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 26, 2009

War News for Thursday, March 26, 2009

News TWEAN is reporting the death of Specialist Justin Antisdel at the Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, March 22nd., from injuries he suffered in Iraq some time in February 2008. No other details were reported.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Wednesday, March 25th.


Iraq to ask oil firms to build $2.5 bln refinery:

Italy ready to send more troops to Afghanistan: FM:

Iran says to attend UN meeting on Afghanistan:

Taliban claim shooting down US copter in Afghanistan:

British troops may remain in Afghanistan for 5 years:

Combat Trains Keep Supply-Veins Flowing:

U.S. watchdog says billions of U.S. aid wasted in Iraq:

Afghan Strikes by Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say:

U.S., Pakistan drawing up new drone targets - report:

Netherlands to stick to its Afghanistan pullout plan:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Iraqi officials say a car bombing in a mainly Shiite area of Baghdad has killed at least 14 people and wounded more than two dozen. Police and hospital officials say the explosives-laden car was parked near a bus terminal surrounded by shops in the Shaab district when it blew up shortly after noon. The officials say the 14 dead included four children and three women. Another official, in the Interior Ministry, gave a slightly different casualty toll, saying 16 people were killed and 35 wounded.

#2: On Wednesday evening, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated on Omar Ibn Abdelaziz street in Baghdad’s northern area of Adhamiya, wounding four civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb wounded four civilians on Wednesday when it went off near a U.S. military patrol in Baghdad's northern Adhamiya district, police said.

#3: Another device exploded in al-Qahera neighborhood, northeastern Baghdad, wounding four others,” the source added.

A roadside bomb wounded five civilians on Wednesday when it exploded near a U.S. military patrol in Qahira district, northern Baghdad, police said.

#4: A blast killed two people and wounded four in northern Baghdad's Shaab district, police said. They did not know the cause of the blast and said the death toll may rise.

#5: A bomb attached to the car of Qais Safaa, secretary to justice minister, seriously wounded him on Wednesday in Haifa Street, central Baghdad, police said. Another passenger and two passers-by were also wounded in the blast.


Riyadh:
#1: An Iraqi army soldier was wounded in an armed attack in the southwest of Kirkuk, a source from the joint coordination center in Kirkuk said on Thursday. “Unknown gunmen shot and injured a solider from the 12th division of the Iraqi army on Thursday morning (Mar. 26) in Riyadh district in the southwest of Kirkuk while on duty,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Rashad:
#1: Three electricity workers were wounded Thursday in a bomb blast in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. “An improvised explosive device went off near the electricity department’s workers in al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk, injuring three workers who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Kirkuk:
#1: Gunmen attempted to kidnap one of the body guards of the President of the Criminal Court in Kirkuk, Thursday morning. And during the ensuing hand fight, people started to gather and the gunmen fled leaving the body guard, Murad Fikret with superficial injuries.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen attacked and killed a store owner in his store in Faisaliyah neighbourhood, central Mosul at 11.30 a.m. Thursday.

#2: A civilian man was wounded in a hand-grenade attack on Thursday in central Mosul, where the culprit was later arrested, a source from Ninewa police said. “A man was injured when a gunman hurled a hand-grenade at his store in the area of al-Dawasa, central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The police captured the perpetrator after a chase in the same area,” the source added.

#3: Meanwhile, the source said policemen found the body of a farm guard who belongs to the Yazidi religious minority in the district of Boesheiqa, east of Mosul. “The man, who showed signs of having been shot, was killed apparently in a tribal feud that has nothing to do with any armed operations,” he added.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: militants attacked a police checkpoint Thursday, killing nine policemen, the Interior Ministry said. It said the checkpoint in southern Helmand province's Nahri Sarraj district was attacked by "enemies of Afghanistan," a common reference to Taliban militants.

#2: Taliban militants also attacked a police convoy in central Ghazni province Thursday, wounding six policemen, said regional police spokesman Iqbal Gul Sapan. Four militants were killed in the clash in Nani village near the provincial capital, he said.

#3: At least 11 people have been killed in a suicide attack at a restaurant in north-western Pakistan today. The attack appeared to be targeted against a group of militants opposed to Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. Mehsud is one of several powerful tribal militia leaders in north-western Pakistan and has been blamed for several bomb attacks.

#4: A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles into a house in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, killing four people, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. It was the second strike in as many days. A missile believed to have been launched by a pilotless U.S. drone killed at least seven militants, including foreigners, in South Waziristan on March 25, intelligence officials and Taliban sources said. "We have information that four people were killed," said one of the Pakistani officials, referring to the strike in the early hours of March 26 near the town of Mir Ali.

#5: Four Taliban insurgents were killed, and seven policemen and two civilians were wounded during a battle just outside Ghazni city some 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Kabul, a spokesman for the provincial governor said. Afghan police were taking a detained militant to the provincial court when the Taliban militants started to attack, the spokesman added

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