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

Monday, January 19, 2009

War News for Monday, January 19, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Senior Airman Omar J. McKnight died as a result of a non-hostile incident in Balad, Iraq on Saturday, January 17th.

Jan. 17 airpower summary:

More Joining American Military as Jobs Dwindle:

Lawyer: Iraqi shoe thrower to seek Swiss asylum:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A bomb blast near a security checkpoint in southern Baghdad on Monday killed a police officer and wounded seven people, including three soldiers, police said. "A police captain was killed and seven people among them three soldiers were wounded when the bomb exploded," a police official told foreign news agency. The blast occurred near a checkpoint on a road leading into Zafaraniyah neighbourhood in southern Baghdad, he added.

A roadside bomb explosion near an Iraqi Army checkpoint in the Zaafaraniya district in southeast Baghdad, killing an off-duty police captain, who was passing by, and wounding seven people, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. A soldier was among the wounded people, the source said.

#2: In separate incident, a twin roadside bomb explosions struck a police patrol in an intersection in the Shiite neighborhood of Amel in southern Baghdad, wounding two policemen and damaging a police vehicle, the source added. Three civilians were also wounded by the blasts, he said.

#3: Four civilians on Monday were wounded in an explosive charge blast that ripped through southeastern Baghdad, according to a police source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) stuck to a civilian vehicle detonated in Saeeda area, southeastern Baghdad, wounding four civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Sunday A magnetic bomb planted under a car belongs to an employee of the Basra prisons near a petrol station in western Basra city. The employee was wounded.

#1: A U.S. vehicle on Sunday night was devastated in a roadside bomb attack in western al-Dalouiya district, according to police sources from Salah al-Din province. Another police source said that “a roadside bomb went off during a late hour on Sunday night targeting a U.S. patrol at al-Dalouiya Bridge (90 km north of Baghdad), causing severe damage to the vehicle.”

#1: Two civilians were killed on Monday in a bomb explosion in south of Tikrit city, a police source said.“An improvised explosive device went off on Monday (Jan. 19) in al-Eishaqi region in south of Tikrit, killing two young men,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A suicide bomber killed the deputy leader of Iraq's second-biggest Sunni Arab political bloc on Sunday as he and other politicians met to discuss an upcoming provincial election, the party's leader said. Hassan Zaidan al-Lihebi, deputy leader of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, was killed by a suicide bomber who stormed his house, shot at guards and blew himself up in a crowded reception room, Saleh al-Mutlaq, the party's leader, told Reuters. "The suicide bomber opened fire on the guards and entered the house. They tried to stop him but they didn't manage to do that before he got near Hassan and blew himself up," Mutlaq said. Police sources said between one and four other people were also killed, including a policeman, in the attack in the town of Qaiyara, south of the northern city of Mosul.

A suicide bomber targeted the former major general Hassan Zaidan, whose son Falah is a parliament member of the national dialogue blog at the Haj Ali village in Qaiyara (south of Mosul) around 6 p.m. Zaidan was killed in that incident.

#2: Four civilians on Monday were wounded when an explosive charge went off in eastern Mosul city, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in al-Darkzaleyya area, eastern Mosul, wounding four civilians who were close to the scene of the blast,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: An Iraqi soldier was wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near his patrol in northeastern Mosul city on Monday, a military source said. “An IED exploded near an Iraqi army patrol in al-Bakr neighborhood, northeastern Mosul, leaving one soldier wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, not giving further details.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban insurgents have blown up four schools in the north-western Swat region of Pakistan, officials claim.The schools were destroyed in the town of Mingora despite a recent government pledge to reopen schools in the violence-plagued region. "Militants blew up two girls schools and two boys schools," a government official told the Reuters news agency on Monday. The schools are reported to have been closed at the time of the attacks and no-one is thought to have been injured.

#2: Pakistan reopened a major land supply route to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan that was briefly closed Monday after suspected insurgents killed a soldier and wounded 14, adding urgency to efforts to secure alternative supply lines as more U.S. troops head to the region. The famed Khyber Pass, where growing militant activity has prompted several temporary closures in recent months, was reopened in the early afternoon, said Fazal Mahmood, a senior government official in Khyber tribal region.

#3: A suicide car bomb attack near the gates of a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan killed one Afghan on Monday and wounded several more, officials said. The attack targeted Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost City, near the border with Pakistan, said Lt. Cmdr. James Gater, a spokesman for the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. An Afghan health official, Dr. Gul Mohammadin Mohammadi, said one Afghan was killed and four were wounded in the attack.

#4: Suspected tribal rebels blew up a gas pipeline in Pakistan's insurgency-hit southwestern province of Baluchistan on Monday, suspending supplies to several areas, officials said. The pre-dawn blast damaged a main pipeline bringing gas from the Pirkoh field to the Sui purification plant in Dera Bugti district, said security and company officials on condition of anonymity. No casualties were reported, a gas company official said.

#5: In another incident, a roadside bomb struck a police van in Khost city, wounding one police officer, head of crime department of police Mohammad Guldad told Xinhua.

#6: A Canadian soldier was seriously injured Monday by an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan. The soldier was on foot patrol about 23 km west of the city of Kandahar around 9 a.m. local time when the device exploded, said a statement from the military.

Casualty Reports:

British Peter Bowker, 21, lost a leg in a bomb attack in Afghanistan. the explosion, which broke his right leg in four places, shattered his ankle and blew off part of his heel. "I was in the lead vehicle with a metal detector between my legs, and we were just about to get out to check the road for mines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices), when one hit us.

U.S. Army Captain Ivan Castro, 41, was injured in Iraq. The wounds resulted in the loss of his sight as well as a good percentage of muscle mass.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. David Webber, 36, is recovering from wounds he received last month in Afghanistan. On Christmas Eve, he had just come down from scanning snipers in a lookout tower at the outpost when he found himself on all fours, ears ringing, feeling like he'd been hit in the face with a shovel. "I couldn't feel my arm," Webber said. "I could move my fingers but couldn't feel my arm." Later Webber learned the truck he'd been standing behind had taken a mortar strike and he had been hit with shrapnel. One soldier was killed and two others were injured. a medic tore off Webber's right sleeve to reveal a wound that was draining blood at the rate of a pint a minute. His face, shoulder and chest were damaged by shrapnel, but the major concern was his arm, which had to be stanched with a tourniquet. He was airlifted to Forward Operating Base Orgun-E. Surgeons stabilized him and shipped him to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. David expects to make a full recovery and return to active duty.


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