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

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

War News for Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jan. 9 airpower summary:

Jan. 10 airpower summary:

Jan. 11 airpower summary:

Iran arrests four over 'CIA-backed plot'

Army suicides rise as time spent in combat increases: The Marine Corps reported 41 actual or suspected suicides in 2008, a 20% increase over 33 in 2007. In 2007, the Army counted 115 suicides, the most since tracking began in 1980. By October 2008, that record had been surpassed with 117 soldier suicides. Final numbers for 2008 have not been released. Suicides among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans doubled from 52 in 2004 to 110 in 2006, the latest statistics available, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Washington Flip-Flops Over Replacement of Apaches:

Biden discusses troop withdrawals with Iraq leader:

20th anniversary of withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan to be marked in Armenia:

Kyrgyzstan plans to evict U.S. airbase - source:

Afghan force supplies face Pakistani disruption:

U.S. Construction in Afghanistan Sign of Long Commitment: The Army is building $1.1 billion worth of military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and is planning to start an additional $1.3 billion in projects this year, according to Col. Thomas E. O'Donovan, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan District.

NY Times: Obama’s Plan to Close Prison at Guantánamo May Take Year: President-elect Barack Obama plans to issue an executive order on his first full day in office directing the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, people briefed by Obama transition officials said Monday......

New Paths to Power Emerge in Iraq:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Monday Iraqi police found on dead body in Dora neighborhood in Baghdad.

#2: A police officer was injured on Tuesday in a bomb explosion in the southeast of Baghdad, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off targeting a police vehicle patrol in Mohamed al-Qassem street in the southeast of Baghdad, injuring a police officer,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Three mortar rounds fell in Raghiba Khatun, a residential neighbourhood Adhamiyah, northern Baghdad at 7.30 p.m. Tuesday injuring seven civilians and causing severe damage to three houses.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted a National Police patrol in Doura, southern Baghdad at 8 p.m. injuring eight civilians.

#1: Explosives experts on Tuesday defused an improvised explosive device (IED) in a Tikrit University lecture hall, according to a local media source. “While conducting a routine check on the university’s facilities, security guards found a locally-made explosive charge connected to a mobile phone inside a lecture hall,” a media source from the university told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in New Mosul, western Mosul City killing one policeman, injuring another.

#2: A roadside bomb killed a policeman when it struck his police patrol on Monday in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: Gunmen opened fire on and wounded an off-duty policeman in Mosul on Monday, police said.

#4: Gunmen opened fire upon a policeman in al Najafi Street, central Mosul severely wounding him.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An Afghan army commander for southern Afghanistan claimed Tuesday that government forces backed by NATO troops killed 12 Taliban militants in a clash in the volatile region. Troops clashed with the rebels at Safaid Masjed in the Gerishk district of southern Helmand province Monday, General Mohaiyodin Ghori, the top Afghan army commander in the region, said. 'According to our intelligence report 12 Taliban militants were killed in the attack,' Ghori said, adding that there were no casualties of government troops or NATO forces.

#2: A Nato supply depot in north-west Pakistan has been attacked by suspected militants, the first such raid since a major army offensive against them. Several rockets were fired at the terminal on the outskirts of Peshawar, damaging a number of trucks. A senior police officer, Fida Mohammad, told Agence France-Presse news agency: "The militants fired six rockets on a Nato terminal during the night. One truck was hit and it caught fire, while three other vehicles suffered minor damage." He said there was a brief exchange of fire with police but the attackers fled.

#3: But ethnic Pashtun tribesmen, protesting against security force searches for militants, have been blocking the road to the border since Saturday. "Not a single truck has gone to the border in the past three days. We're in talks to settle things down," senior provincial government official Khaliq Nazar Kayani told Reuters. Kayani is based in the town of Qila Abdullah, about 70 km (45 miles) southwest of the Chaman border crossing, where the protesters have been blocking the road. Tribal elder Abdul Qahar Wadan said the blockade would go on until the government punished those responsible for what he described as unjust searches. "They have no right to enter our houses without proof. It's against our customs and honour," Wadan said. Hundreds of trucks have been stopped and are parked by the side of the road in Qila Abdullah, residents said.

#4: ISAF troops based in Herat province injured two civilians in a traffic accident in Herat city. According to eyewitnesses, a tank driven by ISAF troops , hit a motorbike in the Bakarabad area of Herat city and caused two civilian casualties.

#5: Taliban militants shot dead an Afghan national in Pakistan's lawless northwestern tribal belt after accusing him of spying for the United States, a local official said Tuesday. The bullet-riddled body of Bahadur Khan was found early Tuesday in a market in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, the official said, adding that Khan had been kidnapped from the same place the previous day. "A note found with the body said, 'He was spying for the U.S. and anyone spying on us will end up like this,'" the official said.

Casualty Reports:

British soldier Peter Bowker, of Uplands Avenue, Connah's Quay, nearly lost a leg in the explosion after being badly injured in a bomb attack in Afghanistan. He is on crutches and will be unable to walk for several months. His heel was also badly damaged.

Scott West lost both legs while serving in Iraq when his Humvee hit an improvised explosive device.

Staff Sgt. Gabriel Garcia is hospitalized in Germany after he was struck by shrapnel in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. His wife, Christina, says surgeons had to amputate her husband's right arm after last Thursday's bombing.

I suspect that since Biden is in Iraq the western corporate media's will remain quite on most developments in Iraq under the guise of security. In other words we have another media blackout. --wisker.