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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

War News for Saturday, January 30, 2010

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Sgt. Carlos E. Gill died from an illness at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Tuesday, January 26th.

CNN is reporting the deaths of two American ISAF soldiers in an undisclosed incident in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, January 29th. Another American civilian was also died in the incident. Some news reports that the civilian was an Afghan interpreter who killed the two soldiers and the killed himself.

Reported security incidents

#1: A militant hurled a hand grenade at Shi'ite pilgrims, killing one pilgrim and wounding two others in Baghdad's southern district of Saidiya, said Security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi.

#2: Two pilgrims were wounded by gunfire in Baghdad's southern district of Doura, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb seriously wounded a justice ministry official in western Baghdad, police said.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: Two roadside bombs targeting a police patrol wounded two policemen and a civilian in Tuz Khurmato, 170 km (105 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A civilian man was shot dead by gunmen fire northwest of Kirkuk on Friday, according to the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department (KDPD) chief. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a house in the village of Bibani al-Kabir, al-Toun Kobri district, (35 km) northwest of Kirkuk, killing a man inside,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Tal Afar:
#1: Policemen defused an improvised explosive device that was emplaced near a local football playground in the district of Talafar, west of Mosul city, on Saturday, a security source in Ninewa said. “The IED was planted near a public football playground frequented by sportspeople in al-Askari neighborhood, northern Talafar, (60 km) northwest of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber killed 12 people Saturday at a police checkpoint in a northwest Pakistani tribal area where the military declared victory over the Taliban and al Qaeda last year, highlighting the difficulty Islamabad has in holding regions once the battle phase of its army offensives end. Ten civilians and two police officers died in the suicide attack in the Bajur tribal region, while 24 people were wounded, local government official Bakhat Pacha said. The attacker, on foot, struck a market area in the region's main town, Khar, he said.

#2: Overnight Saturday, three suspected U.S. missiles hit a compound and a bunker in the Mohammad Khel area of North Waziristan, part of a surge of the drone-fired strikes, intelligence officials said. The mountainous area is where a suspected U.S. drone is reported to have crashed on Jan. 24, they added. Two missiles in Saturday's attack hit the compound being used by the militants, killing seven of them, the intelligence officials said. The third killed two more insurgents in the bunker, they said. Another such missile strike early this month targeted a meeting of militant commanders in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to kill Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

#3: Mistaking one another for the enemy, NATO forces and Afghan soldiers battled in the morning darkness Saturday in a shootout that left at least four Afghan soldiers dead and prompted the Defense Ministry to call for the perpetrators to be punished. A joint patrol of Afghan and coalition forces took gunfire around 3 a.m. while on a mission in the Sayyidabad district of Wardak province, according to statements from NATO-led coalition and Afghan militaries. After returning fire and calling in an aircraft attack, coalition forces later realized that the initial shooting had come from an Afghan National Army outpost. The Afghan Defense Ministry condemned the friendly fire incident, which they said wounded other soldiers in addition to the four killed.

DoD: Pfc. Scott G. Barnett

DoD: Sgt. Carlos E. Gill