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 28, 2010

War News for Thursday, January 28, 2010

Turkey plans oil refinery in northern Iraq:

Filipino militant not killed in Waziristan strike: report

International allies mull exit from Afghanistan:

Afghan Tribe to Fight Taliban in Return for Aid:

Reported security incidents

#1: An Iraqi police official says a sniper taking cover in a building in central Baghdad has opened fire on a checkpoint. The official says one policeman has been killed and another wounded in the attack Thursday afternoon. Police have sealed off the area and are searching for the sniper, he added. The attack in the primarily commercial district Karradah neighborhood is the latest in a string of attacks against security forces in the area.

#1: A sticky improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a vehicle in Kirkuk, wounding one civilian, a local security source said on Wednesday. “This afternoon, a sticky device hit a Kia-modeled vehicle near the provincial building in central Kirkuk, wounding its driver and causing damage to the car,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The source did not give further details.

#2: Seven emergency policemen were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) hit their patrol vehicle in western Kirkuk, a local police source said on Thursday. “This morning, an explosive device hit an emergency police patrol vehicle near the electricity distribution department in al-Baath neighborhood, southwestern Kirkuk, wounding seven patrolmen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Four people were wounded on Thursday by a mortar shell explosion in the southwest of Kirkuk, a senior police officer said. “A mortar shell landed on Thursday morning (Jan. 28) on al-Zab police station, southwest of Kirkuk, injuring four people, including two policemen,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday killed a mayor in eastern Mosul City, a local police source said. “This afternoon, gunmen assassinated Jassem Atsa Khalaf, the mayor of al-Intisar neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A man wearing a police uniform was shot as he tried to enter an Iraqi police station in the small town of Zummar, northwest of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement. The man's suicide vest detonated after the shooting, wounding three Iraqi policeman and a U.S. soldier.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Militants staged a rare attack in southern Pakistan against trucks carrying supplies for NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan on Thursday, wounding three people in the latest violence to plague the country's largest city, police said. The militants attacked the trucks with guns and grenades just after midnight as they traveled on a main highway on the outskirts of Karachi, police official Mohammed Ali said.

#2: Also in Pakistan on Thursday, a bomb attached to a bicycle exploded, killing three people and wounding a dozen others in an area of Baluchistan province where nationalist insurgents have been active, police said. The blast occurred in Sohbatpur town, some 220 miles (360 kilometers) east of the provincial capital, Quetta, police official Syed Fareed Shah said.

#3: Foreign troops have killed an Afghan civilian prompting a small protest outside a U.S. military base in Kabul. A NATO statement said the civilian was killed Thursday in an incident involving a NATO convoy. It said NATO and Afghan officials are investigating the death. A few dozen demonstrators gathered outside Camp Phoenix, a U.S. base inside Kabul, to protest the killing. They dispersed after talking to police.

NATO troops in a convoy killed an Afghan cleric as he was driving Thursday in Kabul, officials and witnesses said, prompting a protest outside a U.S. military base. Police and witnesses said mosque preacher Mohammad Yunus, 36, was shot to death with his young son in the vehicle as he approached a main road from a side street. NATO reported only that foreign forces had killed a civilian in an incident involving a convoy, saying the circumstances surrounding the death were being jointly investigated with Afghan officials. The cleric was hit by four bullets and died on the way to the hospital, according to his son-in-law, Abdul Qadir, adding the family had taken the body to the province of Logar for burial. A shopkeeper who witnessed the shooting said the convoy was composed of American armored vehicles and was traveling on the main road in the direction of Jalalabad. A gunner in the first vehicle opened fire as Yunus began to pull onto the same road

#4: An Afghan official says 15 militants were killed in a joint air and ground assault with NATO forces in northern Afghanistan. "Fifteen Taliban militants were killed in joint operations conducted by NATO and Afghan forces Wednesday afternoon in Kuk Chenar district in central Baghlan," said Kabir Andarabi, the provincial police chief, a Press TV correspondent reported. A militant commander was killed when the compound in the area was hit in the assault, he said. However, Taliban claimed three Afghan forces were killed in the attack. Witnesses reported civilian casualties in the operation.