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, January 16, 2009

War News for Friday, January 16, 2009

NY Times: Military Planners, in Nod to Obama, Are Preparing for a Faster Iraq Withdrawal: Military commanders are drawing up plans for a faster withdrawal of American troops from Iraq in anticipation that President-elect Barack Obama will reject current proposals as too slow, Pentagon and military officials said Wednesday.

Iraqi clerics calls for donations for Palestinians: Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is calling on Iraqis to donate food, money and medicine for Palestinians suffering under Israel's Gaza offensive against Hamas militants.

Military: 696 PKK members killed, 237 captured in 2008:

Bulgarian president criticizes lack of vision for Iraq, Afghanistan:

Iraq plans to establish new pipeline to pump natural gas to Syria:

Russia concerned about Georgian border activities - Lavrov: --with 2 videos

Iraq Invites IOC's to Oil Deal Workshops:

Taliban adapting by using bigger and better bombs:

Rights group criticizes Pentagon report on airstrikes in Afghanistan:

UN to Obama: Don't change Afghan strategy:

Resistance to U.S. Plan for Afghanistan:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Late Thursday, two rockets or mortars struck the Green Zone, injuring one person, the U.S. military said. Iraqi police said the projectiles were fired from a Shiite area of east Baghdad into the enclave, which includes Iraqi government offices and the U.S. Embassy.

#2: Thursday A roadside bomb targeted an American military convoy in central Baghdad near the ministry of industry. The bomb was seen by the guards whoc closed the road but it exploded as the convoy passed by killing one guard of the ministry, Ahmed Taieb Murad, according to a press release by the ministry.

#3: The media advisor of the American troops on Friday said a U.S. soldier was wounded in an explosion in southeastern Baghdad. “An improvised explosive device went off after 10:00 am on Friday (Jan. 16) in Baghdad al-Jadieda region in southeastern Baghdad, targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol, injuring a soldier,” al-Muqdad Jibriel told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy near al Obaidi Mosque in al Obaidi neighbourhood eastern Baghdad at 9 a.m. Friday damaging one Hummer vehicle.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A displaced man of al-Sawaaed tribe was killed by a suspected al-Qaeda armed group on Thursday (Jan. 15) at his house in al-Mualamien neighborhoods in west of Baaquba,” the source explained.

#2: A curfew and a vehicle ban imposed on three neighborhoods in the city of Baaquba as Iraqi forces are waging a security raid in it, a security source said on Friday. “The Diala police on Friday (Jan. 16) imposed a curfew on al-Mafraq, al-Mualamien and al-Katoun neighborhoods in Baaquba as security forces are waged a military operations in them,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Iraqi police found the body of a policeman in Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed a candidate in Iraq's upcoming provincial elections on Friday, police said, ahead of polls Iraqi security officials and the U.S. military say could be bloody. Haythem al-Hasnowi, a candidate from a group headed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Dawa Party, was on his way to campaign in the town of Jbela, 65 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, when gunmen opened fire on his convoy, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb killed three civilians and wounded another five when it struck their vehicle in Ishaqi, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A Katyusha rocket wounded a civilian when it landed near the local government headquarters of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Iraqi police found the bodies of three men bearing signs of torture and gunshot wounds in northwestern Kirkuk on Thursday, police said.

#1: Iraqi police found the body of a Christian man with gunshot wounds to the head in northern Mosul, 390 km (290 miles) north of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.

The lifeless body of an Armenian was found yesterday by the army in Mosul. The abandoned body uncovered in a street in the east of the city was that of 36-year-old Chourik Bagrad. Sources in Mosul confirmed that it was a an execution style killing: multiple gunshot wounds to the head. His body was later discarded in al-Bakr district, where it was found by police and brought to the morgue for an autopsy.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded an Iraqi soldier on Thursday, when it struck an army patrol in northern Mosul, police said.

An Iraqi army soldier was injured on Friday in a bomb explosion that targeted an army convoy in western Mosul, a security source said. “An improvised explosive device went off on Friday (Jan. 16) targeting a convoy of the 12nd brigade of the Iraqi army in al-Shifaa neighborhood in western Mosul, near the fifth bridge, injuring a soldier,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion destroyed a military vehicle,” he added.

#3: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in al Zinjili neighbourhood, downtown Mosul at 8 a.m. Friday injuring three soldiers and damaging one of the military vehicles.

#4: Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a civilian man inside his house, killing a woman and wounding two persons others, in eastern Mosul on Friday, a police source in Ninewa said. “The gunmen attacked a house in al-Khadraa neighborhood, eastern Mosul, killing a woman and wounding two others and escaping to an unknown place,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The U.S. military says one of its Black Hawk helicopters has gone down near Afghanistan's capital. No deaths were reported. All seven people aboard survived and the military says in a statement that they are "safe and secure."

The helicopter was on its way to perform a medical evacuation when it went down Friday morning. The military says the incident is under investigation.

#2: Suspected militants lobbed a grenade at a vehicle of the armed forces in Pakistan's troubled South Waziristan tribal region Thursday killing two soldiers and injuring five others, media reports said. The security personnel on a military convoy were on a routine patrol in Machan Baba, some 9 miles from Wana, the main town in the semi-autonomous tribal area, at the time of the attack.

#3: Some 800 North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops under Dutch command are battling for control of a key valley in southern Afghanistan used as a base by Taliban insurgents, the Dutch defense ministry said Friday. Ministry spokeswoman Marloes Visser said the Baluchi valley in Oruzgan province had long been a hiding place for the Taliban where they planned attacks. After taking control of territory to the north and south, the troops of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force had now advanced into the heart of the valley for the first time, she said. The plan was to set up a permanent Afghan army base and build a road through the valley between the towns of Takin Kowt and Chora, Visser added. The ministry said in a communiqué that 400 Dutch troops were operating with Australian and Afghan forces commanded by a Dutch colonel. "We met some resistance but it has calmed down in the past few days," Visser added. "We want to stop the Taliban fighters from organizing."
She said the operation had begun on Jan. 10 but declined to say how long it would last.

Casualty Reports:

Jonathan Pruden, a soldier who lost a leg in Baghdad when his Hum V was blown up in 2003.

Marine Tai Cleveland, who was paralyzed from the waist down while training in Kuwait.