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 17, 2009

War News for Saturday, January 17, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an undisclosed neighborhood of Baghdad on Friday, January 16th.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting the death of a U.S. soldier from a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, January 17th. Six additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. Four Afghanis were also killed and nineteen others wounded. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin said "some personnel" were wounded in the blast, but he did not give numbers.

Jan. 14 airpower summary:

Jan. 15 airpower summary:

5 Illinois guardsmen wounded by Kabul suicide bomb:

Kyrgyzstan to close US airbase "in a matter of days"

Drama in Guantanamo: Will Obama halt war court sessions?

MOD confirms 'Friendly Fire' investigation:

#1: An explosive-charge stuck to the car of the head of municipal office of Mansour district detonated in Baghdad's western neighborhood of Yarmouk, killing the driver and wounding a bystander, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The attack took place in the morning when the driver was heading to the residence of the official to take him for work, the source said.

#2: In a separate incident, three civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a primary school in the al-Furat neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad, the source added.

Two civilians on Saturday were wounded when an explosive charge went off in western Baghdad, according to a police source. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) stuck to a civilian vehicle detonated in al-Yarmuk neighborhood, western Baghdad, wounding two civilians who were taken to the nearby al-Yarmuk Hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Saturday went off near a truck in the southwest of Kirkuk city, wounding its driver, according to a local police source. “The explosion, which occurred near al-Humeira gas station on Kirkuk-Tikrit road (30 km southwest of Kirkuk), caused the vehicle to overturn and wounded its driver, who was taken to the hospital,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least two people were killed Saturday morning after a suicide bomb exploded near the German embassy in Kabul, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. One of the dead was a child, said Gen. Mohammed Zaher Azimi. He said another 23 people were wounded, four of them seriously.
Azimi's figure contradicts a report from the Interior Ministry soon after the blast that seven people were killed. Five U.S. forces were wounded in the blast, three of them seriously, said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Kubik, a spokesman for the U.S. military. Several embassy staff were also wounded and the explosion caused damage to the embassy compound, the German Foreign Ministry said. The blast occurred in the Afghan capital around 9:30 a.m. (midnight ET) in an area near a military base as well as the German embassy, an Interior Ministry official said. Afghan security officials had been in the area stopping and checking every car before the bomb went off, CNN's Atia Abawi reported. A fuel tanker was burned in the explosion, the force of which could be felt blocks away.

#2: In Saturday's second attack, a suicide bomber in a minivan charged a convoy of NATO troops and Afghan police in eastern Nangarhar province. The explosion in Chaparhar district killed one civilian and wounded three others, said Ghafor Khan, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. He said three police were also wounded. Mujahid said the bombing was aimed at the foreign military forces in the convoy. A spokesman for NATO forces, Sgt. Brian Jones, confirmed the bomb attack on the convoy. He said no NATO troops were killed or wounded.

Casualty Reports:

Marine Lance Cpl. Marc Olson, 20, of Coal City, after he was severely in-jured Nov. 8 in a suicide bomber attack in Iraq. The young Marine was wounded when two suicide bombers assaulted a police headquarters in Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, killing eight people and injuring seven others. He was flown to a hospital in Germany, and from there to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.All his facial bones had been broken, and he suffered major head, neck, and eye injuries. He underwent surgery at Bethesda before coming home for the Christmas holidays, then went back for additional medical care.