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

Thursday, January 1, 2009

War News for Thursday, January 01, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a Marine from an "explosion" in the Sangin district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 31st. Here's the ISAF statement.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the death of a second ISAF soldier in a hostile incident in an undisclosed province in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 31st. No other details were released.

Iraq takes control of Green Zone from the U.S.

British forces hand Basra airport to Iraqis:

Salvadorian troops in Iraq to go home:

Post-Tribune columnist: Why Bush now ranks as our worst president: For the past several months, we have listened to right-wing pundits trying to rewrite the legacy of President Bush. They moan and groan and say he wasn't so bad, bending the truth like a Texas pretzel....

Sri Lanka: Military seizes key rebel crossroads:

Lankan troops aim at former rebel administrative town:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: U.S. forces opened fire on Thursday at a staffer from the satellite TV station Biladi in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, leaving her seriously wounded, according to the channel director. “Colleague Hadeel Emad, a montage staffer working for Biladi channel, was seriously wounded today (1-1-2009) after U.S. soldiers opened fire at her near al-Jadiriya bridge in Baghdad, without any apparent reason,” Sattar Ghanim told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Emad is now in a hospital in a very critical condition as the bullet she received badly damaged her midsection,” he said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three civilians were wounded on Thursday when an improvised explosive device went off near their car in south of Mendli district, a security source said. “The explosion took place in Nada region in south of Mendli, injuring the three civilians and damaging the car,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Two Katyusha rockets were fired at a Multi-National Force (MNF) base near Kut city, a local source in Wassit’s police said on Wednesday. “On Wednesday evening, the MNF’s Camp Delta Base (15 km west of Kut city) was hit by a Katyusha rocket attack,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Three gunmen were killed on Thursday in clashes that took place near al-Huwaiyja district in southwest Kirkuk, the chief of the local police said. “Three gunmen were killed in clashes that broke out with security forces near al-Mahoush village in al-Huwaiyja district, southwest of Kirkuk,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq, noting that one of them are al-Qaeda member.

#1: Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. soldiers, killed three gunmen on Wednesday after clashes in a village southwest of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: One militant was killed and another was wounded while the men were planting a roadside bomb in southern Kirkuk on Wednesday, police said

#3: A missile hit one of the coalition forces headquarters in the Baath neighborhood in Kirkuk city Wednesday. No casualties reported.

#1: Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman in a drive-by shooting in eastern Mosul, police said.

#2: Three policemen were killed and a civilian was injured in a truck bomb explosion in southern Mosul, an official police source said on Thursday. “A truck rigged with explosives went off in a garage in Wadi al-Ain region in southern Mosul, killing three policemen and injuring a civilian.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Five persons were killed Thursday when suspected US drones carried out a fresh missile strike in South Waziristan tribal region, reported ARY OneWorld. The drone fired three missiles at Karikot village in South Waziristan, official sources were quoted as saying by news reports. Security officials said that one of the missiles had targeted a moving vehicle killing all three people inside. Two more deaths were reported in other missile hits. It was not immediately known if the dead were foreigners or local tribesmen.

#2: Taliban militants attacked police officers assigned to protect a senior district official in the southern province of Helmand on Wednesday, killing 20 of them. Dawood Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Helmand authorities, said the attack took place in the Musa Qala district of Helmand when Taliban militants attacked guards at security posts around the home of Mullah Salam, the district governor. The governor was not home when the attack took place and was unhurt, local officials said.