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, August 11, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, August 11, 2013

Update:  NATO says three troops killed in eastern Afghanistan, no further information as of now from NATO, but al Jazeera reports the casualties are American, and that the incident was an attack in Paktia.

Also, a female MP is abducted in Ghazni.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan accuses an Afghan contractor of defrauding the U.S. military of $77 million. There is of course, another side of this as well. According to IG John Sopko, Hikmatullah Shadman obtained contracts through rigged bids, bribery and kickbacks, in other words he presumably had co-conspirators in the U.S. military or DoD. SIGAR has not so far named any, however.

Update on three Chinese nationals are killed in a Kabul hotel room. Reports are somewhat confusing. This one says that a fourth Chinese man was abducted and escaped, and that a fifth is missing. Whether they were abducted from the same hotel room is unclear. The men are said to be independent small businessmen. Khamma news now reports that they may have been involved in prostitution. 

A provincial security official is injured by a roadside bomb in Paktiya province. His injuries appear to be serious. He has been transferred to Kabul military hospital.

Flooding problems continue, with 22 people now killed in flash floods outside of Kabul. There may be additional victims.

Fars news (which is not always reliable but appears solid here) reports that the son of female MP from Ghazni Bakht Bibi is kidnapped, and her son-in-law killed, when Taliban attack their convoy on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. Six of the attackers and two bystanders are said to have died in a firefight with their guards.

Governor of Baghdis province claims Pakistani and Uzbek infiltrators have caused a sudden increase in insurgent activity. "The insurgents have reportedly extorted local residents of Bala Murghab and forced young boys to join their ranks or face death." However, the local military commander says everything is under control.

What the heckis Wushu?


Dancewater said...

from the AP:

A wave of car bombings targeting those celebrating the end of Ramadan across Iraq killed 69 people Saturday, a bloody reminder of the inability of Iraqi authorities to stop violence threatening to spiral out of control.

Violence has been on the rise across Iraq since a deadly crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp in April, and attacks against civilians and security forces notably spiked during Ramadan. The surge of attacks has sparked fears that the country could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

The bloodshed also comes after Iraqi security forces promised to step up efforts to increase security to protect the public during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations that mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This year's Ramadan was the most violence since 2007, with 671 people killed.

Read more:

Cervantes said...

Yeah thanks, I was thinking of doing an Iraq update today. It's really depressing.