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

Friday, March 27, 2009

War News for Friday, March 27, 2009

Sources: More US Troops for Afghan War:

2,000 more British troops to join Barack Obama's Afghanistan surge:

Shoddy wiring 'everywhere' on Iraq bases, Army inspector says:

Iraq buys 24 French helicopters, Paris says:

Stryker soldier gets 6 months for refusing to go to Iraq:

Pakistani and Afghan Taliban Unify in Face of U.S. Influx:

Breakdown of foreign troop numbers in Afghanistan:

Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
#1: Security officials say gunmen have shot and killed a Sunni Arab cleric and wounded his son at a town northeast of Baghdad where a suicide bomber struck a Kurdish funeral this week. They say Sheik Kareem Saleh was walking home with his son Thursday evening when gunmen shot them and fled. Saleh is the imam of a mosque at Jalula in Diyala province some 80 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad.

#1: A bomb planted near a high-voltage tower wounded four electricity ministry personnel on Thursday in Samarra, 100 km (62 miles), north of Baghdad, statement from the ministry said

#1: Gunmen wounded a liquor store owner and his son when they hurled a hand-grenade into his shop in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles), north of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A government official says a suicide attack on a mosque in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 48 people. Tariq Hayat, the top administrator in the Khyber region, says rescuers have pulled 48 bodies from the rubble after the attack near the town of Jamrud. Hayat says the death toll is likely to rise. The mosque was packed for Friday prayers. The blast collapsed the mosque in Jamrud, a town near the Afghan border, and police were digging in the rubble for any survivors, said Bakhtiar Khan, a local government official.

#2: International and Afghan troops killed 11 militants when a raid in Afghanistan's volatile south turned into a gunbattle with Taliban fighters, U.S. forces said Friday. Fighting broke out during the Thursday night raid targeting a key Taliban insurgent in a village in Helmand province, the military said in a statement. The forces came under fire from militants inside a compound as they advanced and returned fire. The U.S. military said the insurgent targeted in the attack was involved in making bombs that were used for roadside attacks in northern Helmand province. One insurgent was captured and 11 killed in the fighting in Lashkar Gar district, west of the provincial capital of Kandahar. The statement said one militant tried to use women and children in the compound as human shields, but the force managed to shoot the man without harming the civilians.

#3: Also in Helmand, a police operation that lasted nine hours killed five militants, including a commander who had planned a bomb blast that killed parliamentarian Dad Mohammad Khan a week ago, the interior ministry said.

#4: Elsewhere Thursday, Afghan forces assisted by U.S.-led coalition troops killed two militants allegedly planting a bomb into a frequently traveled road in the southern Uruzgan province, a separate U.S. military statement said.

#5: On Friday, meanwhile, Afghan authorities announced they had seized a truck packed with three tonnes of explosives that was intended for an attack in the eastern city of Khost