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, January 17, 2008

War News for Thursday, January 17, 2008

Here's a very interesting development which we likely won't hear in the western press:

The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops.


The shift by Iraqi farmers to producing opium was first revealed by The Independent last May and is a very recent development. The first poppy fields, funded by drug smugglers who previously supplied Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with heroin from Afghanistan, were close to the city of Diwaniyah in southern Iraq. The growing of poppies has now spread to Diyala...

#1: In one incident, six suspects of al-Qaeda were killed and 13 were injured during a joint US-Iraqi operation in northern Baghdad, security sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
'Iraqi forces along with elements of the Awakening Council, supported by US helicopters, have raided the Bishkan area, one of the major hideouts of al-Qaeda, killing six and wounding 13 terrorist suspects,' an Iraqi official told dpa, referring to forces recruited by the US military to work against al-Qaeda and other militias. 'Dozens were also arrested,' he added.

#2: 3 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police. 2 in Saidiyah and 1 in Kamaliyah.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives killed eight people near a Shi'ite mosque in the volatile Iraqi city of Baquba on Thursday, police said. Another 14 people were wounded in the attack as worshippers gathered to observe Ashura, one of the holiest events on the Shi'ite religious calendar, in the Shifta neighborhood of southwest Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: In Muqdadiyah city, some 100 kilometres north-east of Iraq's capital, US forces have killed three suspects and arrested another four during an

Sulaiman Pek:
#1: An insurgent was killed on Wednesday while he was trying to rig a car with explosives in the town of Sulaiman Pek, 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two policemen and two gunmen were killed during armed clashes that erupted in Salah al-Din's al-Shurqat district, Iraqi police said on Thursday. On Wednesday evening, police forces conducted a raid on gunmen's strongholds in al-Shurqat district's left coast and engaged in fierce clashes with them," a security source from Salah al-Din operations command told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq, (VOI). "Police personnel killed two gunmen, while the others fled," the source explained, adding that two policemen were killed and three others wounded during the clashes.

#1: An Iraqi policeman and four civilians were injured in the northern city of Tikrit, when an explosive device was detonated targeting the policeman's vehicle.

#2: Militants killed a policemen and injured two of his security guards, in another attack in the city's Qadesya district.

#3: An explosive device detonated in central Tikrit on Thursday, leaving five, including key police official, wounded, a Salah Al-Din police source said. “An improvised explosive device(IED) went off on Thursday, targeting the convoy of chief deputy of Highways police lieutenant colonel Khalaf Jassim in central Tikrit”.He noted “the blast left the police official seriously wounded as well as four of his escorts injured, and destroyed a police vehicle”.

#1: U.S. and Iraqi forces killed seven insurgents loading a vehicle with weapons in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#2: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a policeman in Mosul's western area of al-Mosul al-Jadida, killing him on the spot," the director of Ninewa police operations room, Brigadier Abdul Kareem al-Juburi, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq

#3: An unknown armed man shot down a civilian in Mosul's downtown al-Najafi street and fled the scene," al-Juburi added. The civilian was a resident of Mosul's Makhmour district and had a membership card of a human rights society in his possession, al-Juburi explained, noting that 10 suspects have been arrested pending investigation of the shooting.

#4: A policeman and a girl were injured when a car bomb exploded in front of a church in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The front of the church was badly damaged.

An abandoned carbomb explodes on the left bank of Mosul (west Mosul), in al-Shifaa neighbourhood near al-Tahira church causing the death of 1 policeman and the injury of 1 woman and damage to the outer wall of the church.

#5: Militants bombed an empty primary school in the west of Mosul, police said. No one was hurt in the attack.

#1: Mortars apparently fired by the army in the remote region slammed into several homes, killing at least four civilians, two of them women, and wounding 13 others, residents and an intelligence official said. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

#2: insurgents fired small arms and rockets at a military base in Ladha, another town in South Waziristan, late Wednesday, drawing retaliatory fire from troops, the military said in a statement. No casualties were reported in the clash.

#3: three rockets hit near an air force base early Thursday in Kamra, a town about 50 kilometres northwest of the capital Islamabad, but no one was hurt, the statement said.

#4: Seven Canadian soldiers have suffered minor injuries in two separate explosions believed caused by roadside bombs in Afghanistan. The latest blasts happened in the Panjwaii district west of Kandahar city on Wednesday. The incidents, which affected two vehicles on the same convoy nearly three hours apart.