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 28, 2009

War News for Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jan. 26 airpower summary:

Official: Sri Lanka fight kills over 300 civilians:

Obama to hear advice of service chiefs on Iraq:

Free press and free real estate collide in Iraq:

Early voting begins in Iraq provincial elections:

Gates skeptical about vast troop boost in Afghanistan:

Egypt named as F-16 sales candidate: (looks like a pay-off to me)

INTERVIEW-As Afghanistan hots up, private security moves in:

Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
#1: Eight Iraqi soldiers on Wednesday were killed or wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near Baaquba city, according to a security source. “This evening, an explosive charge detonated on a main road linking Hamreen Lake to al-Saadiya district (155 km northeast of Baaquba city), killing two army personnel and wounding six others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Police forces defused four roadside bombs in al-Haideriya district, northern Najaf, and arrested three persons accused of planning them, Najaf police commander said on Wednesday. “On Wednesday morning, four roadside bombs that were planted on al-Haideriya area, on the road leading to Karbala city, were defused,” General Abdilkareem Mustaf al-Amiri told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The roadside bombs are of the remote-control type, and were seized based on intelligence tips,” he said.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: Meanwhile, a police source said that another civilian was injured when a bomb exploded targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol in Touz Khormato, south of Kirkuk.

#2: Two policemen on Wednesday were killed in an armed attack on a polling center in Touz Khormato district, according to a security source. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on an electoral center in Touz Khormato district (80 km south of Kirkuk), killing two police personnel, including an officer,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A civilian was killed on Wednesday by an unknown gunman in northern Kirkuk, a senior police officer said. “An unidentified gunman shot and killed a civilian inside his store in al-Shourga neighborhood in northern Kirkuk,” Colonel Bisto Mohamed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: a policeman was killed by a roadside bomb.

A policeman was killed on Wednesday in a bomb explosion in western Mosul, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off on Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 28) targeting a police vehicle patrol in Mosul al-Jadieda region in western Mosul, killing a policeman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: three people were wounded by a bomb in a shop that sells military uniforms.

“An improvised explosive device (IED) placed inside a dressmaker’s store went off in Halab street in central Mosul on Wednesday (Jan. 28), injuring three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban insurgents abducted nine workers of a private construction company in a raid in western Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. The militants also burnt down rooms housing the employees of the firm along with their equipment in the attack on Tuesday in Robat Sangi district of Herat province, the ministry said in a statement. The workers were constructing a border police post in the area.

#2: Pakistani military said Wednesday its security forces killed 12 suspected Taliban militants during a major anti-insurgent operation in a tribal village bordering Afghanistan. Security forces were acting on intelligence that militants had gathered in Tor Chaphar, a village on the outskirts of the lawless northwestern town of Darra Adam Khel Bazaar, and were preparing an attack, said the military. The military's media department said security forces armed with heavy artillery pounded suspected hideouts Tuesday and killed 12 militants. The troops suffered no casualties, a statement said.

#3: Taliban militants blew up a boys' school and the houses of six pro-government tribal elders in troubled northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border, a local official said on Wednesday. The incidents took place late on Tuesday in the tribal region of Bajaur, where government troops have been engaged in fierce fighting with extremist rebels since launching an operation last August. "A government-run boys' school and houses of six pro-government elders were blown up in different parts of Bajaur," local administration official Mohammad Jamil Khan told AFP. There were no reports of casualties.

#4: A roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying civilians in southern Afghanistan, killing four and wounding nine, police said Wednesday. Police blamed the Taliban for planting the mine that caused Tuesday's blast in the Zhari district of the southern Kandahar province, police said in a statement.

Casualty Reports:

Robert Andrzejczak, 22, was quick with a quip when he survived a grenade attack in Iraq, even though he lost much of his left leg. he survived the attack earlier this month (01/09) by insurgents in Bayji, Iraq. He initially lost the leg below the knee, but after a severe infection and several operations, more of his leg had to be removed. he had shrapnel in his right leg, and suffered burns to his face and ears.