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 31, 2008

War News for Thursday, January 31, 2008

#1: A roadside bomb went off near a police patrol near the Zaiyouna bridge in eastern Baghdad's Baladiyat neighborhood, damaging a police vehicle and wounding three policemen on board in addition to three passing civilians, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Three policemen and three civilians were killed by a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in the Zayouna district of eastern Baghdad, police said.

#2: He said that another roadside bomb detonated near the Musa Bin Nassir fuel station in Karradah neighborhood in central the capital, wounding two civilians.

#3: The source quoted Iraqi police patrols as saying that a U.S. armored vehicle was set on fire before dawn when a roadside bomb struck the military patrol on the al-Qanat street that passes through al-Amin neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. The burning vehicle ignited several secondary explosions more than two hours after the roadside bomb attack, the source said.

#4: Two roadside bombs detonated near the convoy of an Iraqi deputy minister of electricity in eastern Baghdad on Thursday, wounding two bodyguards and a civilian, an Interior Ministry source said. "Two roadside bombs detonated simultaneously near the convoy of Salam al-Qazaz, deputy minister of electricity, in the al-Aqari neighborhood near the Palestine Street, wounding two of his bodyguards and a civilian," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#5: In a separate incident, a roadside bomb went off in the al-Ghadeer neighborhood in eastern the capital wounding four people, the source added.

#6: One person was killed and four wounded when a car bomb exploded in Kadhimiya, a Shi'ite district in northwestern Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:

#1: Clashes between gunmen and police in al-Tahrir neighbourhood, central Baquba left 2 civilians wounded

#2: 2 women, ages 50 and 55, cousins to the governor of Diyala, Raad al-Mulla were abducted by gunmen who had put up a false checkpoint between al-Abbara area and Baquba city last night. Their fate remains unknown.

#1: Two policemen were wounded on Thursday morning in an armed attack by scores of al-Qaeda gunmen on a governmental building in Khanqeen in Diala, a police source said. "Dozens of al-Qaeda gunmen waged an armed attack at dawn on the headquarters of al-Saadiya district in Khaneqeen, northeast of Baaquba, injuring two policemen and causing some material damage to the building," the source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#2: Suspected al-Qaeda armed men set up a fake checkpoint on the road linking Balad Ruz to Mendli district in Khaneqeen city, where they stopped a civilian car and took its six passengers to unknown place," the source, who preferred anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq

#1: Rockets slammed into the British base near the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Thursday, slightly wounding three British soldiers, a spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Multi-National Forces in southern Iraq said on Thursday a British helicopter was destroyed when the British base at Basra international airport came under attack and two soldiers were wounded.

"News indicated that a British chopper had been destroyed at the Basra international airport were groundless," the spokesman told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI) over the phone.Spokesman for the Multi-National Forces in southern Iraq Captain Finn Aldrich had said earlier a British helicopter was destroyed when the British base at Basra international airport came under attack and two soldiers were wounded.

Sulaiman Pek:
#1: A severed head was found in the town of Sulaiman Pek, 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A father and his son were shot to death by gunmen near al-Zaitoon restaurant in the north of Baiji. The man was a labourer from the village of Albu Jwari, 5 kn to the north of Baiji.

#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing Helmand province's deputy governor and five other people, officials said. The bomber struck while people were praying inside the mosque in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said. Helmand's deputy governor, Pir Mohammad, was killed in the blast, said Nisar Ahmad, a provincial health official. The blast killed five other people and wounded 18 others, seven seriously, Andiwal said.

#2: A car bomb exploded next to an Afghan army bus in Kabul on Thursday, wounding four civilians and a soldier, a police officer said. The blast shattered the bus windows and badly damaged a passing taxi in Kabul's Taimani neighborhood, said police officer Jan Agha.

Casualty Reports:

Pfc. Chris Parish recalled the day last June when the Humvee in which he was a gunner was struck by an explosively formed projectile as his convoy was traveling from one combat outpost to another in Iraq. "I would have bled out," he said, as the picture behind him showed the Humvee in flames, "if it hadn't been for my Battle Buddy. He obviously paid attention in the Combat Lifesaver Course."Pfc. Jesse Garza, who was riding in another vehicle that June day, rushed to the burning Humvee, tore off the canopy and pulled Parish to safety. "I was covered in blood and so was he. He laid me down in the back of a Bradley, applied pressure dressing and a tourniquet. In cutting off my pants legs, he cut into my right leg by mistake. I still have that scar. But I owe him my life." Shrapnel had shredded the 25-year-old soldier's left quadricep and hamstring and damaged his sciatic nerve. Parish has had 10 surgeries on his left leg with at least one more on the horizon.

U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Cope lost his legs and full use of his right hand in a 2006 roadside blast in Iraq, is rehabilitating at Naval Medical Center San Diego.