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, February 14, 2008

War News for Thursday, February 14, 2008

Security incidents:

#1: At least four people were killed and 28 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a market in the Shia militia stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad. Police said they feared the toll would rise from the bombing, which took place during the rush hour in the market selling items from second hand electrical goods to furniture.

#2: Two decayed bodies were found buried in a house’s garden in western Baghdad, said a police source on Friday.

#3: Two elements working for a foreign security company in Iraq were wounded in an explosive charge attack, an Iraqi security source said on Thursday. "The explosive charge went off before Thursday noon targeting a convoy belonging to a foreign security company operating in the country, wounding two of security elements," the source, who preferred to remain unnamed, told the independent news agency Aswat al-Iraq, Vioces of Iraq, (VOI). "The improvised explosive device detonated while the convoy was passing close to the traffic department and al-Shaab al-Dawli playground in eastern Baghdad," the source indicated, refusing to reveal the nationality of the foreign company.

#4: A roadside bomb exploded in the junction near the Shaab Stadium, east Baghdad injuring 3 civilians at around 08:00 this morning.

#5: The U.S. army killed seven insurgents and detained 16 suspects in the past two days during operations to disrupt al-Qaeda networks operating in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

#6: 3 bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in al-Husseiniyah, 1 in Zayuna and 1 in Tobchi.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Jalowlaa, 105 km to the east of Baquba. The commander of the checkpoint personnel called for re-enforcements, but their vehicle was targeted by an IED, 7 policemen were injured.

#1: Gunmen assassinated Sheikh Abu Ali al-Buhruzawi, head of Iraq Hamas Brigades near al-Rahma Hospital, central Baquba.

Khan Beni Saad:
#1: Al-Anfal Intermediate School was bombed by gunmen in the village of Misyara near the town of Khan Beni Saad, 15 km to the south of Baquba late this afternoon.

Balad Ruz:
#1: 3 civilians were abducted by gunmen who had set up a false checkpoint in Beledruz 20 km to the north of Baquba this evening.

#1: A roadside bomb exploded in Muqdadiyah this afternoon injuring 3 children who were in a parked car near by.

#1: The chief of the criminal investigation department in Wassit said on Thursday that he escaped an attempt on his life when an explosive charge went off southwest of Kut. Captain Majed al-Imara told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI) that he survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded near his motorcade in al-Basroukiya region, southwest of Kut. He said he was slightly injured, noting that his car was damaged as a result of the explosion.

#1: Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in the southern city of Basra, 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Heavy fighting broke out Thursday in the southern Iraqi city of Basra between the Iraqi army and gunmen believed to be from a Shiite cult, leaving two soldiers injured. Clashes erupted between Iraqi troops and suspected members of the Ahmed al-Yamani group in the Jenina district in Basra in the wake of a bomb explosion, police sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

#1: Gunmen stormed into a house in Saddam Hussein’s native village in central Iraq and shot dead nine members of the executed dictator’s clan, police said today. "Among those killed were men, women and children. They were members of the same family," a police official told AFP. "Only an eight-year-old child was left unharmed." The attack in Awja, seven kilometres from the city of Tikrit, occurred during the night, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The father of the family was a member of (Saddam’s) Bijat clan," said a neighbour, Moussa Faraj. "He had no political ties nor was he a member of the former army. He was a simple businessman."

#1: Masked gunmen killed a former army Major General in Staff in the city of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, his relatives told Reuters.

Gunmen shot and killed Staff General and commander of a division in former Iraqi Army, Mejeed Mahmoud Hussein as he was driving his car near the industrial area, south Samarra at around 01:00 this afternoon. Hussein had been detained in Bucca prison by Coalition Forces for three years and was released 2 months ago.

#1: Gunmen shot dead a member of a neighbourhood police patrol in a drive-by shooting in the town of Hawija, 70 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

Ninevah Prv:
#1: In Kan'ous town, to the northeast of Shirqat city, to the south of Mosul, 2 gunmen, putting together an explosive device were killed when the explosives went off. It turned out that they were amongst the most wanted by the Shirqat Police.

#2: A roadside bomb exploded near the convoy of the police chief of the town of Baaj, 150 km (90 miles) west of Mosul, wounding him along with three of his security guards, police said.

#1: An operation in the Tarin Kowt area of Uruzgan province on Wednesday targeted a group of insurgents on motorcycles and killed "a number" of militants, the coalition said. Maj. Gulab, the chief of criminal investigations in Uruzgan, said four militants were killed and two were wounded in the airstrike. The coalition said troops searched compounds in Uruzgan associated with a Taliban leader they were seeking, and that "a number" of militants were killed by gunfire. Three militants were arrested.

#2: At least three security men were killed Thursday morning in a blast in northwestern Pakistan, local TV channels reported. According to the private Geo TV, a vehicle of local security forces, the Bajour Scouts, was blew up by a remote-controlled bomb in the Bajour agency bordering Afghanistan. The three killed included an army major, the Geo said. The injured have been transported to a local hospital.

On the home front:

#1: The pilot of an AV-8B Harrier jet walked away after his plane crashed due to engine failure, the Marine Corps said Wednesday. One of three Cherry Point-based aircraft on a training flight, the Harrier went down in Open Grounds Farm in eastern Carteret County at about 1 p.m. The pilot of the single-person aircraft ejected before the crash, Marine officials confirmed. Fore said the crash happened at 1:01 p.m. He said the jet struck the ground nose-down before catching fire.

#2: A Hampton Roads-based Navy SEAL died Wednesday morning while conducting parachute training in Arizona. The SEALs were doing "free-fall training," said Navy Lt. David Luckett, spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, which is headquartered in Virginia Beach at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek. The incident is under investigation.

#3: Brad McCall is running from the United States government, and wants everyone to know.McCall, a Dothan native, now lives in a house in Vancouver, Canada, with several anti-war sympathizers who took him in about six months ago after he ran away from the Army.
His critics call him a coward. His supporters say he is brave. He simply calls himself a war resister.

But you can’t call him a draft dodger. He joined the Army on his own in Louisville, Ky., in 2006, and said he supported the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq. But after a few weeks in basic training he said he changed his mind when he heard the stories from soldiers returning from a tour in Iraq.

“They were telling us all of the things they did over there; things where you would have thought you were listening to the Nazi tribunals,” McCall told the Dothan Eagle in a telephone interview.

#4: A city police officer shot and killed a 26-year-old Army veteran Wednesday morning after the soldier, who served at least two tours of duty in Iraq, disobeyed commands to stop stabbing his stepfather. German Sanabria, 26, died from a single gunshot wound fired by Bridgeton Patrolman Anthony Keller, authorities said. He was fired upon after he disregarded repeated orders to drop the steak knife he was using as a weapon.

#5: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was injured after falling on slippery ice, the Pentagon said Wednesday. Gates fractured his right shoulder and was treated by doctors. He cancelled a congressional hearing set for Wednesday morning, but is still capable of performing his duties, Whitman said.