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

Friday, February 13, 2009

War News for Friday, February 13, 2009

CENTCOM is reporting the death of a Coalition service member from enemy-fire/small arms fire in Oruzgan province, Afghanistan on Thursday, February 12th. An Afghani soldier was wounded in the attack. At this time we believe this to be an American soldier.

Feb. 11 airpower summary:

The New Fallujah Still in Ruins:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Gunmen stormed the home of Thamir Yusuf, a defence ministry officer, and shot him and his son in the head in western Baghdad, police said.

Gunmen broke out the house of Brigadier General Thamir Yousif, an officer in the ministry of defense in al Jihad neighborhood in southwest Baghdad early morning killing him and his son.

#2: A truck driver run over a vehicle of the national police in Bob al Sham area north Baghdad killing tow policemen and injuring four.

#1: A police official says an old mortar round has killed two children south of Iraq's capital. The official says the two boys, 10 and 15 years-old, were playing in the backyard of a farm house in Musayyib, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Baghdad, when the mortar exploded Friday.

#1: A woman suicide bomber killed 32 Shiite pilgrims, mostly women, as she blew herself up in a crowd south of the Iraqi capital on Friday, security officials said. The interior ministry said another 55 people were wounded in the attack in Iskandiriyah, south of Baghdad, as pilgrims flocked to the holy city of Karbala for a major religious ceremony. Captain Mohammed al-Awadi of the police force in Babil province, of which Hilla is the capital, said the bomber had hidden her explosives under an abaya, the traditional head-to-toe black garment. She blew herself up among a crowd of women and children just after midday.

#1: The Iranian artillery on Friday shelled remote border regions in Arbil in northeastern Iraq, according to a governmental Kurdish source. “The Iranian artillery shelled border villages in Sidkan region in Souran district in northeast if Arbil, with no reports on casualties or damage,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Police forces found a female body in eastern Mosul city, said a police source on Friday. “Policemen Thursday night (Feb. 12) found a female body riddled with bullets in Qurtuba village in Baashieqa region in east of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen shot and wounded a candidate for last month's provincial elections in central Mosul on Thursday, police said

#1: Thirteen Kurdish rebels were killed in Turkish air force raids last week on Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq, a spokesman for the Turkish General Staff said Friday. The spokesman said a number of Turkish jets had carried out bombing missions during the week on suspected PKK logistic targets in the Hukurk region of mountainous northern Iraq.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A gunfight between Australian forces and Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan killed five children who were caught in the crossfire, the Australian Defense Ministry said Friday. Thursday's fighting in southern Uruzgan province started with a raid by international and Afghan troops on compounds in a village where insurgent leaders were believed to be holed up, NATO said in a statement. The resulting gunbattle in Sar Morgharb village killed at least three children and wounded four other civilians, said Hamdan, the provincial governor. The Australian Defense Ministry confirmed the fighting, saying it had reports of five children killed and four other people wounded _ two of them children. Some of the wounded were taken to military medical facilities for treatment, it said in a statement. Provincial police chief Gen. Juma Gul Himat said he had reports of four children killed. The conflicting death tolls could not be resolved. One insurgent was also killed, the Australian statement said. No Australian troops were wounded.

#2: Friday a senior Defense Ministry official after storming his house in Baghdad's Jihad district. A security source in the Iraqi police told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that unknown armed men attacked at eight o'clock in the morning the house of Brigadier Thamer Yosef, director of works at the Iraqi Defense Ministry, killing him along with his son before fleeing.

Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Jerrod Fields, 26, lost his lower left leg to an improvised explosive device in Baghdad.

British Corporal Debbie Caffull, 25, was in a five-vehicle patrol through a village in Iraq in November 2007 when a grenade was lobbed inside. The explosion left her showered in shrapnel from the blast. I got shrapnel in my arms, legs, back, neck and hand. "One soldier had some shrapnel go through a lung but was fine. "It's amazing no-one was killed or seriously injured."

staff sergeant Jay Wilkerson, 43, had to rely on tidbits from friends and fellow soldiers to piece together what happened three years ago, the day in Iraq when two rocket-propelled grenades killed his best friend and left him with traumatic brain injuries. Wilkerson needed six facial surgeries to reconstruct the left side of his face, which was damaged from the second rocket-propelled grenade that hit the Humvee in which he was riding March 2006. The blast robbed him of some vision in his left eye and left him with only 20 percent hearing in his left ear and injuries to his left hand. Wilkerson also went through two-and-a-half years of various therapies to relearn basic everyday tasks such as getting dressed in the mornings.