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

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

War News for Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks. The study concluded that the statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses. ”The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell’s 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division – North Soldier in a vehicle rollover in Kirkuk on Tuesday, January 22. One other soldier were wounded in the attack.

Security incidents:

#1: Gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi army checkpoint in central Baghdad Wednesday, killing eight soldiers and wounding two, police said. The drive-by shooting occurred about 11 a.m. in the Bab al-Mudham district, a commercial area on the eastern side of the Tigris River in central Baghdad. Two other soldiers were wounded, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

#2: More than 250 of the (Iraqi) interpreters working with the United States -- or with U.S. contractors -- have been killed.

#3: In the other attack, a roadside bomb exploded next to a girl's high school in Baghdad's western district of Amiriyah, wounding a 7-year-old boy who was passing by. But police said the target was an American patrol, not the school.

#4: Meanwhile, a roadside bomb detonated near a youth center in Zaafaraniya district in southeastern Baghdad without causing casualties, the source said.

#5: Gunmen killed the dean of Baghdad University's dental school while he was driving home from work on Wednesday, Iraqi police said. They said they found the body of Munthar Muhrej Radhi, who headed the country's premier dental school, in the front of his car in western Baghdad. He had been shot multiple times.

#6: Around 9 a.m., a roadside bomb exploded at Mansour neighborhood ( west Baghdad) at district 605. Some commercial shops damaged in that incident with no casualties recorded.

#7: Around 12.30, a roadside bomb exploded at Zafarania neighborhood ( south Baghdad) . No casualties reported.

#8: U.S. forces killed five gunmen and detained 16 others on Tuesday and Wednesday during operations in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

#9: Police found ( 4 ) unidentified dead bodies in the following neighborhoods : ( 3 ) were found in Risafa bank ( east Baghdad ) ; 1 in Shaab , 1 in Husseiniya and 1 in Binouk. While one was found in Sadiyah neighborhood in south Baghdad ( Karkh bank).

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three miles south of Baqouba, gunmen broke into a house and killed six men in a family for cooperating with the Iraqi army, an army official said. The men had given information on al-Qaida movements to local Awakening Council members, the official said. The attack took place in al-Abara village, an al-Qaida stronghold until Awakening Council members chased out the militants a few months ago.

#2: The U.S. military killed 15 gunmen during operations on Tuesday and Wednesday north of Baquba, 65 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#3: Wednesday afternoon, a roadside bomb targeted AlHay neighborhood ( downtown Baquba) near one of the quarters of the Sahwa council injuring two members of the Sahwa.

#1: Iraqi security forces killed 15 gunmen and wounded 20 others during the last seven days in Madaen, 45 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, the spokesman for the Baghdad security plan said.

#1: A car bomb killed five people and wounded three about 40 km (25 miles) from the northern city of Kirkuk, police said.

Wednesday evening, a car bomb (BMW model) targeted a local market of Tuz Khurmatu (south of Khurmatu ) killing 5 people ( including one woman) and injuring 12 others ( including 2 women). Also 6 cars were damaged in that incident.

#2: Wednesday, gunmen kidnapped two Kurds citizens on the way between Tuz Khurmatu and Suleiman Beck (south of Kirkuk ) .Those two kidnapped are from Kafri village ( 150 km south of Sulaimaniyah).

#1: Gunmen killed Aziz Sulaiman a professor at Mosul University on Tuesday in southeastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Bagdad, police said.

#2: One body was found with gunshot wounds in eastern Mosul on Tuesday, police said.

#3: Police forces on Wednesday morning defused two roadside bombs in Mosul without casualties, a senior security source said." The Ninewa police defused and remotely detonated two improvised explosive devices; the first in al-Masaref neighborhood in northern Mosul and the second in al-Nabi Yuonis in the eastern section of the city," Brigadier Abdul Kareem al-Juburi, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#4: Tuesday , a squad of the Iraqi army killed a gunmen in Mosul city and confiscated his car.

#5: A bomb attack on a residential building in Iraq's northern city of Mosul on Wednesday killed and wounded up to 50 people, police said. Women and children were among the victims, police said. They did not have an immediate break-up of the dead and wounded. Witnesses said it was one of the biggest explosions they had ever heard in Mosul. Initial reports indicated gunmen had planted explosives in the building and then detonated the cache, police said.

An explosion struck an apartment building in Mosul Wednesday shortly after police arrived to investigate a tip about a weapons cache inside, killing at least seven people and wounding 70, a spokesman said. The cause of the blast was unknown, but Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim al-Jubouri said it occurred about 4:30 p.m. after the arrival of Iraqi police forces.

#1: A suicide bomber targeted a restaurant in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province Wednesday wounding two women besides killing himself, a local official said.

#2: In the latest violence, suspected militants attacked a military camp in the frontier region with rockets and small arms fire Wednesday, killing three soldiers and wounding several others, a military statement and security officials said. The strike against Razmak Fort in South Waziristan came a day after fighting that left seven troops and 37 militants dead.

#3: Islamic militants fired rockets at a military base in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing one soldier and injuring two others. Rebels fired rockets at Razmak Camp in North Waziristan, killing one solider and wounding two, the military said in a statement. The soldiers responded with artillery and mortar fire, but there was no word on any insurgent casualties, it said.

Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Zach Arnold, 22, was sent to Iraq in March and served as a truck commander leading convoys. On May 31, the armed vehicle he was in was hit by two roadside bombs. The truck was engulfed in flames, but the driver pulled out Arnold, who lost his left leg below the knee.

Alejandro J. Fernandez was severely wounded in a grenade attack four months after being deployed to Iraq. Fernandez, who joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1998, was wounded in August 2003 when his HUMVEE was struck by fire from an RPG. He was thrown off the vehicle with his body on fire, his father, Alexander Fernandez, said today. The Marine was flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, where, his father said, he underwent ``two to three surgeries a day.''