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

Friday, January 18, 2013

War News for Friday, January 18, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: Four border police personnel were injured in a roadside bombing in Nangarhar province on Thursday. An improvised explosive device ripped through a police van in Joe Hafta area of Jalalabad City, leaving on board border cops injured, the Nangarhar governor's spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai told AIP.

#2: Two women were killed and three children wounded during an operation targeting Taliban in Shindand district of western Herat province last night, an elected representative said Thursday. Foreign forces conducted operation against Taliban in Kalchor area of Shindand district in which two women were killed and three children wounded, Toor Muhammad Zarifi, a member of provincial council from Shindand district, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP). He said two Taliban were also killed and several houses damaged during the clash, adding it was unclear whose fire caused civilian casualties.

#3: At least three Afghan citizens working for the NATO troops died following a non-combat incident on Thursday. NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) following a statement announced, “Three Afghan employees of an Afghan company contracted by the International Security Assistant Force died when the roof of the building they were in collapsed at Bagram Air Field, Bagram district, Parwan province, Afghanistan, today.”

DoD: Sgt. David J. Chambers

UK/MoD: Kingsman David Shaw


Dancewater said...

news from Iraq:

Iraq – Car bomb kills 27 Shia Muslim pilgrims. [January 4, 2013]

Iraq – At least 23 people killed and 87 wounded in attacks across Iraq. [January 14, 2013]

Iraq – Wave of attacks kills 42 people as hundreds attended the funeral of a Sunni MP who died in a suicide attack a day earlier. The attacks also wounded another 245 people. [January 16, 2013]

Iraq – Protests in Iraq continue. Thousands of Sunnis take to the streets of Baghdad and other parts of the country to decry alleged targeting of minorities and government corruption.

Iraq – Turkish jets bomb over 50 Kurdish rebel targets in Iraq. [January 16, 2013]

Iraq – Bombings in Iraq kill another 22 people. [January 17, 2013]

Dancewater said...

Op-Ed on Iraq by Ross Caputi (member IVAW):

Iraqi protests defy the Maliki regime and inspire hope

Outside analysts view the protest movement in Iraq via the prism of sectarianism, but its demands reveal a more positive agenda

The indomitable Iraqi spirit is on display yet again, as protests against the corrupt government in Baghdad continue for the 21st successive day. This outburst of civil disobedience comes after a year in which westerners have heard relatively little about Iraq. Ever since the US claimed to withdraw its combat forces in 2011, most westerners have been oblivious to the daily struggles and hardships of Iraqis, who live under a government more beholden to foreign interests than to those of its people.

While the US has moved on, choosing to ignore the nightmare it created with war and occupation, Iraqis have gone to the streets, taking destiny in their own hands. But this should come as no surprise to those who know Iraq's history, where foreign domination has always been resisted.

Iraqis rose up to end the British mandate of their country in 1921, and after years of struggle, they overthrew the British-imposed monarchy in 1958. They carried on through yet more political turmoil when the prime minister, General Abdel-Karim Qasim, was assassinated in 1963, and succeeded by the military coup that ushered in Ba'athism. The Iraqi people endured repression from Saddam Hussein, who rose to power with help from the CIA. War with Iran lasted for most of the 1980s; the first Gulf war claimed an estimated 158,000 lives (32,195 of which were children) in 1991, and the resulting sanctions claimed an additional 1m lives.

The situation worsened still, after the turn of the century. The 2003 US-led invasion and occupation officially ended in 2011, with another estimated 1m lives lost, a public health crisis, and the social fabric of the country torn apart in a civil war, which was instigated by the occupying powers.

For a century, there has not been a single generation of Iraqis unfamiliar with struggle. Yet, this last decade has undoubtedly been the worst Iraq has ever experienced. No one in Iraq has not suffered loss. The widows, orphans, and survivors carry on through grief and trauma. During these bleak days, it would be understandable if Iraqis chose to give up, accept the inadequate government that has been imposed on them, and focus on getting through the day. It would be understandable of any people who have suffered as they have.

Instead, Iraqis have chosen to fight for better days. This choice, to commit such energy, day after day, for 21 days, to put their bodies on the line in protest against injustices, after they have experienced so much loss, grief, and trauma is, well, inspiring.

More here