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 27, 2009

War News for Friday, February 27, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from combat related injuries in an undisclosed neighborhood of Baghdad on Thursday, February 28th.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an explosion in Zabul province, Afghanistan on Thursday, February 28th. At this time NATO has retracted their release. The AP is reporting that a Romanian soldier, Sergeant Maj. Claudiu Chira, was killed in an IED strike between the cities of Kabul and Qalat. Here's the translated Romanian MoD statement.

Feb. 25 airpower summary:

Feb. 24 airpower summary:

Iraq Hands Death Penalty to 28 Cultists for Attacks:

Corruption, deprivation and faulty infrastructure plague Iraq: (Read the commentary at the bottom of the article.)

Iraq signs oil deal with British firm to increase production:

Iraq buries nearly 500 soldiers killed in past wars:

Azerbaijan sends two more platoons to Afghanistan:

Enemy fire downed copters in crash that killed Drum soldiers: Military officials now say the fatal crash of two Army helicopters in Iraq last month was caused by enemy fire. The Defense Department initially said the cause of the Jan. 26 crash near Kirkuk didn't appear to be the result of an attack. But on Thursday, Army officials at Fort Drum, where the pilots were based, said the crash occurred as the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters were evading enemy fire. An Army report says forensic evidence revealed that enemy fire led to the crash.

Reported Security incidents

Diyala Prv:
#1: Security forces on Friday found an unknown body in Diala province, according to an official security source. “Security forces on Friday found a body of a young man, between 25 and 30 years old, near Hamrien village in south of al-Saadiya district in Diala,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: The al-Zahraa hospital morgue on Friday received the body of an unidentified civilian man after being salvaged from a river in the northern part of the province, a morgue medic said. “The body, which was salvaged from a river in the district of al-Suwayra, (135 km) north of al-Kut, showed signs of having been tortured,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two police officers were killed when a bomb set with a police convoy as its target exploded in the southern city of Kut.

#1: A Hummer vehicle was damaged when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a U.S. convoy north of the city of al-Amara but left no casualties, a source from the Missan police department said on Friday. “The IED went off as the U.S. convoy was passing by al-Batira road, near the Missan international stadium, (5 km) north of Amara, damaging a Hummer vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion did not leave any casualties,” the source added, not revealing further details about the incident.

#1: The Multinational forces in southern Iraq said on Friday that a convoy came under a roadside bomb explosion in central Basra, damaging an armored vehicle. “An explosive charge went off targeting a convoy of the Multinational forces near al-Fayhaa hospital in central Basra, damaging one of the convoy’s vehicles,” the media spokesman for the MNF, Bill Young, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast left no casualties,” he noted.

#1: Two sahwa (Awakening) tribal fighters were killed and two others wounded by unidentified gunmen fire in al-Huweija district on Friday, a senior security source said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint of the sahwa forces in al-Askari neighborhood, al-Huweija district, (65 km) southwest of Kirkuk, leaving two fighters killed and two others wounded,” Brig. Sarhad Qader, the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department chief, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: In Mosul, gunmen shot and killed a literature professor at a cultural center.

#2: An Iraqi army officer and soldier were wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in western Mosul city on Thursday, a police source in Ninewa said. “An IED went off near al-Siha tunnel, western Mosul, targeting an Iraqi army patrol. The blast left an officer in the rank of major and a patrolman wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Meanwhile, another security source said the police on Friday found an unidentified body drifted by rainwater to an area between the predominantly Christian area of Talsaqaf and Seriksha compound in Talkeef district, (30 km) north of Mosul. “The body, of a 50-year-old man, showed signs of having been shot,” the source added.

Northern Iraq:
#1: About 20 Kurdish militants have died in internecine clashes between rival rebel factions based in northern Iraq, a Turkish military spokesman was quoted as saying Friday. Two feuding groups within the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, clashed Feb. 13 after one of them killed three defectors, Gen. Metin Gurak told the Anatolia news agency. "It has been learned from various sources that about 20 terrorists were killed and 20 others wounded as a result of the fighting," he said. The clashes prompted other defections. The army also had information of a second incident of deadly infighting in another area of northern Iraq last week between a group of PKK militants who wanted to surrender and others who tried to stop them, Gurak said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: About 500 protesters blocked roads and clashed with police in southern Afghanistan on Friday, alleging international forces fired gunshots in a village mosque. A spokesman for NATO forces said they had no reports of international troops in the area where Thursday's incident allegedly occurred. protester reached by phone said he saw Polish forces fire their guns in a mosque in the village of Dhi Khodaidad in Ghazni province. Adulrahman, who only gave one name, said he was in the mosque when the troops raided the building. He said the bullets hit a wall but did not injure anyone.

Six people were hurt on Friday when Afghan police fired on demonstrators who claimed U.S.-led troops had desecrated copies of the Koran during a raid on a mosque in Ghazni province southwest of Kabul, residents said.

#2: A roadside bomb hit a NATO-led force convoy in southeastern Paktika, wounding two soldiers of the organisation, a provincial official said on Friday.

#3: Unknown armed men kidnapped two Afghan aid workers in southern Zabul province on Thursday, a provincial official said.

#4: Gunmen attacked a minivan transporting children to school in Pakistan's troubled North West Frontier Province on Friday, killing its driver and leaving two students wounded, police said. Five other students were kidnapped by the attackers who ambushed the vehicle on the periphery of Hangu, a remote town adjoining the lawless tribal region along the Afghan border.

#5: Unknown people attacked the vehicle of Pakistan's Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar on Friday, local media reported. The vehicle was attacked in the garrison city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad, but heavy contingent of police succeeded in rescuing the minister, private Geo TV channel said.

Casualty Reports:

Marine Lance Corporal John T. Doody was shot by a sniper and paralyzed by a subsequent infection. The anoxic brain injury left him blind and paralyzed from the neck down and in a vegetative state from January 2008 until he started talking at the end of April.
The doctors in San Diego, where he suffered his brain injury, gave us no hope and said that John should go to a nursing home.

Sgt. Matthew Gibbons suffered injuries to his face and upper body after an attack, his father, Stephen Gibbons said.