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 23, 2009

War News for Monday, February 23, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of three Coalition Soldiers while conducting combat operations in an undisclosed location in Diyala Province on Monday, February 23rd. No other details were released. An interpreter was also killed.

Feb. 21 Airpower Summary:

Feb. 20 Airpower Summary:

OPEC output to fall near target in Feb: Petrologistics:

New offshore oil export facilities in Iraq:

Amputee study could benefit Iraq veterans:

Turkey and US start preliminary discussions on Iraq-exit strategy:

Secret U.S. unit training commandos in Pakistan:

U.S. Unit Secretly in Pakistan Lends Ally Support:

Three Taliban factions form Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden:

At least 16 killed in Philippine clashes:

MoD hides rising injury toll of Taliban bombs: MORE than 100 British soldiers have suffered amputations and other debilitating injuries in the past year in Afghanistan, according to previously suppressed Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures that reveal the true toll of the Taliban’s roadside bombing campaign.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Three people, two of them soldiers, died when gunmen opened fire at an army checkpoint in Ghazaliyah, a mainly Sunni suburb of western Baghdad, a ministry official said. Eight other people were wounded.

On Monday, unknown gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baghdad’s western area of al-Ghazaliya, killing two servicemen and a civilian, and injuring eight persons, including four soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb blast targeting a police patrol near the agriculture ministry in the center of the city killed two civilians and wounded six people, the official added.

Eight persons on Monday were killed or wounded in a bombing that targeted a police patrol vehicle in downtown Baghdad, according to a police source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) went off before noon while a police patrol vehicle was passing near the Ministry of Agriculture’s building on al-Nidal Street,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Two persons were killed, and six others were wounded, including two policemen,” the source explained.

#3: On Sinaa Avenue in downtown Baghdad, a similar device also aimed at a police patrol wounded seven people, three of them policemen.

Five civilians on Monday were wounded in a bomb explosion that hit downtown Baghdad, according to a police source. “A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated on al-Sinaa Street, downtown Baghdad, wounding five civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Ur neighborhood in northeast Baghdad around 3 p.m. No casualties reported.

#1: In Iskandiriyah, a town to the south of the Iraqi capital, a man was killed and his son wounded in a bombing also targeting police.

Jurf al sakhar
#1: Police found the body of a leader of a neighbourhood guard unit in Jurf al-Sakhar, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. The man had been handcuffed and shot in the head.

#1: A car bomb killed one person and wounded another in the village of Mashru', about 65 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: On Sunday night gunmen opened fire at an American at the Kornish street in downtown Kirkuk. No casualties reported.

#1: U.S. and Iraqi forces have begun a new military offensive in northern Iraq aimed at rooting out al-Qaida and other Sunni insurgents, American and Iraqi officials said Sunday. The offensive - dubbed Operation New Hope - has netted 84 suspects in the provincial capital of Mosul and surrounding towns, said Iraqi Brig. Gen. Saeed Ahmed al-Jubouri. Most of the arrests occurred in Tal Abta, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Mosul.

#2: A sticky improvised explosive device attached to a civilian vehicle went off near the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) local committee headquarters in Mosul city on Monday, a committee source said. “The IED went off about 50 meters away from the KDP local committee headquarters in al-Faisaliya neighborhood, eastern Mosul, but left no casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: An Iraqi army force on Monday defused a car bomb in eastern Mosul, a military source said. “A force from the 2nd division of the Iraqi army on Monday (Feb. 23) managed to defuse a booby-trapped car in al-Baath neighborhood in eastern Mosul, without casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: A magnetic bomb was detonated under a sedan car for a candidate of the National Iraqi list in the Jamiaa neighborhood in eastern Mosul. The candidate was wounded in that incident.

#5: A policeman was killed on Monday by unknown gunmen in central Mosul, a police source said. “A policeman was killed when unknown gunmen shot him in a market in al-Kournish street in central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The cop was on a vacation,” he noted

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two suicide bombers blew themselves up within minutes of each other Monday at an anti-drug police station in southwest Afghanistan, killing one officer and wounding two more, an official said. The first suicide attacker, wearing civilian clothes, approached the station in the southern city of Zarang at about 11 a.m., said Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad. When police shouted for the man to stop, he blew himself up, causing no casualties, the governor said. Minutes later, a second attacker wearing a police uniform approached the building and blew himself up, Azad said. That blast killed one officer and wounded two.

#2: In the western province of Badghis, meanwhile, Taliban militants attacked a police post late Sunday, and coalition air strikes were called in, killing at least seven insurgents, said Abdul Ghani Sabery, deputy governor of Badghis. He said village elders were continuing to collect bodies from the battle site and that the toll could rise.

#3: Pakistani authorities freed two Taliban fighters in exchange for an official kidnapped in Swat valley, where the government is seeking peace by offering to allow Islamic sharia law, a militant spokesman said. "We have released the official and his six guards in exchange for our two colleagues," Muslim Khan, a spokesman for the Taliban told Reuters late on Sunday. Syed Mohammad Jawed, commissioner for the Malakand division which includes Swat, confirmed the official and his guards had been freed but refused to comment on any swap.

#4: "One Taliban insurgent was killed and three others made captive by ANA soldiers during an operation in Muqar district of Ghazni province on Sunday," the statements said.