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

Monday, February 16, 2009

War News for Monday, February 16, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier in a roadside bombing in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Sunday, February 15th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier during an indirect fire attack in an undisclosed province in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, February 16th. Reuters reports that a rocket hit a base in southeastern Paktika province killing a soldier. We will assume this is an American soldier.

Kyrgyzstan takes step towards U.S. air base closure:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb struck a minibus filled with Shiite pilgrims returning to Baghdad on Monday, killing four people and wounding 11 others in the latest of a series of deadly attacks targeting the pilgrims. The explosion rocked the vehicle as it pulled into a busy square in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, said the driver, who refused to give his name. He said he was coming from the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the capital.

#2: One bomb killed four pilgrims in a minibus and wounded 13 others in Kamaliya, a Shi'ite area of eastern Baghdad, on their return from Arbain, an annual pilgrimage that attracts hundreds of thousands of Shi'ites from Iraq and beyond.

#3: A roadside bomb detonated in front of a house in Dora neighborhood in southern Baghdad around 8:30 p.m. One person was wounded.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Separately, a police source in Diyala province said the police forces uncovered five decomposed bodies of male civilians, apparently executed about a year and a half ago, near a village some 30 km east of the provincial capital city of Baquba.

#2: Six policemen were wounded on Monday in a bomb explosion in the east of Mosul (?Mosul?), a security source said. “An explosive charge was detonated on Monday (Feb. 16) targeting a police vehicle patrol in Nada village in south of Mendli, east of Baaquba, injuring six cops, two of them who remain in serious condition,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Three children were killed and seven others were wounded in a mortar shell blast in Amara city, a police source said on Monday. “The children were playing with a mortar shell in an area in Abu Rmana region in central Amara, when it exploded, killing three and injuring seven,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Unknown arsonists on Monday set fire to five houses near Mosul city, but there has been no word on casualties, according to a local security source. “The houses are located in al-Haj Ali village, al-Qayara district (60 km south of Mosul),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“No casualties were reported,” the source noted, adding that the fire has caused damage to the buildings.

#2: Three persons on Monday were wounded when a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in southern Mosul, according to a security source. “An explosive charge planted by gunmen on the top of a policeman’s house in al-Mamoun neighborhood went off today, wounding him, his wife and one of his neighbors,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A roadside bomb detonated in front of a house belongs to a policeman in Maamoun neighborhood in southeast Mosul. The policeman was injured with his wife and neighbor.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted an army patrol in Suq alMash in western Mosul. One soldier was killed.

#5: A roadside bomb targeted pilgrims who were in a ceremony for the Arbaniyah of the Imam Hussein at a Shiite mosque in Sada village in eastern Mosul. No casualties reported.

#6: Gunmen opened fire on a police patrol in Maidan neighborhood in downtown Mosul. One policman was killed and another was wounded.

#7: Gunmen opened fire on a civilian in the New Mosul in western Mosul killing him at once around 8 p.m.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least 31 people were killed Monday in a remote area of Pakistan close to the border with Afghanistan in what appeared to be a missile strike from an American drone, according to a government official and a resident in the Kurram tribal region. At 8.30 a.m. on Monday, four missiles struck compounds in Sur Pul near the regional center of Parachinar. The village was being used as a base by Taliban militants loyal to Mr. Mehsud and his local commander, Hakimullah Mehsud, accused by government officials of attacking NATO supply convoys crossing the Khyber Pass from Pakistan into Afghanistan. The dead on Monday were likely to include militants from South Waziristan and Afghanistan, the government official said.

#2: Three Afghan construction workers were killed in a roadside blast in eastern Afghanistan. Three other road construction workers were wounded in the attack Monday in the Sarkani district of Kunar province, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The statement held 'enemies of Afghanistan,' a term often used by Afghan officials to describe Taliban militants, as responsible for the attack, which happened in an area close to the border with Pakistan.

#3: Meanwhile, Mullah Dastigir and eight of his fighters were killed Sunday night in a US military airstrike in Darya-ye-Morghab village in the western province of Badghis near the border with Turkmenistan, the US military said in a statement.

#4: Meanwhile, General Mohaiyodin Ghori, an Afghan army commander in southern Afghanistan, said his troops, backed by NATO forces, killed eight militants Sunday in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province. The clash took place in the Khoshal area when a joint Afghan-NATO patrol came under fire from militants, he said.

#5: A rocket hit a base of NATO-led force in southeastern Paktika province, killing one soldier of the alliance on Monday, an official for the force said.