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

Saturday, February 14, 2009

War News for Saturday, February 14, 2009

Feb. 12 airpower summary:

Wanted US Marine commits suicide in Canada:

Battalion commander among 4 soldiers killed in Iraq: Nine colonels and 25 lieutenant colonels have died while supporting Operating Iraqi Freedom, according to information provided by Lt. Col. Nathan M. Banks Sr., Department of the Army spokesman. Eight of those colonels and 18 lieutenant colonels were in the Army. Of those 18 lieutenant colonels, 12 were killed by hostile action, Banks said.

Blast kills four Iranian police near Pakistan-radio:

Taliban is in "huge" amounts of Pakistan - Zardari:

6 civilians wounded in bomb attack in S Philippines:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Friday Three policemen were injured when gunmen threw a grenade targeting a police checkpoint in al Qahira neighborhood in east Baghdad around 5 p.m.

Al Midaan:
#1: An Iraqi police official says a mass grave has been found in a former Sunni insurgent stronghold north of Baghdad. The official says police found about 40 decomposing bodies Friday in the grave in al-Midaan village, 15 miles (25 kilometers) north of Baghdad. The official says police estimate the victims were killed in 2006, when many Sunni insurgents operated in the area around al-Midaan.

#1: Iraqi police found the bodies of two men just south of Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The men appeared to have been shot.

#1: A body of a woman on Saturday was found in northern Arbil city, according to a local police chief. “Today, police forces found a body of an unknown woman with gunshot wounds in Bastoura area (20 km north of Arbil)…,” a police chief in the city, Brig. Abdelkhaleq Talaat, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Friday Three Iraqi army soldiers were wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire at them in northern Mosul city on Friday, a source from Ninewa police said. “The gunmen threw a hand-grenade at an Iraqi army checkpoint in al-Qahira neighborhood, northern Mosul, leaving three soldiers injured,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Four soldiers were wounded when two mortar shells landed on a Quick Intervention Department company and a check point in eastern Mosul city on Friday, a military source said. “The first one landed on the headquarters of the QID while second landed on a checkpoint on al-Tahrir square, eastern Mosul,” the source said.

#3: An Iraqi serviceman on Saturday was wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in eastern Mosul city, according to an army source. “Today, an explosive charge targeted an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in Adan neighborhood, eastern Mosul, wounding one soldier,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: “Meanwhile, another device detonated at the same time near an army patrol in al-Dhubbat neighborhood, eastern Mosul, causing no casualties,” the source added.

#5: A roadside bomb killed two civilians and wounded another four people, including one soldier, when it exploded near an army patrol in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An American missile has struck a Taliban training complex in the lawless frontier region of Pakistan, killing 25 Central Asian fighters. The attack, launched by an unmanned drone near the Afghan border in South Waziristan province, was certain to heighten tensions between Pakistan and the United States. Most of the dead militants - believed to be linked to al-Qaeda - were Uzbeks, said a spokesman for the Taliban. "Our people have informed us that at least 25 people were killed. It could be more," said the spokesman.

#2: Suspected Taliban militants killed two policemen and injured three others in separate attacks in restive northwest Pakistan, officials said Saturday. An unknown number of militants ambushed a police patrol late Friday in Chamkani on the outskirts of provincial capital Peshawar, killing a police officer and injuring two others, police official Liaquat Khan told AFP.

#3:In a second incident a tribal policeman was killed and another injured when their checkpost was hit overnight by a rocket fired by suspected Taliban militants, a tribal official said. "One tribal policeman was killed and another injured in the rocket attack," said Bakhtiar Mohmand.

#4: Four Canadian soldiers and their Afghan interpreter were wounded early Saturday when their armoured vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device buried in the road upon which they were travelling to the west of Kandahar City. Two of the Canadians, who were part of a routine supply convoy to a forward base at Masum Ghar, about 25 kilometres from Kandahar City, were taken by US Army medevac helicopter to the main Canadian base at Kandahar Airfield where they were listed in stable condition without life threatening injuries. A short gunfight involving Canadian and enemy forces followed the explosion.

#5: A bomb in Khost province on Saturday killed the chief government official in Nadir Shah Kot district, said Wazir Pacha, spokesman for the provincial police chief. Militants fired at the official's car after the explosion, he said. Three others riding in the car, including one of the official's sons, were wounded, Pacha said.

#6: Elsewhere in Khost, another roadside bomb killed three border police on Friday, said Sher Ahmad Kochi, a police commander.

#7: In the south, a third roadside bomb hit a police vehicle and killed four policemen on Friday in Kandahar province, provincial police Chief Matiullah Khan Qatah said.