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 20, 2009

War News for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Staff Sergeant. Joshua died of injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on Friday, January 16th.

Jan. 18 airpower summary:

Tribal Rivalries Persist as Iraqis Seek Local Posts:

US reaches deal on Afghan supply routes to troops:

Pentagon sending Navy "Seabees" to Afghanistan:

Afghan insurgents learn to avoid airstrikes:

Afghanistan seeks control over NATO deployments:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An Iraqi high-ranking official survived a bomb explosion on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said. Ammar Aziz Muhammad Ali, undersecretary of Higher Education Ministry, escaped unhurt when a roadside bomb went off near his convoy in the Nidhal Street in Baghdad central district of Karrada, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The blast wounded two of Ali's bodyguards and two bystanders, along with damaging one of his convoy's vehicles, the source said.

#2: In separate incident, two civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb went off in the neighborhood of Zaiyounah in east of the capital, the source added.

#3: Another civilian was injured in the day when a roadside bomb detonated at an intersection in the Shaab district in northern Baghdad, he said.

#4: Three Iraqi army soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in northern Baghdad, police said.

#5: Two people were wounded by a roadside bomb near the Shaab soccer stadium in central Baghdad, police said.

#6: A roadside bomb wounded five members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol and three civilians on Monday in Adhamiya district of northern Baghdad, police said.

#7: At least five people were wounded in a car bomb explosion targeting a U.S. patrol in Baghdad's western district of Mansour on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said. "A car bomb parked at the Amirat Street in Mansour neighborhood went off at around 3:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) near a passing U.S. patrol," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. A plume of gray smoke rose into the air by the powerful blast that also badly charred five civilian cars at the scene, the source said. It was not clear whether the U.S. troops sustained any casualty as they sealed off the area preventing the Iraqi police from approaching the scene, the source added.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three pedestrians were wounded in the city of Baquba when a bomb exploded near the entrance of the headquarters of a Sunni political bloc participating in the upcoming provincial elections, police said. Baquba is 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad

#1: Police Colonel Adbulmajid Mohammed was killed by an explosive device planted under his car in the town of al-Zubair, near the oil-rich southern city of Basra, a police source said. His driver, also a police officer, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after the bomb detonated as they were driving to work.

#1: Police shot dead a suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt when he tried to approach their checkpoint in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. One policeman was wounded in the incident.

An Iraqi police force foiled Tuesday a suicide bomb attack on their checkpoint in the city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, a local police source said. The policemen opened fire on a suicide bomber who blew up his explosive vest near their checkpoint in the Yarmouk district in western Mosul, wounding three policemen, including one in a critical condition, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The policemen had suspicions on the man who was approaching their checkpoint and ordered him to stop, instead, the man ran toward them, prompting them to open fire and a powerful explosion occurred just close to their position, the source said.

Tal Afar:
#1: Six persons on Tuesday were wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at a security checkpoint in Talaafar district, according to a police source. “A gunman threw a hand grenade at a police checkpoint in Hassan Koi area (60 km west of Mosul city), wounding six persons, including two police personnel,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Suspected Taliban militants killed six alleged U.S. spies in a lawless region of northwest Pakistan police said Tuesday. A tribal police official, Sharif Ullah, said the bodies of the six accused spies were found at two militant strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border early Tuesday. Five Pakistani men were shot to death in the town of Miran Shah, while the sixth man - an Afghan national - had been hanged from a tree in the town Mir Ali, he said.

#2: The slayings came hours before a bomb wounded five police officers in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan. Police official Mohammed Ashraf said the blast Tuesday hit a police vehicle when it stopped on a road in Peshawar. Unidentified assailants planted the bomb in a section of gas pipeline under construction, he said, adding the possibility of a gas explosion had been ruled out.

#3: US-led coalition in Afghanistan has killed 22 Taliban militants, including two of their commanders, the US military has announced. A Taliban commander, Mullah Patang, and 18 fighters were killed on Monday during an operation at Kapisa, around 50 kilometers north of Kabul, reads a US military statement released Tuesday.

#4: Separately, the international forces reportedly killed another Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Rahim Akhund, and one of his aides in an operation in southern Kandahar province on Monday.

#5: In addition, two more militants were killed in the neighboring Zabul province, adds the statement.

#6: A series of controlled military explosions spread alarm in the Afghan capital as President Hamid Karzai addressed parliament on Tuesday. The blasts were heard in east Kabul, and a U.S. forces spokeswoman told Reuters there were two controlled explosions, carried-out at an Afghan National Army training centre.

#7: Two police were killed and two more including one civilian sustained injuries as a bicycle bomb rocked Taliban former stronghold Kandahar in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, provincial administration spokesman Zalmai Ayubi said. "The gruesome incident occurred in Kandahar city, the capital of Kandahar province, at 1:30 p.m. local time (0900 GMT) killing two police on the spot and wounding two others including one police and one passerby," Ayubi told Xinhua.

#8: Taliban militants stormed a police post near Afghanistan&aposs western border with Turkmenistan, killing three policemen and abducting eight others, local officials said today. The armed insurgents attacked the post in the northwestern province of Badghis yesterday, deputy provincial governor Abdul Ghani Sabir told AFP. " Three policemen were killed in the attack and Taliban took eight other policemen hostage,"he said. Sabir had no information on any casualties among the attackers.

#9: Suspected separatist militants shot dead three people in an attack late on Monday in gas-rich Baluchistan province, police said.

Casualty Reports:

Canadian Pvt. Andrew Knisely had been badly injured when what's believed to have been an improvised explosive device went off as he was on patrol in Afghanistan. He reportedly lost part of his right leg to the blast and there are questions about whether doctors will be able to save his right arm.

Mary Dague, 24, picked up a partially defused homemade bomb in Iraq in November 2007. she had lost her arms, much of her hearing and some of her eyesight and suffered a fractured occipital bone in the blast.

Spc. Leigh Herring, 28, was in a nearby building at Camp Eggers, located in Kabul, when the driver detonated his bomb. "The car bomb ran into a fuel tanker and it was like a gas station blowing up," said his mother, Diana Dailey of Chillicothe. "He was about 30 or 40 feet away. The shrapnel or glass came through the window and knocked him across the floor." Herring suffered 46 lacerations from the flying debris plus a concussion. His wife, Cassandra Herring, said the Army was going to fly him to a medical facility in Germany for further testing. "They called it traumatic brain injury, bruising on the brain. He has significant memory loss but they (the military) are hoping it will repair itself," said an exhausted Cassandra Herring on Monday.