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, January 18, 2010

War News for Monday, January 18, 2010

The DND/CF is reporting the death of a Canadian ISAF soldier in and IED attack in the Panjwayi district, Khandahar province, Afghanistan on Saturday, January 16th.

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier during an engagement with insurgents in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, January 16th.

Pak may fence 2,250-mile border with Afghanistan:

US drones unlikely to break militants in long term:

Reported security incidents

#1: An Iraqi army officer and a civilian were wounded in an explosive charge blast in downtown Baghdad, a police source said on Monday. “A sticky improvised explosive device (IED) detonated inside a civilian Land cruiser driven by an army lieutenant in al-Allawi area, downtown Baghdad, wounding the officer and a civilian who was close to the scene of the blast,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Unknown gunmen shot dead five aide workers at a humanitarian agency building in northern Baghdad on Monday, an Interior Ministry source said. Unidentified armed men stormed a humanitarian agency headquarters in the neighborhood of Adhamiyah and shot dead five of its workers and fled the scene after they left a booby-trapped car at the site, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The car bomb went off after the Iraqi security forces arrived at the scene, wounding two soldiers, the source said.

#3: A bomb attached to a car wounded two people in Mashtal district, eastern Baghdad, on Sunday night, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Four civilians on Monday were injured in an explosive charge blast in al-Saadiya district, a local police source said. “On Monday, an improvised explosive device hit a civilian vehicle on Mandali-al-Saadiya road (100 km north of Baaquba), wounding four passengers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Three brothers from the Mjamma'i tribe were handcuffed, blindfolded and executed on their doorstep when their home was raided by an unknown group of around thirty men dressed in military uniforms in Kharab village, Buhruz district, 4 km to the south of Baquba at 2 a.m. Sunday.

#3: A motorcycle bomb placed outside police headquarters killed one policeman and wounded five others in Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police found the body of a woman with bullet wounds to the head and chest in the south of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday night, police said.

#2: A shepherd was wounded when a mine dating back to the days of Saddam Hussein exploded north of Kirkuk on Sunday, police said

#1: A Christian citizen was shot down by gunmen fire in northern Mosul city on Sunday, a local police source in Ninewa said. “Gunmen in a vehicle opened drive-by fire on a Christian citizen near his home in al-Majmouaa al-Thaqafiya area, northern Mosul, and then escaped to an unknown place,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Gunmen shot down a civilian man in his 50s at the gate of his home in Hadirat al-Sada, central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: “Another civilian man was shot dead by gunmen fire in al-Karama neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” he added.

#4: A bank employee has been wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire on him in western Mosul, a local police source said on Monday. “This morning, a group of gunmen opened fire on a bank employee in al-Mosul al-Jadeeda area,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: A Christian has been shot down by gunmen in northern Mosul, the second attack on Christians in the city in less than 24 hours, a security source said on Monday. “At noon, unknown gunmen broke into a food store owned by a Christian man in al-Sadeeq neighborhood, northern Mosul, and opened fire on him,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#6: Three gunmen on Monday were arrested after attacking a police patrol vehicle in western Mosul, according to a local security source. “The gunmen threw a hand grenade at a patrol vehicle in al-Aamel neighborhood, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Emergency police forces chased the gunmen and arrested them in the same neighborhood, the source pointed out.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A bomb attached to a car killed two people, including a policeman, in central Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban militants struck in the heart of the Afghan capital Monday, launching suicide attacks on key government targets. The Defense Ministry said seven attackers had also been killed in the brazen attack. Explosions and heavy machine-gun fire rattled the city for hours. Debris was strewn on the streets, which were quickly abandoned by crowds that normally fill the area. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said a child and a policeman were killed. The Ministry of Public Health later said five people — a civilian and four security forces — were killed and 30 others wounded.

The first blast was heard shortly before 10 a.m. in an area where government buildings are concentrated, including the presidential palace, the central bank and the luxury Serana Hotel, which is frequented by Westerners. Azimi said a rocket slammed into the street near the bank's gate, but there were conflicting reports that the area had been struck by a suicide bomber or grenades. Mohib Safi, the bank's deputy governor, said employees heard a strong explosion followed by gunfire. He said employees were safely inside and that no militants had entered the building. Police sealed off a large area in the center of Kabul as the clash of machine-gun fire echoed through the mountain-rimmed city. Helicopters buzzed overhead. A car that exploded between a shopping center and the Ministry of Education burned in the street. Fighting raged for more than three hours and one four-story shopping center near the Justice Ministry was engulfed in flames after a group of militants entered the building, throwing grenades inside to frighten shoppers, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Zemari Bashary. Two suicide bombers later detonated their explosives and Afghan troops killed two other militants in the mall, Bashary said. He said other militants were holed up on the top floor, but officials later said the building had been cleared.

Elsewhere in the capital, Afghan troops also surrounded an area housing a well-known cinema and opened fire on militants believed hiding inside. A police officer at the site, Ghulam Ghaus, said the fighting ended after the last suicide attacker inside blew himself up. It wasn't clear how many others were in the building.

#2: Two Chinese engineers and four Afghans have been kidnapped by gunmen in northwestern Afghanistan, an official said Monday. The six men were seized late Saturday while traveling back to their base after a day working on a road construction project, according to Abdul Sattar Barez, the deputy provincial governor of Faryab province. Saturday's abduction occurred in Faryab province.

MoD: Corporal Lee Brownson

MoD: Rifleman Luke Farmer

DND/CF: Sergeant John Wayne