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 26, 2009

War News for Monday, January 26, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of four Coalition Soldiers when two aircraft crashed in an undisclosed location of northern Iraq on Monday, January 26th. USA Today reports that two helicopters crashed about twenty miles west of Kirkuk.

Counting the Walking Wounded:

Feds settle Iraq vet’s negligence lawsuit:

Iraq prime minister expects speedier US pullout:

Taliban turning to more 'complex' attacks: Analysis shows insurgents are increasingly confronting NATO troops in open warfare, rather than relying on bombings, suicide strikes...

From Hospital, Afghans Rebut U.S. Account:

Islamabad lashes out after civilians die in U.S. attack against militants:

Sri Lankan troops, rebels continue heavy battles:

UN says many civilians killed in Sri Lanka clashes:

Commentary: Torture weakened America's national security:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb struck a police patrol in west Baghdad's Mansour district, wounding 11 policemen, three seriously, police said.

#2: The Minister's offices in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Jadriyah, central Baghdad were torched late Sunday. The fire fighters are still trying to put out the fire as this report is being written and no casualties have been reported so far.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A bomber detonated an explosive device strapped to a bicycle near an office of the Sunni Arab Islamic Party in Baquba, 65km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Five civilians were wounded in the blast and the attacker was shot dead by police as a he fled the scene.

#1: An explosive device, placed inside a car, was detonated by police forces in central Kirkuk on Monday,” a senior police source said. “A force from the Azadi police found on Monday an improvised explosive device hidden inside a vehicle of a local company inside Kirkuk,” Colonel Bieson Mohamed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Anti-bombs squad could not defuse it, and forced to detonate it, setting the vehicle ablaze,” he added.

#1: Police said they discovered an unidentified decapitated body in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad

#2: Five persons, including a policeman, on Monday were wounded when a car bomb targeted a security checkpoint in downtown Mosul city, according to a local source. “On Monday, a car rigged with explosives detonated near a police checkpoint in al-Dawasa area, downtown Mosul, wounding five, including a cop,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Three civilians were wounded in a bomb explosion in central Mosul, a police source said on Monday. “An explosive charge went off in Halab street in central Mosul, injuring three civilians, including a woman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A bomb rigged to a bicycle exploded in a northwest Pakistani city on Monday, killing at least five people and wounding 20 in the latest attack to rattle the volatile region. The explosion occurred on a major road in Dera Ismail Khan, and most of the victims were either walking by the parked bicycle or traveling in nearby vehicles, area police chief Saeed Ullah said.

#2: In Pakistan's southwest, gunmen shot dead the leader of a small Shiite political party in the main city of Quetta, triggering violent protests. Several hundred people torched vehicles and a bank, said Mohammed Khan, an area police official.

#3: Elsewhere in the northwest, a man whom militants accused of spying for America was found shot dead Monday in Datta Khel village in North Waziristan, two intelligence officials said. The body was missing the right hand, which had been chopped off. A note pinned to the body claimed the man spied for the U.S. and warned others to "learn a lesson from the fate of this man," said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.

#4: Suspected Taliban militants blew up a government-run school Monday in Pakistan's violence-plagued Swat Valley. The boy's high school that was destroyed was located in Mingora, the valley's main city, said Sher Afzal Khan, an education officer for Swat. The attack occurred early Monday and no one was wounded.

#5: The Nuristan province officials confirmed that the Taliban insurgents captured the Gosalk area which is located between Waigal district of Nuristan and Chapadara district of Kuner province. According to Nuristan governor Jamaludin Badar, a group of 700 insurgents captured the area and declared Islamic Emirates there. Unlike Nuristan governor, his Kunar counterpart syad Fazlulllah Wahedi said, the insurgents are not so powerful to disrupt security in the province.

Casualty Reports:

Cpl. Christopher Levi is learning to walk on artificial limbs since losing his legs in a Baghdad bomb blast last year. Shortly before 1 p.m., on March 17, the armored Humvee in which Levi was riding was struck by a bomb at an intersection in the Sadr City section of Baghdad. The explosion cost Levi, 25, both of his legs.