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 29, 2009

War News for Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jan. 27 airpower summary:

Iraq won't allow Blackwater to operate in country:

Army Report Notes 231 Shock Incidents:

UN: 500,000 Iraqi refugees may return in 2009:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Gunmen killed Mayada al-Bayati, a female political activist for the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party, on Wednesday evening in the Yarmouk district of western Baghdad, police said. Bayati was shot 10 times in the chest.

#2: A gunman killed Omar Farooq al Ani, a candidate of Tawafoq front in Ameriyah neighborhood in south Baghdad. Al Ani was killed near his house in al Madhayif Street around 7 p.m.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen killed three men after kidnapping them. One of the three men is a candidate of the coming provincial election. Police found the three bodies in Mohammed al Malih village east of Baquba.

Candidate Abbas Farhan from the National Movement of Reform and Development was gunned down in a village near the town of Mandili in Diyala Province, northeast of Baghdad near the Iranian border, also after a campaign rally.

#1: A suspected al-Qaeda armed group on Thursday blew up three houses in the east of Baaquba, the commander of the 3rd brigade of the 5th division said. “Suspected al-Qaeda armed group blew up three deserted houses in Sisbana al-Kabiera village in Kanaan district, east of Baaquba, after planting bombs inside them,” Colonel Ali Mahmoud Muteab told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He did not add more details.

#1: A bomb attached to a vehicle killed Haider Nassir, a civil servant and a member of a party participating in Saturday's provincial election, in the city of Basra, 420 km (260 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. Nassir was not a candidate.

#2: Police forces on Wednesday foiled an attempt to bomb an oil well near Basra city, according to the media office of Basra police. “A force from the anti-explosives department defused an explosive charge planted near an oil well in Talha area (80 km north of Basra),” the office told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Iraqi security forces on Thursday detonated a car bomb in eastern Mosul, where Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki arrived in it to promote to his list’s electoral campaign, a security source said. “An Iraqi army force on Thursday (Jan. 29) managed to detonate a car crammed with explosives in al-Baath neighborhood in eastern Mosul, without casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen killed Hazim Salim Ahmed, a candidate for the provincial election in al Amil area in south Mosul city on Thursday evening

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The death of a newly married Assamese couple in Afghanistan has triggered a controversy with some family members saying that they were killed by the Taliban militia.

#2: The U.S.-led Coalition forces killed four armed militants during operations to disrupt the Taliban network in southern Afghan province of Zabul on Wednesday, said a Coalition statement issued here on Thursday. Coalition Forces targeted a known Taliban leader and explosives expert in Tarnak Wa Jaldak district where the forces engaged militants, killing four armed militants who were maneuvering against them, the statement said.

#3: Militants shot dead an ethnic Pashtun tribesman in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, after accusing him of spying for U.S. forces, residents and intelligence officials said. Militants blame spies for helping direct missile attacks by U.S. drone aircraft that have killed about 250 people, most of them militants, in more than 30 attacks over the past year.

#4: A landmine blast wounded 14 people, including 10 paramilitary soldiers, in the gas-rich southwestern province of Baluchistan where separatist militants have been fighting a low-level insurgency for decades, police said.

#5: Seven militants were killed on Wednesday during a military sweep in the northwestern Swat valley where troops have been battling Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants since 2007, military officials said.

#6: At least two militants were killed in a gun battle with security forces in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, private TV channel DAWN NEWS reported. Around 50 Taliban militants attacked a paramilitary check point outside the town of Bannu in North West Frontier Province and triggered a gun battle, said the report. The militants were armed with small and heavy weapons, and fired scores of rockets, the DAWN NEWS report said, adding that five militants were also injured

Casualty Reports:

Army SPC Reas Axtell, 25, On the evening of August 28, 2007 a rocket was lobbed into the U.S. Military base in Kirkuk. It landed four feet behind Reas. One of his friends was killed in the attack, several others were hurt and Reas was severely injured. it severely shattered the bones in both of his legs like broken glass. In order to save Reas' life, doctors had no choice but to perform a double hip disarticulation.