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 22, 2009

War News for Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jan. 20 airpower summary:

Iraqi government sharply cuts its expenditures:

Iraq ready for early US withdrawal:

Combat injuries hobbling ability to deploy U.S. soldiers:

In Afghan South, Taliban Fill NATO’s Big Gaps:

Salvadorian troops in Iraq return home - source:

No more Estonian troop units in Iraq:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A civilian was killed and two others were wounded on Thursday in a car bomb explosion in southeastern Baghdad. “A car rigged with explosives exploded targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol on the highway between al-Qanat region and al-Mashtal in southeastern Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring two,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion damaged a U.S. military vehicle,” he added.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in al Qanat Street, southeastern Baghdad at 8 a.m. Thursday damaging one Hummer vehicle. No casualties were reported.

#3: On Wednesday, one Iraqi soldier was killed and another was wounded when a U.S. patrol opened fire on them in al-Zaafaraniya area, southern Baghdad.

Abu Dashier:
#1: Joint Iraqi-U.S. forces on Thursday waged a security operation in south of Baghdad, eyewitnesses said. “The forces waged the operation in Abu Dashier region, south of Baghdad, searching for weapons,” eyewitnesses told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. They did not add more details.

#1: A woman on Wednesday was killed by a landmine in Jubeida area in the west of Basra province, according to the media office of the local police.”A landmine from previous wars detonated near a woman who was herding sheep in Jubeida area (40 km west of Basra), killing her on the spot,” the office told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Wednesday evening detonated near a Multi-National Force (MNF) patrol vehicle west of Basra city, causing no casualties or damage.

#1: Wednesday A child was severely wounded by an explosive charge that targeted a U.S. patrol vehicle in Samarra, a security source said. “This afternoon, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a U.S. patrol vehicle in downtown al-Dour district, seriously wounding a child, Omar Hizaa,” a source from the joint coordination center in Tikrit city told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: One unidentified body, with the head cut off was found by a police patrol in al Eit neighbourhood, 30 km to the east of the city of Samarra, Wednesday. The body was clad in a traditional dishdasha gown and was partially decomposed.

#1: U.S. forces on Thursday killed three brothers inside their house, in a raid operation in southern Mosul city, said a source from Ninewa province’s police. “U.S. forces on today at dawn raided a house in Albosaif village, southern Mosul, and killed three brothers inside the house,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He did not mention further details.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan troops killed eight militants and wounded two others in eastern Khost province early Thursday, said Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the spokesman for the defense ministry. The soldiers were dropped in to the area by helicopter, sparking fighting that lasted hours, Azimi said. The dead included foreigners, but Azimi did not disclose their nationalities.

NATO-led forces killed 22 militants in ground and air assaults in Afghanistan's eastern province of Khost overnight, the alliance said on Thursday. A NATO-led patrol was attacked by Taliban insurgents and foreign forces retaliated with close-air and ground support, killing 22 militants in Babrak Tana district, which is close to the Pakistani border, the alliance said. Earlier a statement from the Ministry of Defense said Afghan troops killed eight insurgents and wounded two more in a fierce battle in the same district of Khost province overnight.

#2: Separately, U.S. coalition troops killed six Taliban fighters during a raid on militants blamed for roadside bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, a coalition statement said. In southern Zabul province, meanwhile, the U.S. coalition troops hunted Wednesday for a Taliban commander involved in a roadside-bomb network and the movement of foreign fighters, a coalition statement said. The U.S. soldiers clashed with Taliban militants who opened fire on them from their compound after they refused to leave peacefully, it said. Five insurgents were killed in the gunbattle, and one militant who fired from behind large rocks died in an airstrike.

#3: U.S.led coalition troops killed six militants and detained one more in an operation targeting roadside bomb network in the Dechopan district some 250 km (155 miles) southwest of Kabul on Wednesday, a U.S. military statement said.

#4: Two children were wounded when ammunition being used by the militants went off during NATO-led troop operations targeting them in the Sangin district some 490 km (305 miles) southwest of Kabul on Monday, ISAF statement said.

Casualty Reports:

Canadian Private Andrew Knisley, the London soldier who lost his leg in Afghanistan this week. Knisley was injured Monday while on patrol outside Kandahar when a roadside bomb detonated. On Monday, he was listed in serious condition and had his right leg amputated. His condition has stabilized, his sister said. Knisley also has nerve damage in his right arm, with one nerve completely severed.