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 25, 2010

War News for Monday, January 25, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in an IED attack near Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Sunday, January 24th.

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, January 24th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of two more American soldiers in an attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, January 24th.

Iraq seals oil deal with Exxon Mobil, Shell group:

Iraq keeps banned bomb-detecting devices in use:

Pakistan’s Rebuff Over New Offensives Rankles U.S.

Afghanistan Postpones Parliamentary Election by 4 Months:

Reported security incidents

#1-3: Iraqi police say three blasts have struck near three hotels in downtown Baghdad, killing at least 11 people. The officials say the blasts wounded at least 20 people.

#1: The first blast struck at about 3:40 p.m. near the Sheraton Hotel along Abu Nawas Street, just across the Tigris River from the Green Zone.

#2-3: The officials say two others struck near the Babylon Hotel and al-Hamra Hotel, which is popular with Western journalists.

#1: Policemen found the body of a young man whose throat was slit with a knife and photos of his slaughter with the body, a security source in Wassit said on Sunday. “Reported kidnapped a couple of days ago, the young man, in his 20s, was found slain right in front of his house in the area of al-Falahiya, al-Kut city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The police also found photos detailing the slaughter with the body,” he said, adding the corpse was removed to the al-Zahraa Hospital morgue in Kut.

#2: Security forces in Wassit defused on Monday a bomb that was planted in front of a local politician’s house in southern Kut. “The bomb is locally made,” a security source from the province told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two policemen were killed in the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Monday, police told the German Press Agency dpa. The two were shot on their way to work in the Hay al-Wasti district shortly before dawn, police said, adding they believed the gunmen had used silencers.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Separately, the police discovered eight decomposed bodies buried in a mass grave outside Fallujah, the source added. "The bodies were badly decomposed because they have been buried for several years when the city was under control of insurgent groups," he said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A rocket has struck a military base in Afghanistan while the Bulgarian defense minister was visiting some of his country's troops stationed there.Four Bulgarian soldiers were wounded in the attack on the base at Kandahar. Reports say the rocket struck about 200 meters from Defense Minister Nikolay Mladenov and his delegation. None of the officials were hurt. Some 270 Bulgarian troops are based in Kandahar.

Four Bulgarian soldiers and as many Romanian soldiers have been wounded in the southern part in Afghanistan during a missile shelling of an ISAF base in Kandahar Province on Sunday night, a NATO representative reported on Monday.

#2: A suspected U.S. drone crashed in Pakistan's tribal region, a Pakistani intelligence official told CNN. The unmanned aircraft went down about 8 p.m. (10 a.m. ET) Sunday night near the village of Hamzoni in North Waziristan, the official said. Hamzoni is about 5 km (3 miles) west of Miran Shah, a town well-known for Taliban and al Qaeda activity. The official said he did not know whether the aircraft was shot down or if it crashed because of mechanical problems.

#3: The Taliban have freed four Afghans abducted in the north earlier this month along with two Chinese engineers, who remain in militant custody, a police official said Monday. Two Chinese engineers and their two Afghan drivers and two guards were snatched in the province of Faryab on January 16, and the Taliban militia claimed responsibility for the kidnapping the same day. Faryab deputy police chief Mohammad Afzal Imamzada told AFP that the Afghans were freed after negotiations, while similar talks were underway to secure the freedom of the Chinese pair. "The Afghans have been freed but the Chinese are still there. The Afghans were freed under negotiations by tribal elders and we're trying to secure the freedom of the Chinese through the same way," Imamzada said.

#4: Taliban militants in North Waziristan killed seven people on charges of spying for the US-led occupation forces in Afghanistan and threatened spies with similar punishment if they didn’t stop working for their enemy. Four of the slain people were stated to be local Wazir tribesmen while the three others were said to be Afghan nationals, all residents of Afghanistan’s troubled Khost province, which borders North Waziristan.

#5: Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships attacked militants in the Kurram ethnic Pashtun tribal region on the Afghan border, killing 11 and wounding seven, government and security officials said. The assault followed a militant attack on a paramilitary force checkpost in which six soldiers were wounded.

#6: Police in Afghanistan's northern Saripul province discovered an explosive-laden minibus and thus foiled a terrorist attack on Monday, a private television channel reported. "A Minibus full of explosive device was intercepted by police in Saripul province today and thus thwarted a terrorist attack," Tolo broadcast in its news bulletin. Quoting local officials the television also said that two persons have been arrested in this regard.

#7: At least five people were injured in a blast in west Pakistan's Balochistan province on Monday, local TV channel reported. A loud blast rocked the central market of Panjgoor area of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, the private TV Express reported.

MoD: Rifleman Peter Aldridge