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 27, 2009

War News for Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, January 27. No other details were released. We are assuming that these are American soldiers.

Jan. 23 airpower summary:

Jan. 24 airpower summary:

Jan. 25 airpower summary:

Britain ordered to release Iraq war cabinet minutes:

Iraq to close borders, conduct vehicle ban on election day:

U.S. will likely lower its goals for Afghanistan: officials:

NATO: 3,000 US troops deploy near Afghan capital:

Two Prisons, Similar Issues for President:

Official: 300 wounded in Sri Lanka artillery fire:

Video: Obama's interview with al Arabiya television:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A high-ranking Iraqi official survived unhurt a roadside bomb explosion near his convoy in central Baghdad on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said. An explosive charge went off near the convoy of Maj. Gen. Ahmed Jasim al-Attiyah, director-general of central Iraq customs office, in the Uqba Bin Nafie Square in Karrada district, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The blast occurred when Attiyah was on his way to work, damaging one of his vehicles and wounding three bodyguards aboard, the source said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: The house of Diala’s land forces commander on Tuesday was totally destroyed when a number of explosive charges went off inside it, causing no casualties, according to a source from the province’s police. “The house is in al-Mohandiseen neighborhood, central Baaquba city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The house was empty when the explosion occurred,” he added.

#1: Four persons were killed and another was wounded in a car bomb blast that ripped through eastern Mosul city, according to an army source. “A car bomb went off near the 14 th headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The dead were three soldiers and an army officer,” the source explained.“A member of the Peshmerga forces was also wounded,” he added, providing no further details.

Al Anbar prv:
#1: Gunmen attacked and set fire to a voting station on Tuesday in an Iraqi province that was once the heartland of Sunni Islamist resistance to the U.S. invasion, police said four days before milestone local polls. The voting station set up in a school in a remote area 10 km (6 miles) south of the city of Falluja in the western province of Anbar was unoccupied and nobody was hurt in the attack, said police major Ahmed al-Falluji.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan and international forces killed five Taliban fighters in an overnight gunbattle in southern Afghanistan, an official said Tuesday. Taliban militants were also wounded in the clash in Nawa district of Helmand province, but it was unclear how many, said Provincial Police Chief Assadullah Sherzad. He said neither Afghan nor international forces reported any casualties. He did not say what sparked the fighting, which ended in the Taliban's retreat.

#2: Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said three civilians were killed late Monday in eastern Nangarhar province when their minivan was hit by a remote-controlled bomb blast. No explanation was given for the attack, which occurred while the vehicle was headed toward the city of Jalalabad, the ministry said.

#3: In southern Kandahar province on Tuesday, a roadside bomb struck a police patrol and wounded two officers. The bomb went off in the center of Kandahar city, the provincial capital, said provincial Police Chief Matiullah Khan Qateh. The officers were riding in a police vehicle when the attack occurred, Qateh said. The vehicle was lightly damaged, and two other policemen in it were not hurt, Qateh said. No civilians were hurt.

#4: Iran's judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, said on Tuesday that 12 border policemen have been killed in an ambush by rebels on the Pakistani border. "They (the policemen) were on a mission and they were trapped in the bandits' ambush and 12 of them were killed," Jamshidi said. The rebels fled after the attack on Sunday in the town of Saravan, located in the southeast border area of Sistan-Baluchestan province, he added.

#5: On Monday, Iran's Students news agency (ISNA) reported "A truck which was used to feeding the border outposts with their provisions was attacked by the rebels in an ambush in the zero bordering point of Iran and Pakistan, which led to the martyrdom of some of Iran's border policemen." The report did not say how many Iranian policemen were killed in the ambush.

#6: Two border police officers were killed on Monday night when insurgents ambushed them in the Ghazi Abad district, some 155 km (95 miles) east of Kabul, the provincial police chief said.

Casualty Reports:

Pfc. Justin Shults, 21, said Monday that he suffered his injuries last October in a shower trailer that KBR Inc. had delivered to his unit. Shults, who is recovering in an outpatient unit at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, said in a telephone interview he has burns on his limbs and groin. Shults said he turned on the water and, finding it still too cold in the shower, adjusted a wall heating and air conditioner unit. He was knocked out by an extreme electric shock, he said, and was taken for medical treatment by other soldiers who noticed severe burns on his leg.