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, March 19, 2009

War News for Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy six years of war day


The Australian DoD is reporting the death of an Australian ISAF soldier in an IED explosion in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, March 19th.


March 17 airpower summary:

March 16 airpower summary:

March 15 airpower summary:

Foreign companies would get majority stake in Iraq oil and gas projects:

US to deploy hundreds of civilian officials to Afghanistan:

U.S. Plans Vastly Expanded Afghan Security Force:

Army to Phase Out 'Stop-Loss' Practice:

EXCLUSIVE: Taliban Commander Says U.S. Troops are Being Targeted: (4 pages and worth the time to read)

Mass grave found during oil search in Iraq:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A leading politician from the Iraqi Islamic Party, part of in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's ruling coalition, has been assassinated west of Baghdad, the party announced Thursday. Faisal Abdallah al-Samrai was among the top leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a descendant of the Iraqi branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and part of al-Maliki's United Iraqi Alliance, reported dpa. In a statement released Thursday morning, the Iraqi Islamic Party said al-Samrai was gunned down as he left a celebration on Wednesday night. He had recently won a seat on the local council for the central Iraqi district of al-Karkh, just west of Baghdad, in January's elections.

#2: Wednesday A magnetic bomb targeted a police officer’s car in Shaab neighborhood in eastern Baghdad around 7:15 p.m. The officer was injured and taken to hospital for treatment.

#3: Gunmen shot and wounded two Interior Ministry personnel when they attacked their vehicle in central Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.


Kut:
#1: Police forces found an unknown civilian body early Thursday in central Kut, a security source said. “Policemen on the wee small hours of Thursday morning found an unknown civilian body in al-Abassiya neighborhood behind the blood bank in central Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body shows signs of gunshot wounds and was sent to the morgue,” he added.


Kirkuk:
#1: Gunmen killed a landlord and his wife when they stormed their house, south of Kirkuk, 255 km (155 miles), north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.


Mosul:
#1: An employee from the Displacement and Migration Department on Wednesday was shot by unknown gunmen in northern Mosul city, according to a local police source. “The employee was shot while he was leaving his work in al-Arabi neighborhood, northern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen killed a civilian in a drive-by shooting, south of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians when it struck a U.S. patrol in eastern Mosul on Wednesday, police said. The patrol escaped unharmed.

#4: Unknown gunmen on Thursday killed the mayor of Doberdan village of Baasheqa district, east of Mosul city, said a security source from Ninewa province. “The armed men shot dead Khalil Dhahir Abdilrahman, and then escaped,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: Police found the body of a man shot in the head and chest in a town near Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A roadside bomb struck the car of Dad Mohammad, a member of Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of the Parliament on Thursday, killing five persons including the lawmaker, a family member of Dad Mohammad said. "The incident occurred outside Helmand's provincial capital Lashkar Gah at around 1: p.m. local time, killing Dad Mohammad and four of his bodyguards and friends," the family member of the MP told Xinhua, but refused to be identified.

#2: Afghan forces backed with the U.S.-led Coalition forces Wednesday morning killed two militants and arrested four more during operations in Nagarhar province of eastern Afghanistan, a Coalition statement issued here said. "Two armed militants engaged the joint forces were killed and a total of four suspected militants were detained in the operation to disable an Al Qaida cell that facilitates suicide bombers and plans improvised explosive device attacks in Bati Kowt district," the statement said.

#3: In a statement late on Tuesday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said troops had clashed with Taliban on Saturday in Kapisa province, northeast of Kabul, and an assessment of the battle was going on. “As of March 16, an estimated total of 29 enemy dead and 12 wounded have been reported,” the ISAF said, adding it had killed two “prominent” wanted Taliban and their two associates in the southern province of Helmand on Monday.

#4: Eight Taliban insurgents and two Afghan police were killed during a fire fighting in restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan on late Wednesday, provincial administration spokesman Daud Ahmadi said on Thursday. "Afghan National Police engaged Taliban militants during a searching operation in outskirts of provincial capital Lashkar Gah, resulted in eight Taliban rebels and two police dead," Daud Ahmaditold Xinhua. He added that four Taliban insurgents were wounded but no civilian casualties were reported so far.

#5: Taliban militants blew up an electricity substation in Peshawar Thursday, plunging more than half the northwestern Pakistan city into darkness, officials said. Militants planted explosives around four pylons in Urmur, on the outskirts of Peshawar before dawn, Shaukat Afzal, a spokesman for the state-owned water and power supply company told AFP. The blast destroyed the grid station and left half the city without power, he said. The power supply was partially restored after more than eight hours.

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