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 26, 2010

War News for Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Oakland Tribune is reporting a new death of a soldier which is not reported by the military. Army Sgt. Ryan Hopkins was found dead in his hospital bed at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas on Friday, January 8, 2010 after being injured during a fuel explosion caused by checking a vehicle’s fuel level with a cigarette lighter in Iraq on October 7, 2008.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in northern Afghanistan on Monday, January 25th. This is being reported as a Norwegian soldier, Claes Joachim Olsson who died four kilometers southeast of Ghowrmach, Badghis Province, Afghanistan.

Lawyer: FBI Concedes Aafia Siddiqui in US custody: From the mail bag-- another case of rendition -- whisker.

UK government adviser: Iraq war was illegal: Michael Wood - who was the chief legal adviser to the Foreign Office at the time of the 2003 invasion - told the inquiry Tuesday that he believed the use of force against Iraq in March 2003 was "contrary to international law" as it had not been authorized by the UN Security Council.

Officials tell AP Briton will be NATO Afghan boss: Two diplomatic officials say ambassador Mark Sedwill has been appointed to the post.

Reported security incidents

#1: A suicide car bomber killed at least 18 and injured dozens more Tuesday in a strike against a police crime lab in central Baghdad. Rescue crews are still combing through the rubble looking for casualties. Officials say the majority of those killed were likely police officers who worked in the forensic investigation office at Tahariyat Square in the central neighborhood of Karradah. At least 82 people were reported injured. Police and hospital officials said the bomber in Tuesday's attack tried to drive a pickup truck through a checkpoint and blast walls protecting the forensic evidence office. Among those confirmed killed were 12 police officers and six civilians who were visiting the office. Officials said more than half the wounded were police.

#2: update Police and health officials say the death toll in Monday's suicide car bombings of three Baghdad hotels has risen to 41. The officials said on Tuesday that up to 106 people were wounded in the blasts, which struck in a span of 15 minutes. They targeted the Sheraton Ishtar Hotel, Babylon Hotel and Hamra Hotel, which are popular with Western journalists and foreign security contractors.

#3: Nine people were wounded when a militant threw a hand grenade onto a football pitch on Monday in Baghdad's Amil neighbourhood, police said.

#4: Two roadside bombs wounded five people on Monday in northern Baghdad's Adhamiya district on Monday, police said.

#1: Two civilians on Tuesday were injured in an explosive charge blast in southern Baghdad, a local police source said. “Today, a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in al-Yousifiya area, southern Baghdad, wounding two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Tuesday abducted an employee working for the Health Department in southern Kirkuk, a source from the Joint Coordination Center said. “This morning, unknown gunmen driving an Opel Vectra without a number plate kidnapped a civilian in al-Hajaj neighborhood, southern Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The man was kidnapped while he was on his way to work, the source noted.

#2: Gunmen shot and killed two policemen on Monday in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: One woman and her daughter were killed by gunmen in eastern Mosul, a police source said on Monday. “The gunmen stormed their house in al-Zahraa neighborhood, eastern Mosul, and killed them using knives,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: An improvised explosive device went off on Monday inside a restaurant in northern Mosul, a police source said. “The bomb exploded inside al-Nojoom restaurant in al-Majmouaa al-Thaqafiya region, northern Mosul, causing only some material damage,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The bomb was placed inside a plastic bag in the restaurant’s second floor,” he highlighted.

#3: One civilian was killed by gunmen in northern Mosul on Monday, according to a police source. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a civilian inside his store in al-Sukar neighborhood, northern Mosul, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: One civilian was killed by gunmen in eastern Mosul, according to a security source. “Unknown gunmen shot and killed a civilian on Monday (Jan. 25) in al-Maared region in eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: A former Iraqi army officer was killed by gunmen in western Mosul City, a local security source said on Tuesday. “This morning, unknown gunmen killed Staff Lt. Col. Faysal Mohammed Saleh, an officer in the former army, in al-Mosul al-Jadida area, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#6: One civilian on Tuesday was killed in an armed attack in western Mosul City, a local police source said. “On Tuesday, unknown gunmen opened fire on a civilian in al-Abar neighborhood, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Gunmen killed four Afghan policemen at a checkpoint near a provincial government building in an overnight attack in southern Afghanistan, an official said Tuesday.

#2: In eastern Kunar province Tuesday, a NATO airstrike killed several insurgents who were maneuvering into fighting position in an area previously used to stage attacks on international forces, the coalition said in a statement. Spokeswoman Maj. Virginia McCabe said the number of people killed was between five and 10 militants.

#3: Pakistani security forces have killed 15 militants in a gunfight in a remote tribal district near the Taliban strongholds of North and South Waziristan, the military said Tuesday. The clash took place after militants attacked a security checkpost on Monday in the Tindo area of Kurram tribal district, more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the regional capital Peshawar. "Terrorists attacked a security forces post in Tindo area, which effectively retaliated," a statement from the paramilitary Frontier Corps said. "During an encounter between security forces and terrorists, 15 terrorists were killed and several others have been injured while eight security personnel received minor injuries," it added.

#4: A district police chief and six other persons were injured in a bomb attack in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province on Tuesday, police said. The bomb, attached to a motorcycle, was detonated with the help of remote control when police chief Syed Farid Ali was heading to his office in his official car in Jaffarabad, a city about 300 kilometers southeast of Quetta, the provincial capital.

#5: A loud explosion was heard in the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, Reuters witnesses and security sources said, but the cause was not immediately clear. "There has been an explosion. We have sent our people to investigate. We are not sure of the cause or if there have been any casualties," a security official said.

A suicide car bomber struck near a U.S. military base in Afghanistan's capital Tuesday, Afghan officials said. At least five civilians were wounded in the attack, but it was unclear if anyone was killed, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said. The head of Kabul's criminal investigations unit confirmed that it was a suicide car bomber but said he was on his way to the scene and did not yet have further details.

MoD: Lance Corporal Daniel Cooper