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 24, 2009

War News for Saturday, January 24, 2009

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed province in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, January 24th. We assume this to be an American soldier.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier of non-combat related causes in an undisclosed location in southern Iraq on Saturday, January 24th.

Jan. 22 airpower summary:

Iraq asks Iran opposition group to move voluntary:

2000 indigents in Basra rally demand help from Iraq's Maliki:

Musharraf blames U.S. for failing to capture bin Laden:

Five UN schools destroyed in Pakistan violence:

Iraq to reopen Abu Ghraib prison:

Marines might be out of Iraq by July: The top Marine Corps commander said yesterday that his forces already have begun pulling equipment out of Iraq and that nearly all his troops could be out in six months.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: One civilian man was killed and two others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went of in western Baghdad city on Friday, according to an Iraqi police source. “The IED, which was emplaced at the intersection of al-Khadraa neighborhood, western Baghdad, left a civilian killed and two others wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded a civilian as a police patrol passed by in Khaldiya, 80 km (50 miles), west of Baghdad, Police Captain Kareem Ali said.

#3: A roadside bomb detonated in Palestine street (east Baghdad) around 7:45 p.m. One person was wounded.

#4: Gunmen threw a grenade on the people at the Adhemiyah coast road in northern Baghda around 8 p.m. Three people were wounded.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A bomb placed on a bicycle wounded a civilian and a policeman when it struck a police patrol in the centre of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in downtown Baquba around 10 a.m. Three people were wounded including two policemen.

#1: Gunmen burned three truck trailers in Sadiya village (northeast of Baquba) on Friday night. One driver was killed while the other two are missing.

#1: Three civilians were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack near their vehicle southeast of the city of Baaquba on Saturday, a security source in Diala said. “An IED went off near a vehicle on the main road in Mandili district, (90 km) southeast of Baaquba, wounding three civilians on board,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Saturday opened fire on the house of a provincial candidate in downtown Hilla city, but no casualties were reported, according to a security source.

Al Hafriya district:
#1: A roadside bomb went off on Saturday targeting a U.S. convoy in northern Wassit, devastating one of the convoy’s vehicles, said a source from the province’s police. “A roadside bomb, which was planted by unknown individuals on the highway connecting Kut to Baghdad near al-Hafriya district (105 km north of Kut city), detonated targeting a U.S. convoy,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “One U.S. military Hummer vehicle was devastated in the attack,” he added.

Jarf al Sakhr:
#1: Four Sahwa (Awakening) council fighters were killed or wounded in an armed attack on their checkpoint near Hilla city, according to a police source. “Unknown gunmen attacked a checkpoint set up by Sahwa forces in Jarf al-Sakhr district (60 km northwest of Hilla), killing two Sahwa fighters and wounding two others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The gunmen fled to an unknown destination after they had caused material damage to the building,” the source noted.

#1: Five rockets on Saturday fell on the U.S.-run Camp Echo in western Diwaniya province, according to an Iraqi army source. “A fire broke out inside the camp following the attack,” eyewitnesses told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.Aswat al-Iraq news agency contacted the media advisor for the Multi-National Force (MNF), who said he has no information to release in this regard.

#1: A security plan on Saturday was launched in Basra province to maintain law and order during the upcoming provincial elections, due to be held later this month, Basra’s Operations Command said. “A joint force from the army and police was deployed to roads and checkpoints as part of a security plan to secure the electoral process,” Col. Abbas al-Tamimi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The plan will be entirely carried out by Iraqi forces, the official explained, adding that the Multi-National Force (MNF) will remain in its bases.

#1: US soldiers killed an Iraqi couple and wounded their eight-year-old daughter during a raid against suspects near the northern city of Kirkuk on Saturday, police and the US military said.
The incident took place at 2 am (2300 GMT on Friday) when troops burst into the home of Hussein Ali, a police source said. They killed him and his wife, and wounded the child, according to a neighbour in Hawijah village, west of Kirkuk. A US army spokesman confirmed the casualties, saying the raid was a combined operation with Iraqi security forces in Haqijah.

#1: A civilian man was killed and two others wounded in a blast from an improvised explosive device in the city of Mosul on Saturday, a police source in Ninewa said. “An IED went off near a police patrol in Bab al-Jadeed area, central Mosul, killing a civilian and wounding two others, including a policeman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A car bomber has struck a police checkpoint northwest of Baghdad, killing at least 5 policemen and wounding 13 people, police says. The bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into a police checkpoint in Jarma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad on Saturday. Five policemen were killed and thirteen others including six police officers and seven civilians were wounded in the bombing.

Iraqi officials say three people have been killed in a suicide car bombing west of Baghdad. Police say the attack targeted a police patrol in the former insurgent stronghold of Karmah. Police and hospital officials say those killed in Saturday's attack include a senior police officer and two civilians. They say six other people were wounded.

Thirteen people have been killed in a car bomb attack targeting a police patrol near the western Iraqi city of Falluja, police have said. A spokesman said the police patrol was returning to its base in the town of al-Karmah when the attack happened.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The U.S. coalition said Saturday that an overnight raid killed 15 Taliban militants but village elders who quickly traveled to speak with government officials said the dead were all civilians. A detailed U.S. statement said multiple teams of militants fired on the coalition forces during a raid in the eastern province of Laghman, including a woman the U.S. said was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade. "We know the people who were killed were shooting at us," said Col. Greg Julian, the top U.S. spokesman in Afghanistan. "The people who were killed today were running around, maneuvering against our forces, and we killed them. "But Hamididan Abdul Rahmzai, the head of the provincial council in Laghman, said village elders arrived at his office hours after the early morning operation to complain that the 15 killed were innocent civilians.

#2: update Suspected U.S. missiles killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border yesterday in the first such attacks on the militant stronghold since President Barack Obama took office, Pakistani officials said. At least five foreign militants were among those killed in the strikes by unmanned aircraft in two parts of the frontier region, an intelligence official said without naming them. There was no information on the identities of the others. The missiles destroyed two buildings, killing 10 people, at least five of whom were foreign militants, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Hours later, a second missile struck a house in South Waziristan, killing eight people, the officials said, giving no more details.

#3: Two civilians have been unintentionally killed with four more wounded by friendly fire of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in southern Afghan province of Helmand, said ISAF statements received here on Saturday. A local man, who was suspected laying IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) near an ISAF base in Gereshk district, was killed by ISAF forces on Thursday, the statement said. It added that an ISAF soldier killed the victim after he ignored two warning shot and kept digging.

One Afghan girl was killed and two more were wounded when rockets, fired by insurgents at a NATO-led base, missed their target and landed on a house in Kunar province, 155 km (95 miles) northeast of Kabul, on Friday, the alliance said.

#4: Two civilians were killed and eight wounded late Saturday when a suicide bomb ripped through a busy market in eastern Afghanistan, local officials and police said. "The attacker was on foot, walking in the local bazaar when he exploded in the middle of the crowd," Sam Kanai district Governor Sadat told AFP. "Two people were killed and eight wounded, all are civilians," he said. Paktia province police chief Ghulam Dastaijeer said that the case was under investigation.

Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Terry Fleming, 26, On May 14, 2007 a roadside bomb had exploded under Fleming’s Humvee while he was on patrol in Iraq. Flames had burned every part of his body except his torso and the top of his head. The intense heat had singed the pigment off his face. The flames had destroyed so much skin on his arms and legs that his body oozed blood. He lost the fingers on his right hand. He is missing his pinkie on the left. The heat singed the pigment off his face except for the area where his chin strap wrapped around his face and chin.

Maj. David Rozelle is the first amputee in to return on active duty to a combat zone. While in Iraq, commanding 140 troops of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Maj. Rozelle lost part of his right leg when a landmine exploded under his Humvee.