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 20, 2009

War News for Friday, February 20, 2009

US to decide in weeks, "not months" on Iraq troop cuts:

Unemployment poses security risk in Iraq:

NATO Wants 'Civilian Surge' in Afghanistan:

US expands prison in Afghanistan:

US' latest payment to Pakistan for fighting Taliban delayed:

IAEA’s Iran report has nothing new: Diplomat (Lead)

Kyrgyzstan hands U.S. air base eviction notice: Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it had sent the United States ambassador a formal notice demanding Washington close its military air base in the country and giving U.S. troops 180 days to pack up and leave.

US: Kyrgyz base not 'closed issue': U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Kyrgyzstan's decision to shutter an American air base is not a "closed issue."

Debt is a target on U.S. military radar: Military personnel with outstanding legal debts are barred from overseas duty or security clearances, which keeps thousands of U.S. troops from doing their jobs. So the Pentagon is tackling the problem. Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

GIs are back, but at a loss: A survey of soldiers returning from Iraq found that as many as 1 in 4 had some level of hearing damage. A study in the American Journal of Audiology found that soldiers deployed to Iraq from April 2003 to March 2004 were 50 times more likely to suffer acoustic trauma than those who were not deployed.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An Iraqi soldier was shot and wounded by sniper fire in Baghdad's western district of Mansour, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An Iraqi soldier was killed in downtown Baquba city north of Baghdad around 7 p.m. by an adhesive bomb which was stuck to his car.

#1: Police forces on Friday found an unknown body in a house in south of Hilla city, a police source said. “Policemen found an unidentified body in a house in al-Hamza al-Gharbi region in south of Hilla,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The decayed body bore signs of gunshot wounds,” he noted.

#1: Three shepherds were killed when a landmine left from the 1980-1989 Iraqi-Iranian war went-off in eastern Wassit on Friday, a security source from the province said. “The incident took place at Jasan district, 65 km east of Kut city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A civilian was killed by unknown gunmen on Friday in northern Babel, a police source said. “Unidentified gunmen killed a civilian in front of his house in al-Latifiya region in north of Hilla,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: A woman and two children were killed on Thursday in two explosions outside a home near Abu Ghraib, on Baghdad's western outskirts, the U.S. military statement said. Two men were injured.

#1: An Iraqi army soldier was wounded when an improvised explosive device went off near his patrol southwest of the province of Kirkuk on Friday, according to a security source within the joint coordination center in the city. “The IED exploded near an Iraqi army patrol in a village in the district of al-Riad, (40 km) southwest of Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A magnetic bomb detonated under a policeman’s car in Zedan’s neighborhood in eastern Fallujah. Two people were killed (the policeman’s father and wife) and he was wounded in that incident.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A bomb tore through a funeral procession for a slain Shiite Muslim leader in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 25 people and wounding scores more, officials said. Friday's explosion struck a 1,000-strong crowd streaming toward a graveyard in Dera Ismail Khan for the burial of Sher Zeman, a Shiite leader who was gunned down in the city the day before. Ashiq Salim, a doctor at the main hospital in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, said 25 bodies had been brought there and that medics were scrambling to treat another 60 people who were wounded. Police said people angered by the attack fired on officers rushing to the scene, where TV footage showed a bloodstained street littered with shoes and torn clothing.

#2: Five soldiers were wounded when a grenade accidentally exploded at the Danish military headquarters in southern Afghanistan yesterday. A statement from the armed forces last night said that the one of the soldiers sustained serious wounds, while the other four were slightly hurt by grenade fragments. The explosion occurred at Camp Bastion in the Helmand Province after the soldiers had returned from their assignment. They were unpacking their equipment when the grenade went off near the ramp of an armoured vehicle.

#3: One Afghan was injured in an escalation of force incident near Kabul, Wednesday. An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) convoy encountered an oncoming vehicle that failed to halt despite repeated measures to warn and deter the vehicle’s approach. After several nonlethal attempts, the convoy fired a series of disabling shots to halt the vehicle’s progress, causing the driver to pull over.