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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

War News for Thursday, January 21, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier from a non-hostile related injuries in an un disclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, January 20th. The Pocono Record is reporting that Sgt. 1st Class Michael P. Shannon died of a heart attack on Sunday, January 17th.

How an Inflammatory Term, Baathist, Bars Candidates in Iraq:

Dutch General in Afghanistan slams critics:

NATO planning civilian boss in Afghan:

Taliban Overhaul Image in Bid to Win Allies:

Reported security incidents

#1: Three persons were killed and seven others were wounded during clashes that broke out following an armed robbery in Baghdad, the Iraqi police said on Wednesday. “This evening, unknown gunmen broke into a jewelry store in al-Bonook neighborhood, northeastern Baghdad, and killed two persons inside,” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Police forces arrived at the scene of the robbery and engaged in clashes with the gunmen, the source pointed out. One policeman was killed, while six civilians and a gunman were wounded in the clashes, the source noted.The other gunmen have managed to escape, the source added.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Wednesday A booby trapped motorcycle exploded in the main marketplace in Baladruz district, 40 km to the east of Baquba, killing one civilian and injuring four others.

#1: Police forces defused on Wednesday a roadside bomb in west of Diwaniya, local police chief said.

#1: One police officer died and five others were injured in an explosion caused by a device planted in a police car in the Masib area of the city of Halla, around 100 kilometres south of Baghdad.

#1: Three missiles have been fired at a U.S. airbase in Balad district, a local police source said on Wednesday. “This evening, three missiles were fired from an unknown location at the U.S. Anaconda base, previously known as al-Bakr, in Yathrib district, eastern Balad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Plumes of smoke were seen in the sky after the attack, the source noted.

#1: An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday in central Kirkuk targeting a vehicle of director of the Kirkuk health department, without causing casualties, a senior police officer said. “The bomb exploded this morning (Jan. 21) in al-Kourniesh street in central Kirkuk, targeting a vehicle of the director of the Kirkuk health department, Dr. Sabah al-Ameer,” Colonel Taha Salah el-Din told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Gunmen killed an Iraqi army colonel near his house in the country's north, marking the third deadly attack in a day on members of security forces in the area. The victim's cousin, Nafaa Khudir, identified the officer Thursday as Col. Salih Ahmed al-Ukaydi of the Iraqi Army's 2nd division. He said the father of seven was headed on foot to visit a friend near Namrood, a mostly Sunni village about 18 miles (30 kilometers) south of Mosul, when he was shot by the unidentified gunmen around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

#2-3: The shooting came hours after two off-duty policemen were killed in Mosul.

#2: One policeman was killed when a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) went off in southern Mosul, a local police source said on Wednesday. “At noon, a sticky explosive charge detonated inside a car belonging to a policeman in Wadi Hajar area, southern Mosul, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: One policeman was killed in a popular café in downtown Mosul City, a local security source said on Wednesday. “This afternoon, an intelligence policeman was killed by gunmen in a popular café in Bab Lakash area, downtown Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday blew up the house of a policeman in southern Falluja City, a local security source said. “The blast destroyed a large part of the house, but no casualties were reported,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: An improvised explosive device exploded in southern Ramadi on Thursday, without causing casualties, a police source said. “The bomb went off in al-Sekak region, southern Ramadi, targeting a police vehicle patrol,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO said Thursday that four insurgents were killed during a raid southwest of Kabul, but villagers insisted the dead were civilians. Witnesses said foreign troops descended the Qara Bagh district of Ghazni province in helicopters and stormed two houses at about 10 p.m. Wednesday. They killed a father and his two sons along with a neighbour even though they weren't armed, according to Musa Jalali and other residents of the Baram village. NATO denied any civilians were harmed in Wednesday's action. It said the raid was a joint operation with Afghan forces targeting a high-level Taliban commander who has organized attacks against Afghan and NATO troops and helped smuggle foreign fighters in the area. Jalali, however, said the slain father worked for a cellphone company and everybody knew him to be a good man. He said he believed a tipster had lied to NATO to provoke the raid against the man, a common complaint among Afghans who believe people use foreign forces to carry out grudges.

#2: Afghan soldiers confiscated heroin and opium from a vehicle trying to bypass a checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Helmand province yesterday, military officials reported. When Afghan soldiers tried to detain the driver, he accelerated the vehicle dragging a soldier along. Fellow soldiers fired warning shots and attempted to fire vehicle-disabling shots. When that didn’t work, the soldiers fired lethal shots into the vehicle wounding the driver, who later died of his wounds.

#3: A roadside bomb apparently targeting anti-Taliban elders killed three people and injured 22 others on Thursday in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, officials said. The explosion hit their bus in Salarzai district in the tribal region of Bajaur, a day after a similar bomb planted in the road injured a provincial parliamentarian in the northwest capital Peshawar. “It was an improvised explosive device which exploded as the bus headed to the region's main town of Khar,” local government official Mazhar Ali said. “One woman was killed while 22 other passengers were wounded.” Senior administration official Abdul Kabir later said that “two others succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.”

#4: Also in Bajaur, two Taliban militants were killed when a bomb they were preparing exploded in Savaei village, local official Farooq Khan said.

#5: In northwest Swat valley, meanwhile, at least five militants were killed in a gunfight which erupted near the town of Madyan, officials said. “The gunfight started when militants opened fire at a military convoy passing through the area,” a local military spokesman told AFP.

#6: At least nine militants including a key commander were killed as gunship helicopters pounded a militant hideout in northwest Pakistan's Mohmand Agency on Thursday, local TV channel reported. Official sources said the air strike was carried out when the militants were holding an important meeting in Shandara village of Baizai Tehsil, the private TV Express reported

#7: On the same day Wednesday, the troops raided Taliban hideouts in Sabari district of the neighboring Khost province and arrested five Taliban fighters, including their local commander Mullah Habibullah, a senior military officer in the province General Zahir Wardak told Xinhua. Taliban outfit has yet to make comment.

DoD: Spc. Robert Donevski

DoD: Tech. Sgt. Adam K. Ginett