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 17, 2009

War News for Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from enemy fire south of Lashkar Gah, in the Nawa district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Monday, February 16th. Here's the NATO statement.

Pentagon Rethinks Photo Ban on Coffins Bearing War Dead:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A Sahwa council fighter on Tuesday was wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in northern Baghdad, according to a security source. “A roadside explosive charge planted by unknown men in Baghdad’s northern area of al-Adhamiya detonated while a vehicle belonging to the Sahwa councils was passing the location, wounding one fighter,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three policemen on Tuesday were killed and seven others were wounded in a blast that ripped through downtown Baaquba city, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated inside a popular restaurant in front of Diala’s police department in downtown Baaquba city, killing three cops and wounding seven others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Two successive roadside bombs killed two civilians and wounded another 10, including six policemen, in central Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said. The first bomb targeted a roadside food stand where police were eating. The second exploded as fellow police rushed to the scene.

#2: Two children on Tuesday were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near Baaquba city, according to a security source. “The device detonated in Hamreen village (13 km north of al-Saadiya district), injuring two kids,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The children are eight and 10 years old,” the source added, providing no further details.

#1: An Iraqi police colonel on Tuesday survived as assassination attempt in Diala’s al-Khales district, according to an official source. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a checkpoint set up at the entrance of al-Khales district (15 km north of Baaquba) targeting Col. Hamid al-Luhaibi while he was heading home to al-Aswad area,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“There has been no word on casualties,” the source added.

#1: Security forces defused two roadside bombs in al-Refaee suburb, southern Thi-Qar province, according to a release issued by Thi-Qar police directorate on Tuesday. “The two explosive charges were planted on a road that links Nassiriya city to al-Refaee suburb (80 km south of the city),” said the release that was received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside bomb planted behind a caravan belonging to the Support Forces HQ in Siniyah district, 5 km to the west of the city of Baiji detonated, Monday evening killing three members of the Support Forces, injuring three others.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A car bomb exploded on Tuesday outside the home of a town councillor critical of militants in northwestern Pakistan, killing three people and wounding eight, police officials said. The device detonated near a room used by Fahim-ur-Rehman to entertain guests in the suburban town of Bazidkhel, just outside the sprawling city of Peshawar, the officials said.

#2: Afghan and NATO-led troops detained two insurgents in an operation in Tirzaye district, 150 km (95) miles east of Kabul. The suspects were involved in a suicide car bombing that killed two U.S. soldiers in Khost 0n Feb 10, a statement by NATO-led forces said.

#3: U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops killed five militants in an operation targeting an arms supplier in the Qala Gah district, some 635 km (395) miles southwest of Kabul, the U.S. said.

#4: Air raids against rebels' hideout in west Afghanistan claimed the lives of five armed insurgents and wounded 18 others including women and children, a district chief said Tuesday. "These raids carried out against Ghulam Yahya Khan, a rebel commander, in Karizmir village of Gazara district Monday night, killing five armed men and injuring 18 civilians including five women and five children," Alim Khan the district chief of Guzara told Xinhua.