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, February 15, 2008

War News for Friday, February 15, 2008

The DoD is reporting the death of a soldier previously not reported by CENTCOM. Staff Sgt. Javares J. Washington died in a vehicle accident in at Camp Buehring in Kuwait City, Kuwait on Monday, February 11th. No other details were released and the incident is under investigation.

Security incidents:

#1: An IED attached to a civilian car exploded targeting a Sahwa checkpoint in Ghazaliyah this afternoon, killing 2 people, one of which was a Sahwa member and injuring 4, 2 of which were Sahwa members.

#2: 4 bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Qahira, 1 in Binook, 1 in Hurriyah and 1 in Saidiyah.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Diyala Police found 5 bodies in one place in al-Salam neighbourhood, 20 km to the north of Baquba. They were found on the side of the road. There was evidence of torture and each had several gunshot wounds in the head.

Balad Ruz:
#1: Gunmen in a police uniforms manning a fake checkpoint kidnapped four people from one family on Friday, including two women, near the town of Balad Ruz, about 70km (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Police found the body of a man with gunshot wounds on Friday, a day after he had been reported kidnapped in Balad Ruz, police said.

#1: Raids on al-Qaida forces in northern Iraq have left seven insurgents dead, the U.S. military said. But local police said Friday that two women and two U.S.-allied fighters were among those killed. An Iraqi police officer in the area, however, said a house that was bombed belonged to a Sunni Arab and tribal leader, and that six family members died. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said the bombing occurred about 33 miles southwest of Kirkuk and two of the victims were women. Another two of those killed, he said, were part of an Awakening Council, one of the Sunni groups that last year abandoned their support for al-Qaida and began joining the U.S. in its effort to clear out insurgent forces.

Two U.S. helicopters opened fire at a house in al-Zab area, al-Huweija district, (70 km) south of Kirkuk, killing eight civilians of the same family who were inside the house at the time," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. " Unidentified persons opened fire at the two U.S. helicopters, which fired back," the source said, not determining whether the attacked house was the source of the fire. "So far we are not certain whether the fire opened at the U.S. helicopters were from that house or another nearby place," indicated the source, adding the fatalities were two men, a woman and five children.

#1: in an operation Wednesday in southeast Mosul, the U.S. military said it killed an insurgent wearing a suicide belt who shot at troops as they were targeting the building of an alleged al-Qaida supporter.

Tal Afar:
#1: At least four people were killed and 13 wounded in northern Iraq when two suicide bombers with explosive vests blew themselves up at the entrance to a Shi'ite mosque during Friday prayers, police said. The bombers struck in the afternoon in Tal Afar, 420 km (360 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

#2: A few minutes later, the second attacker ran toward people who were busy in the aftermath of the first explosion. "But police opened fire on him before he reached the people," the mayor said. A police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release information, said the second attacker blew himself up without causing casualties.

#1: Insurgents ambushed a police vehicle in southwest Afghanistan, and the three-hour gunbattle that followed left four policemen dead. Two other police officers were wounded in Thursday's clash in Nimroz province, said Gen. Mohammad Ayub Badakhshi, the provincial police chief.

Taliban fighters attacked a police patrol, killing four policemen, wounding two others and taking away two more in southwestern Afghan province of Nimruz, provincial governor said Friday.

Casualty Reports:

Pfc. Wes Hixon of Cody, 22, is in critical condition after his vehicle was struck by a bomb Feb. 8 near Baghdad.Four other soldiers with him in the cab of the vehicle died. Six others who were in the vehicle's transport area are in critical condition, according to family friend Brenda Marchese and other members of Families on the Frontline. As a member of the 25th Infantry Division, he was driving a Stryker on patrol five miles outside Baghdad when it ran over an improvised explosive device that blew the 8-ton vehicle in half.