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 30, 2009

War News for Friday, January 30, 2009

Jan. 28 airpower summary:

Iraq takes security precautions ahead of elections:

Blackwater Says It Can Leave Iraq Within 72 Hours If Needed:

US to comply with Iraq ban on Blackwater:

'City of death' may be key to Iraq's future:

Fallujah the hotspot once more:

Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
#1: Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen on Friday killed a candidate of a political bloc along with his brother and his cousin in northeast of Baaquba, a security source said. “The gunmen killed Abbas Farhan, candidate of the Islah Wal Tanmiya (Reform and Development) bloc, along with his brother and cousin in a village of Mindli district in Khaneqeen, northeast of Baaquba,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The dead man was a brigadier in the former army,” he noted.

#1: On Friday, a roadside bomb found south of Baghdad killed three officers and wounded 14 others after it exploded while they were trying to diffuse it, another Iraqi police official said. The bomb exploded inside a police compound in Diwaniyah where it was taken to be diffused by an explosive ordnance disposal team, said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

Three bomb disposal police were killed and 20 colleagues wounded as a roadside device they were trying to disarm exploded in central Iraq, a police official said. The officers found the device in downtown Diwaniyah and took it to their station but it exploded as they tried to disarm the bomb, the official said.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Friday attacked the house of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC) official in Wassit and burned his private car, a police source said. “Unidentified gunmen early Friday (Jan. 30) attacked the house of the official of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council in Wassit, Ahmad al-Hakeem, in al-Ahrar district in west of Kut and set his private car ablaze,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The police sealed off the region in an attempt to arrest the gunmen,” he noted.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The U.S. military says coalition troops killed four militants in a strike on a bomb-making operation in southern Afghanistan. A U.S. statement says the international forces were after a Taliban operative living just outside Kandahar city who has used roadside bombs to attack Afghan police and troops with the U.S.-led coalition. The U.S. says Thursday's raid of the operative's compound turned into a gunbattle when militants fired on the troops, who killed four fighters and captured eight suspected militants.

#2: An Afghan civilian was crushed to death as his car collided with a coalition forces' vehicle in western Afghanistan on Friday. The accident happened in the western province of Herat when the civilian's vehicle collided with a mine-resistant, ambushed-protected vehicle (MRAP) of the coalition troops. Initial reports suggested that the civilian vehicle was travelling at high speed and collided with the military vehicle after cresting a hill.

#3: At lest three security forces personnel were killed Friday and seven others were injured when their convoy was attacked in the restive Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan, according to local TV reports.