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

Thursday, February 5, 2009

War News for Thursday, February 05, 2009

Photo: Crash recovery and emergency management crews survey a C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 31 as it rests on the active runway of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, after landing Jan. 30 with its landing gear retracted. Click for a larger view.

USS San Antonio Sailor Missing:
At approximately 8:00 a.m. local time Feb. 4, an 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) from USS San Antonio (LPD 17) flipped while it was being lowered into the water. Three personnel were thrown from the boat as it flipped. The ship was preparing to conduct routine personnel transfers to another U.S. ship operating in the Gulf of Aden. The tending line and the RHIB crane cable became hooked, causing the boat to flip over. Two Sailors were recovered and were not injured, a third Sailor is still missing.

Feb. 3 airpower summary:

Iraq: Sunni tribal leader says he can prove fraud:

Growing furor in Iraq's Anbar province sparks ballot recount:

Iraqi oil exports increased to 1.89 million barrels per day in January:

Soldier suicides at new high: At least 128 soldiers killed themselves in 2008. But the final count is likely to be considerably higher because 15 more suspicious deaths are being investigated and could turn out to be self-inflicted, the Army said. The new suicide figure compares with 115 in 2007 and 102 in 2006 and is the highest since record keeping began in 1980. Officials calculate the deaths at a rate of roughly 20.2 per 100,000 soldiers — higher than the adjusted civilian rate for the first time since the Vietnam War, officials said.

UK judges attack U.S. government over torture documents:

Top Navy official reviews operations at Guantánamo:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An Iraqi official says a roadside bomb targeted a government convoy in Baghdad that was carrying a deputy education minister but injured no one. Ministry spokesman Waleed Hussein said the bomb exploded Thursday morning as the convoy passed through the Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour. Hussein says deputy education minister Muadh al-Jibouri escaped injury.

#2: Wednesday Around 9 p.m. a roadside bomb targeted civilians in Al Mashtal neighborhood injuring four civilians and damaging their vehicle.

#3: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy on Ghazaliyah traffic bridge at 9 a.m. today. No casualties were reported.

#4: Gunmen in a speeding car opened fire on candidate for the Party of the Constitution, Ms. Khadija Owaiyid's car, riddling the car but missing Owaiyid who later told the police, "I know who shot at me." This incident took place in Abu Disheer, Doura at noon, Thursday.

Diyala Prv:
#1: The morgue in Baquba buried, Thursday 30 unidentified bodies in al Shereef graveyard. (Unidentified bodies that are not claimed within two months are buried by the Morgue).

#2: The house of Salim al Zaidi, candidate of al Liqaa Party was blown up while his family was in the house. The family members, however, were unhurt. The explosion destroyed the house, located in Gatoun, to the west of Baquba, and caused damages to two adjacent houses.

#1: a suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded 15 others in volatile northeastern Diyala province on Thursday, police said, the bloodiest attack in Iraq in weeks and a reminder of the fragility of recent security gains. The attack took place in a popular restaurant in Khanaqin, an area on the border with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq's north, which has witnessed tension in the past between government and Kurdish forces.

#1: A senior member of the Mahdi Army militia founded by radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has been killed in a shootout in Iraq, police said on Thursday. Tariq Azab was shot on Wednesday night as officers tried to arrest him following his recent return from Iran, a police official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "He tried to escape, which prompted armed clashes and he was killed," the official said, referring to Azab as an "important" member of the feared Mahdi army, which was founded by Sadr following the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

U.S. troops on Thursday killed a civilian during a security raid in central Diwaniya, said a police source. “U.S. troops raided a house early Thursday (Feb. 5) in al-Jalabiya neighborhood in central Diwaniya, where they killed a civilian,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. No word was immediately available from the U.S. army on the incident.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: More than 120 Airmen, Defense Department civilians and contractors removed a crippled C-17 Globemaster III from the runway Feb. 2 at Bagram Airfield after the aircraft landed here Jan. 30 with none of its landing gear down. While none of the crew suffered significant injuries in the incident, the disabled aircraft presented a significant challenge to maintaining air operations. After more than two days of concentrated effort, recovery crews managed to lift the aircraft high enough to extend its wheels and prepare it for removal from the runway.

#2: A convoy of Indian construction workers on Wednesday came under attack from suspected Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, but no one was injured. A vehicle, carrying three Indians, was badly damaged when an improvised explosive device went off around 7.45 am when the convoy was on its way to a construction site in Khost, sources told PTI.The attackers also fired at the convoy of the workers of Indian company which is constructing a road between Khost and Gardez, they said. Security personnel accompanying the convoy retaliated, forcing the attackers to flee, they said, adding no one was injured in the attack.

#3: A roadside bombing targeting a vehicle of district chief of Musa Qala district in southern Afghan province of Helmand killed at least six guards aboard Wednesday, said an official. Abdul Salam, the district chief, told Xinhua it occurred at around 12:00 p.m. local time (0830GMT) when the vehicle of his guards running in the riot Musa Qala district hit remote-controlled mines planted by Taliban militants, leaving six dead onthe spot.

#4: At least seven security personnel were injured Thursday when their vehicle was attacked in a remote control bomb blast in Pakistan's northwestern Mohmond agency. The private Geo TV reported that the main target of the attack was to kill a Frontier Corp officer, who actually survived with injury.

#5: One vehicle belonging to Uruzgan police forces in south Afghanistan was struck by roadside mines Thursday on the Uruzgan-Kandahar highway, leaving at least three policemen dead and two more wounded, a police official said. Juma Gul Humat, the provincial police chief of Uruzgan, told Xinhua that it occurred around Thursday noon when the police vehicle patrolling along the Uruzgan-Kandahar high way hit IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device). "The incident happened near Shawali Kot district of Kandahar province and Uruzgan police forces has sent a team to the spot for investigation," the police official added.

#6: A suicide car bomb struck a foreign troop convoy in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, officials said. The suicide bomber detonated a vehicle laden with explosives near a convoy of international soldiers outside Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarahr province, said Zemarai Bashary, Afghan interior ministry spokesman. "There has been a suicide car bomb attack against international forces but at this stage we have no information if it caused any casualties to the troops," the spokesman told AFP. Bashary said the blast caused no civilian casualties - a common feature of most insurgent attacks against Afghan and foreign forces. The area was cordoned off by Afghan police and foreign military personnel, and media weren't allowed access to the blast site, an AFP reporter said. Bashary didn't specify if the targeted troops were from NATO or a U.S.-led coalition, but locals said they were American forces. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the attack targeted U.S. soldiers who were returning from an Afghan army base. He said there were no casualties among the military.

Casualty Reports:

Adrian Garcia, 21, tragic injury in Iraq. On March 21, 2007 Garcia's tank was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. The impact sent him flying from the tank. He is now an amputee.