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

Monday, April 20, 2009

War News for Monday, April 20, 2009

Report Shows Torture Is Widespread in Iraq:

Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects:

A Blast, an Ambush and a Sprint Out of a Taliban Kill Zone:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Baghdad’s Secretariat on Monday said that one of its personnel was killed in a “criminal” attack in the capital, calling on concerned bodies to put on more effort to protect its staff. “Ghadeer Salman Kadhem from the state-run Ibn Rushd Company was martyred in a criminal attack while he was heading to work,” according to a statement released by the secretariat’s media office and received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Gunmen killed the driver of a director general in the Ministry of Planning. He was waiting at the DG's front door in New Baghdad, eastern Baghdad when the gunmen shot him dead using a gun with a silencer, threw his body on the pavement, to be found by his boss, and drove away with the car.

#2: Two mortar rounds slammed into a private power generator in Zayuna, eastern Baghdad at 2 p.m. Sunday injuring two civilians and destroying the generator.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A gunman on foot opened fire at a checkpoint manned by Iraqi Army in Gatoun area, 1 km to the west of Baquba. He wounded two soldiers and got away. Eye witnesses said that he looked around 15 years old.

#1: A suicide bomber targeting a joint Iraqi and American foot patrol northeast of Baghdad on Monday killed three people and wounded eight coalition soldiers, military officials told AFP.
An Iraqi army official said three police had been killed and one civilian wounded, while a US army spokesman said initial reports indicated that "the explosion resulted in at least eight coalition casualties" but no deaths. The US spokesman did not confirm that three Iraqi police had been killed and one civilian wounded. The forces were patrolling inside Baquba, which is located 60 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of the capital, when they came under attack, said the Iraqi army official from the city's military operations command.

Al Hindiya:
#1: A child on Monday was wounded when a hand grenade went off near Karbala city, according to the director of the province’s police. “The incident took place in al-Hindiya city, 20 km east of Karbala city,” General Ali Jassim Mohammed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The child’s fingers of both hands were cut off and he had different other wounds due to the explosion,” he said.

#1: A roadside bomb on Monday went off targeting a Multi-National Forces (MNF) patrol in northern Basra, without causing any casualties or damage, according to a local security source. “The incident took place near the oil cultural center, 7 km north of Basra city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two men in a civilian sedan (BMW) attempted to kidnap nine year old Elias Yaqub in neighbourhood 92. The police was able to catch the kidnappers one of whom broke both his legs during the chase and confrontation. Elias was set free.

#1: Iraqi army forces on Monday found a body belonging to a girl near Makhmour district, northern Iraq, according to an army source. “On Monday morning, army forces found an unknown body belonging to a girl in western al-Kowir (23 km north of Makhmour district),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The body bore signs of gunshot wounds and was taken to the morgue,” the source added.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two children on Monday were killed in an explosive charge blast in northern Falluja city, according to a local security source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) planted next to a house belonging to an Iraqi army captain detonated while he was leaving the house, killing two children,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Police forces on Monday foiled an improvised explosive device (IED) attack that targeted a policeman’s house in downtown Falluja city. “On Monday, emergency police forces defused an IED planted near a house belonging to a senior officer in downtown Falluja,” Lt. Col. Hatef Mohammed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A disabled man packed explosives into his artificial leg and detonated inside the compound of an Afghan provincial governor on Monday but managed only to kill himself, police said. The bomber hobbled into the heavily guarded compound of the governor in the western city of Herat and exploded his bombs after police fired at him, deputy provincial police chief, Delawar Shah Delawar, told AFP at the scene. "Today a suicide attacker, a disabled man who placed his bombs in his artificial leg, was able to enter the governor's compound. He exploded himself after our police fired at him," he said.

#2: Suspected U. S. missiles leveled a Taliban compound in Pakistan yesterday, killing three people despite threats of suicide bombings if the strikes don't end. Yesterday's suspected strike occurred in South Waziristan. Shahab Ali Shah, South Waziristan's top administrative official, said three people died and five were wounded in the Zari Noor village area. The identities of the dead and wounded were not immediately clear.

#3: Two roadside bombs wounded four Danish soldiers in the southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, Denmark’s Army Operational Command (HOK) said in a statement AFP inoforms. One soldier was seriously injured when a bomb blast hit the military vehicle in which he was travelling near the Danish base camp of Armadillo, the statement said. Three other soldiers who tried to help him were hit by the explosion of another bomb. All four were transferred by helicopter to the Camp Bastion military hospital. The first soldier was in a stable, but critical condition, while the others were not believed to be in any danger.

#4: Pakistani security forces shelling Taliban attackers in a militant stronghold near the Afghan border killed at least three civilians, officials said Monday. The overnight clashes occurred in the vicinity of Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal region. A Taliban compound in the same area was targeted by a U.S. missile strike on Sunday that a government official said killed three people. Militants attacked at least four military camps and checkpoints between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., leading security forces to use artillery in retaliation, said an intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.

#5: Also early Monday, the bullet-riddled body of an Afghan man was found near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan tribal region, along with a note accusing him of spying for the United States, local police official Hayat Mohammad said.

#6: Dozens of armed Taliban militants stormed a police post in southwestern Afghanistan overnight, killing five policemen, an official said on Sunday. The post, manned by a small number of policemen, was overpowered after the rebels attacked it near the town of Farah in the remote province of the same name, said Mohammad Younus Rasouli, deputy provincial governor. “A large number of Taliban attacked one of our police posts late last night. We lost five policemen in that attack,” Rasouli told AFP. He said the attackers, believed to be in their dozens, fled after reinforcements were sent to the area.An operation to hunt down the militants was underway, the official said. The Taliban also suffered some casualties, Rasouli said, but could not give a figure. It was the latest in an increasingly bloody insurgency being waged by the remnants of the Taliban.

#7: In a video released last week, the Taliban are seen shooting a 19-year-old after he confesses to planting small transmitter chips that guide CIA’s drones to their targets. “I was given Rs 10,000 to drop chips wrapped in cigarette paper at Al Qaeda and Taliban houses,” he said. “If I was successful, I was told I would be given thousands of dollars ... The money was good so I started throwing the chips all over. I knew people were dying because of what I was doing, but I needed the money.”Propaganda: A US official talking to the NBC dismissed the video as “extremist propaganda”. The Taliban, meanwhile, believe they have busted most of the spy networks operated by the US and Pakistani militaries. “We used to watch these planes, but had no idea they were chasing us and taking pictures of our activities,” said a Taliban commander in North Waziristan. “In the early days ... our training camps were visible and people would come and go. We were not so concerned about the security of our locations, but that has all changed now. We [have] abandoned all our old camps and re-located to new places. ”The commander said 40 training camps had been moved because their friends in Afghanistan had tipped them off about planned US attacks.The commander said that the Americans had then started paying Pakistani and Afghan citizens to identify their locations. “Finally, with the help of our sources in the Pakistani and Afghan intelligence agencies, we detained two Afghan tribesmen, who after five days of interrogation, confessed to spying for US forces in Afghanistan. They revealed other names and then we knew there were entire networks of spies operating in our areas,” he said. A government official said the Taliban had recently executed more than 100 alleged spies in North Waziristan.

#8: A civilian was killed in an explosion on Monday in Uruzgan, 180 km (112 miles) south of Kabul, the interior ministry said.

#9: Afghan and U.S.-led troops killed four "adversaries" in an overnight operation in Kandahar province, 450 km (280 miles) southwest of Kabul, the U.S. military said, adding one woman was also wounded superficially in the raid.

#10: Five Afghan police have gone missing after a Taliban attack on Sunday in Ghazni province, 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Kabul, a provincial official said.