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 26, 2009

War News for Thursday, February 26, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF Marine at the Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, England on Monday, February 23rd, from an enemy fire attack near Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, February 25th.

Obama seeks $200 billion for war spending: (here we go again.)

Pakistan asks US to provide unmanned aircrafts to carry on drone hits along Afghan border:

Bulgarian troops in Afghanistan to be relocated:

Kuwaiti foreign minister visit Baghdad:

British FM visits Baghdad:

UK acknowledges 2 rendition cases: Britain's government has acknowledged that two terror suspects captured by UK troops in Iraq were later transferred by the United States to Afghanistan.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi officials say two Iraqi soldiers have been killed and 12 other people wounded in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. The officials say the morning blast struck an Iraqi army patrol near the University of Baghdad in the central part of the city. Police and hospital officials say the 12 wounded included two soldiers but most of the others were students.

#2: Three civilians were wounded on Thursday afternoon in a bomb explosion, the second today in Baghdad, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device, planted by unknown gunmen on al-Nedal street in central Baghdad, went off on Thursday (Feb. 26), injuring three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Sulaimaniya Prv:
#1: An accidental explosion took place inside a house in southeastern Sulaimaniya, without causing casualties, a security source said on Thursday. “The explosion occurred in a house in Halabja district in southeastern Sulaimaniya,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
“The blast left no casualties,” he underlined. “Police opened an investigation on the incident,” he noted, without giving further details.

#1: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in Karama neighborhood in Mosul killed an officer and left three other people wounded.

#2: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in Wadi Hajar in Mosul wounded three people.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two U.S. National Guard soldiers suffered minor injuries Wednesday in an improvised explosive device attack that signals the fighting season here may begin to escalate. Maj. Jason Wesbrock, Task Force White Currahee executive officer, said the attack came in a Paktika Province mountain pass where convoys were repeatedly attacked and ambushed last summer, though the area had fallen silent in recent months. The soldiers, who were in a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle and in a multi-vehicle convoy suffered only minor injuries, which Wesbrock described as concussion-like symptoms. Both were expected to survive.

#2: A civilian was killed and five others were injured including 3 Afghan soldiers in a bomb explosion in Kandahar province. According to Kandahar police chief that the explosion was carried out by a remote detonated bomb, killing a civilian and injuring five others including 3 Afghan soldiers.

#3: Hundreds of U.S. troops pushed into a key Taliban stronghold Wednesday in a major operation to stop the insurgents from infiltrating the Afghan capital from the south and clear the way for the first sustained international aid effort in this remote valley. Supported by about 200 Afghan soldiers and their French army trainers, 200 soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., encountered no resistance. The reactions to the arrival of the U.S.-led force Wednesday, however, ranged from skepticism to hostility. "Down To America" dabbed in whitewash greeted the U.S. column as it pushed into the valley from the American base in Maydan Shahr, the capital of Wardak Province.

#4: A roadside bomb killed four Afghan security guards of a road construction firm on Thursday in southeastern Paktika province, the interior ministry said.

#5: Four guards of a road construction company were killed in a mine explosion in Paktika province east of Afghanistan Thursday, spokesman of provincial administration Hamidullah Zawak said. "It was 11:30 a.m. local time when a mine planted by militants struck a car of the road construction company outside provincial capital Sharana killing four local guards," Zawak told Xinhua.

Casualty Reports:

Spc. Keith Maul, 20, was wounded in a grenade attack northwest of Baghdad on Feb. 17 is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital in Washington, family members said. He lost an arm and a leg in the attack.

A Pennsylvania National Guard spokesman identifies the solider as Sergeant Matthew Gibbons. The 2001 graduate of Altoona-Area High School sustained injuries to his face and his arms when a grenade exploded on Monday. Gibbon’s injuries are not life threatening, but the Harrisburg Patriot News reports that he lost an eye in the explosion. He’s currently recovering at a hospital in Germany.