some of the other NATO partners certainly do have them.