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

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

War News for Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Jan. 31 airpower summary:

Feb. 1 airpower summary:

Iraq South Oil Head Calls For Revival Of National Oil Co:

UK meets conditions for withdrawal from Iraq:

Taliban violence spreads in Afghanistan: US report:

Polish soldiers on trial for killing Afghan civilians:

#1: Security forces arrested 11 persons in Baghdad during the past 24 hours, the official spokesperson for Baghdad’s Operations Command (BOC) said on Tuesday. “Security forces also defused 71 explosive charges,” General Qassim Atta told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Shaab neighborhood in northern Baghdad around 10 a.m. No casualties reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Two bombs exploded in a crowded market in Baquba, the capital city of Iraq's ethnically divided Diyala province, on Tuesday morning, Iraqi media reported. "On Tuesday, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated inside an ambulance near a popular market in downtown Baquba. Another IED blast followed in the same place, leaving a number of casualties that was not immediately known," a police spokesman told the Voices of Iraq news agency Tuesday. Further details were not immediately known in the incident in Baquba, where Saturday's provincial council elections had passed peacefully, reported dpa.

Six people were wounded by two roadside bomb attacks in different parts of Baquba, capital of Diyala province 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Tuesday targeted a U.S. convoy in northern Babel province, but no casualties were reported, according to a local security source. “The device, planted on a superhighway in al-Latifiya area (60 km north of Hilla), detonated while a U.S. private security company convoy was passing the location,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “It is still unclear whether the blast has caused damage or casualties,” the source added.

#1: Seven Iranian pilgrims have been killed after their bus collided with a truck en route to the holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq. The accident occurred on the road between Nasiriyah and Basra on Monday night and left 26 wounded, including women and children, according to IRNA. The pilgrims arrived in Iraq from the Iranian city of Mashhad via the Shalamcheh border.

#1: Two civilians on Tuesday were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off to the southwest of Kirkuk city, according to a local police chief. “This afternoon, an explosive charge detonated in al-Abbasi district (65 km southwest of Kirkuk city), wounding two civilians,” Brigadier Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Monday night, a mortar hit one of the houses in Quriyah neighborhood in downtown Kirkuk. The mortar didn’t blow up. No damage reported.

#1: A woman and her two daughters on Tuesday were wounded by U.S. fire in southeastern Mosul city, according to a police source. “A U.S. patrol vehicle was clearing the way for itself in Falasteen neighborhood, southeastern Mosul, by shooting randomly at passers-by,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Four persons, including a policeman, were wounded in a blast that occurred in eastern Mosul city, a security source said on Tuesday. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a U.S. patrol vehicle in al-Nabi Younis area, eastern Mosul, wounding four individuals, including a traffic cop,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The source did not provide further details.

#3: Police found one dead body in Thawra neighborhood in western Mosul.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two Australian soldiers and an Explosives Detection Dog serving with the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF-1) have been wounded in a road-side bomb attack in southern Afghanistan. The soldiers were conducting a security patrol on Friday morning (30 January 2009) when the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle they were travelling in was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). Both soldiers received non-life threatening wounds to their lower body and are in a stable condition. One soldier will be evacuated to Germany for specialist treatment.

#2: A government official says militants have blown up a bridge in northwest Pakistan, temporarily cutting a major supply line for Western troops in Afghanistan. Hidayat Ullah says militants bombed the bridge early Tuesday in the Khyber Pass region. was not immediately clear whether supply convoys could bypass the destroyed bridge and still reach Afghanistan.

The blast occurred about 6 a.m. Tuesday in the Khata Kushta area of Jamrod in the Khyber Agency in Pakistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The bridge connected Landi Kotal and Jamrod. Transport has been suspended, and authorities are assessing damages. Engineers also are on location and work is under way to open a temporary route. Details were unclear on the size of the blast, but most of the iron bridge was destroyed, local officials said. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

Pakistani authorities swiftly re-opened a key supply route serving NATO forces in Afghanistan Tuesday, following a rebel attack on a bridge in the north-western tribal region, an official said.

#3: The Afghan intelligence service says it's broken up a cell of suicide bombers allegedly responsible for a series of fatal attacks in Kabul. The agency blames the cell for six attacks that have killed 20 civilians and wounded more than 100 others over the last two years. So far, 17 people have been arrested. Three others remain on the run and it's thought they're in Pakistan.

#4: At least 35 militants were killed overnight in a ground and air operation against insurgents in Pakistan's northwest Swat region, the military said Tuesday. "Thirty-five militants were killed in Khawazakhela overnight," the Pakistani military said in a short statement. The military has said that two soldiers have been killed since Sunday. The army attacked militant hideouts in the Khawazakhela district of the sprawling valley, two days after the military announced that another 16 militants were killed in a similar operation at a different place in the troubled region.

#5: An Afghan man was accidentally struck and killed by a vehicle of an International Security Assistance Force convoy in the Parwan province, Charikar District, today. Military personnel administered aid at the scene; however, the injuries proved fatal.

Cpl. Michael L. Jernigan In 2004, Jernigan was blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq.