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

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

War News for Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously un reported by the military. Lance Cpl. Chadwick A. Gilliam died from an unknown cause which is pending upon the results of an autopsy while on a U.S. base in Kuwait on Saturday, January 3rd.

Jan. 5 airpower summary:

Two million pilgrims swarm Karbala:

U.S. Adds Eight Bases in Afghanistan: The U.S. Army is building eight major operating bases in southern Afghanistan in an expansion that underscores a new, larger troop commitment to try to defeat the stubborn Taliban insurgency. But two defense sources told HUMAN EVENTS the company will build eight of the largest FOBs in Afghanistan in the Kandahar area and other southern Afghanistan locations...."The earlier bases were meant to hold hundreds. These will house thousands," one source said. The price tag: about $400 million.

Troops Won't Get Purple Heart For Stress Disorder:

Gates estimates 2009 war costs at $136 billion:

Detainees in Afghanistan seeking right for release:

Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three civilians on Wednesday were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Diala’s Mandali district, according to a local official source. “Those kidnapped have been taken to an unknown destination,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.Investigations are currently underway, the source added, providing no further details.

Al Saadiya:
#1: One policeman on Wednesday evening was killed by unknown gunmen in Diala’s downtown district of al-Saadiya, according to a police source. “This evening, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a policeman in a market in al-Saadiya district (100 km north of Baaquba),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The policeman was seriously wounded and died on his way to the hospital,” the source added.

#1: One Sahwa (Awakening) fighter was killed by U.S. forces’ fire north of Hilla city, a source from Babel province’s police said on Wednesday. “U.S. forces on Wednesday afternoon killed one of the Sahwa (Awakening) fighters in al-Musayab suburb, 45 km north of Hilla city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The forces killed the fighter as he opened fire on their patrol,” he said.

#1: Four mortar shells were fired at a Multi-National Force (MNF) base near Kut city, without leaving casualties, a police source said on Wednesday. “The MNF’s Camp Delta Base (15 km west of Kut city) was attacked on Tuesday night (Jan. 6) by four mortar shells,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Shabaki lawmaker Haneen al-Qado from the Shiite Unified Iraqi Alliance (UIA) on Wednesday said that he survived an assassination attempt while celebrating Ashuraa in Mosul city. “My motorcade came under fire near Zen al-Abideen Shrine, at Bertela area in Mosul,” al-Qado told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Tuesday afternoon, a roadside bomb targeted the Rabia and Samar’s police convoy in Bab Sinjar neighborhood. Two policemen were wounded.

#3: Tuesday night, a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in Mosul. Two people were wounded including one soldier.

#4: Police found one dead body in Mosul on Tuesday.

#5: A bike rigged with explosives detonated in northern Mosul city, causing no casualties, a source from Ninewa police said on Wednesday. “A bicycle bomb targeted a police patrol vehicle in al-Majmoua al-Thaqafiyya area, northern Mosul, causing no casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The bomb went off after patrols belonging to Ninewa police had passed the location,” the source noted.

#6: One civilian body on Wednesday was found by police forces in western Mosul city, according to a local security source. “On Wednesday, police personnel found a body belonging to a taxi driver in Mosul al-Jadeeda area,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Forces from the U.S.-led coalition killed 32 armed insurgents during a clash in eastern Afghanistan, the military said Wednesday. The insurgents were killed Tuesday in a firefight that broke out during a strike on a Taliban bomb-making cell in Laghman Province, the military said in a statement. As many as 75 armed militants converged on the troops, shooting at them from rooftops and alleyways, the statement said. The 32 insurgents were killed when coalition troops returned fire.

#2: Separately Wednesday, Afghan army and coalition troops killed six militants in raid on a compound in western Farah province, the U.S. military said in another statement. There were no civilian casualties reported, the military said.

#3: Taliban attacked a police post in Pakistan’s troubled North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP) early Wednesday, killing three policemen and injuring one more, a security official said. “More than a dozen insurgents targeted the police cordon with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles at around 1:15 am (2015 GMT) in the outskirts of Hangu district,” said police official Munir Hussain. Three policemen were killed and one injured during the exchange of fire that continued for around one hour, he added. The militants, believed to be Taliban insurgents, also captured three more policemen deployed at the post.

#4: Eight women were killed in Afghanistan's southern Uruzgan province as a rocket hit a suburb outside the provincial capital of Trinkot, police said Wednesday. "There was a clash between insurgents and troops outside Trinkot on Monday and suddenly a rocket hit the area killing eight women and wounding nine others including a child," deputy police chief of the province Mohammad Gulab told Xinhua. He also added that the gruesome incident occurred in Qalai Naw village. Nevertheless, the police official said that it was unclear who fired the rocket, adding investigation was underway in this regard.

Casualty Reports:

Army Specialist Michael Wilson severely injured his spine about a month ago when his truck hit a land mine. Jim said his son gets around in a wheelchair. But he's on his feet as much as possible, usually with the help of a walker. Jim said, "he's also learning to walk on crutches. But he'll be walking eventually. That's pretty much a certainty."