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, January 1, 2010

War News for Friday, January 01, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of a British ISAF soldier from an "explosion" in the vicinity of Patrol Base Blenheim, near Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Thursday, December 31st.

The DoD is reporting a new death of an American soldier previously unreported by the military. Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino died from small arms fire/gun shot wounds while unloading supplies in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, December 29th.

Dec. 27 airpower summary: Dec. 28 airpower summary:

Judge Drops Charges From Blackwater Deaths in Iraq:

Angola sign 'dangerous' oil deal in Iraq:

C.I.A. Takes On Bigger and Riskier Role on Front Lines:

CIA base attacked in Afghanistan supported airstrikes against al-Qaeda, Taliban:

Yemeni forces clash with Shi'ite rebels, 11 killed:

Reported security incidents

#1: U.S. and Iraqi forces, backed up by U.S. aircraft, moved through parts of Baghdad on Thursday night in response to rocket attacks on the heavily fortified Green Zone and the U.S. military base next to Baghdad's airport, a U.S. military spokesman said. Iraqi security officials said local forces captured five suspects believed to be behind the attacks in Baghdad's Adil, Jihad and Hurriya neighbourhoods. They also destroyed or confiscated other rockets. No casualties were reported.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded one policeman in the Adhamiya district of northern Baghdad, police said

#1: Three rockets fell on the U.S.-run Camp Echo in western Diwaniya province late Thursday, according to an Iraqi army source. “This is the first time that the rockets to be launched from more than one place,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Gunmen on Friday attacked two tankers travelling though Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan to supply fuel to NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, police said. The ambush took place in the Kalay Malik Hashim area, 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the provincial capital Quetta. "A group of five gunmen attacked the two tankers, which were parked by a roadside hotel on their way to Afghanistan, and set them on fire early Friday," local police official Mohammad Ansar told AFP. "All the gunmen later fled the scene while firing gunshots in the air. "The gunmen also shot at the tankers, he said, adding that the driver's compartment of one truck was destroyed by flames and some oil was lost. An official in the paramilitary Frontier Corps also confirmed the incident and said there were no reports of deaths.

#2: A suspected U.S. missile struck a car carrying alleged militants in a northwestern Pakistan tribal region Friday, killing three men in the second such attack in less than a day, intelligence officials said. Both missile strikes occurred in North Waziristan. The one Friday happened near Mir Ali, a major town in the region, two intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

#3: A roadside bomb on Friday killed five people including an anti-Taliban tribal leader in Pakistan's Bajaur district, the focus of a military operation to quash insurgents, officials said. The incident took place near Salarzai village, eight kilometres (five miles) west of Khar, the main town of Bajaur, part of the semi-autonomous northwest tribal area along the border with Afghanistan. "A pro-government tribal elder, Gulshali Khan, and four others were killed when a remote-controlled bomb exploded near their vehicle in Salarzai," top local administration official Zakir Hussain Afridi told AFP.

#4: Two French reporters have been kidnapped north-east of the Afghan capital Kabul, Afghan officials say. They say the journalists were seized in Kapisa province, along with three Afghans travelling with them.

#5: Pakistani security forces raided a private hospital in the tribal region where suspected militants were thought to be treated and killed at least five people, locals and officials said Thursday. Sources said that two soldiers were also killed in clash when the militants opened fire. They said that 18 people were also arrested after the raid at the hospital in Wana, the center of South Waziristan. An official said the authorities had received information that the militants were injured during a recent clash with the army and were treated in the private hospital.
He claimed that four militants were killed in the raid, started late Wednesday night and continued till Thursday morning. It was not independently confirmed if those killed were militants. Officials said when the forces started operation at 11 p.m., to arrest the militants they resisted and started firing. Exchange of firing continued till 7 a.m., they said. Locals said that a woman was also killed in exchange of fire between the two sides.

#6: Afghan border security personnel shot dead three Pakistani nationals for illegally crossing into their soil from the Pakistani border town of Zhob, DawnNews reported. According to official sources, three Pakistani nationals, who were shepherds by profession, had crossed over into Afghan territory on Thursday without any legal documents. The three had entered Afghanistan from a point in between the Qamar Din Karez and Badini areas of the Pakistani border town of Zhob when they were shot dead by Afghan forces.

#7: At least nine people were killed and another 20 wounded in a suicide attack in northwest Pakistan Friday evening, local TV channel reported.

#8: A roadside bomb went off near the head office of Gorbaz district in eastern Afghanistan's Khost province Thursday morning, injuring five police officers including the district police chief. Guldad, head of criminal investigation department of the district police, told Xinhua that Basmillah Khan, the police chief of Gorbaz, was on his way from home to office Thursday morning when a roadside bomb struck his car.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino

DND/CF: Sergeant George Miok

DND/CF: Sergeant Kirk Taylor

DND/CF: Corporal Zachery McCormack

DND/CF: Private Garrett William Chidley