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

Saturday, January 3, 2009

War News for Saturday, January 03, 2009

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." Muntazer al-Zaidi 12-14-08

Happy New Year!

Jan. 1 airpower summary:

U.S. military takes first step to quit Iraqi cities:

China starts work on oil field:

Iraqi PM Maliki begins Iran visit:

Taliban in south Afghanistan shifts to snipers, bomb attacks: Taliban fighters increasingly are deploying precision marksmen to fire on U.S. troops at greater distances throughout opium-producing southern Afghanistan, according to the top two commanders for the southern region.

Conflict casualties flown into East Midlands airport: A C-17 transport plane was seen landing at EMA this morning. It was immediately attended by up to five ambulances.

NY Times: Obama’s View on Power Over Detainees Will Be Tested Early: Just a month after President-elect Barack Obama takes office, he must tell the Supreme Court where he stands on one of the most aggressive legal claims made by the Bush administration — that the president may order the military to seize legal residents of the United States and hold them indefinitely without charging them with a crime.

Sri Lanka bombs rebels after seizing their HQ:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: American soldiers shot and wounded a woman – identified by an Iraqi television station as one of its producers – after she failed to heed warnings to stop near a Baghdad checkpoint recently targeted by suicide and car bombs, Iraqi and U.S. military officials said Saturday. The Biladi TV station, which is owned by former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, identified the woman as 25-year-old producer Hadeel Emad. Emad was in critical condition in a Baghdad hospital, Kadhum said.

#2: A Katyusha rocket on Saturday landed in Baghdad’s western area of al-Bayaa, causing no casualties, according to a police source.

#3: A roadside bomb targeted a pickup truck carrying pilgrims on their way to Karbala in Zafaraniya, southeastern Baghdad at 5.30 p.m. Saturday injuring eight pilgrims.

#1: An armed group fired Grad missiles at an Iraqi army camp in the southern Iraq city of al-Amara on Saturday, according to the Iraqi defense ministry in a statement. “A terrorist group on Saturday (Jan. 3) fired Grad missiles from al-Tayib area at a camp of the Iraqi army’s 10th Division’s 38th Infantry Brigade in Amara,” read the statement received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The statement did not mention how many rockets were fired.

#1: Three tribal leaders were killed or wounded when a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) targeted their vehicle in Sinjar district near Mosul city, the district’s mayor said on Saturday. “Today, two leaders of Zubayd al-Arabiya tribes in al-Biaaj were killed and a third one was wounded when a sticky explosive charge targeted their vehicle in Sinjar district (120 km west of Mosul),” Dakheel Qassem Hassoun told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi Army patrol in Sinjar, 120 km to the west of Mosul at 9 p.m. Friday injuring two civilians.

#1: Unknown gunmen in Kirkuk stormed the home of Anwar Mohedin Rasoul, a member of the Kurdistan Communist Party, and shot him dead, police said. It is not the first death of a communist party member in the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, which is 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: Gunmen killed a policeman in a drive-by shooting in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Iraqi police captured four militants who burned two schools being prepared as polling stations for the upcoming provincial elections in Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said. Iraqi police and U.S. forces sealed off the area afterwards to search for more gunmen

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two paramilitary soldiers were killed and four wounded in a landmine explosion in insurgency-hit southwest Pakistan on Saturday, an official said. The soldiers were patrolling a gas field in the town of Dera Bugti in gas-rich Baluchistan province on the border with Afghanistan and Iran when a landmine planted on a roadside exploded under their vehicle. "Two soldiers were killed and four others wounded in the incident," a spokesman for the paramilitary Frontier Corps told AFP.

#2: Unknown people killed Semon Mel Abdulghafur, a senior officer on tactics of the Security Forces of Gazni province, in Ahangaran region of the city at 05.30a.m. on Jan. 2, Seyyid Ismayil Jahangir, an official of Gazni province, told TrendNews. Two motorcyclists shot at the officer, the official of the province said.

#3: Pakistan's intelligence official said the authorities detained a senior Taliban figure in northwestern Pakistan, according to a report filed by local newspaper DAWN on its website on Saturday. The DAWN quoted the official who declined to be named as saying that Ustad Mohammed Yasir, who used to be Taliban leader Mullah Omar's spokesman, was detained in Peshawar, capital city of North West Frontier Province.