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

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

War News for Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reconciliation with Taliban in Afghanistan unlikely: Gates

PM confirms NZ troops involved in Taliban attack:

Gunmen in northwestern Iran assassinate prosecutor:

Pakistani soldier killed in border skirmish:

The Rise and Fall of a Sunni in Baghdad:

Reported security incidents

#1: A joint patrol killed on Monday a gunman in southwest of the city of Kirkuk on Monday, according to a senior police officer. “A gunman opened fire on a joint patrol of police and U.S. forces on Monday (Jan. 18) near Riyadh district, southwest of Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: This morning, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near the tax department in northern Kirkuk, causing no casualties or damage,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Meanwhile, police patrols and bomb squad personnel have headed to the scene of the blast and managed to safely defuse another device.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police forces have safely defused a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) found inside a civilian vehicle in northern Anbar, a local security source said on Tuesday. “Bomb squad personnel have defused the device in al-Sajar area, northern Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: update Five people, including a child, police officer and an Afghan soldier, in addition to seven Taliban members were killed in series of attacks in Afghan capital. Another 71 people were injured, including 35 civilians in Monday's armed battle between Taliban fighters and Afghan security forces, the public health ministry said.

#2: Clashes elsewhere in west Afghanistan claimed the lives of over a dozen insurgents and two policemen, police chief in the western region Ikramudin Yawar said on Tuesday. "Police forces ambushed Taliban fighters in Bakwa district of western Farah province Monday killing eight rebels and injuring six others," yawar told Xinhua.

#3: He also said that militants stormed a police checkpoint in Balamirghab district of Badghis province on the same day (Monday) and killed a police constable. However, he insisted that police returned fire and eliminated five militants.