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

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

War News for Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Seven UN peacekeepers killed worldwide in 2009:

New Romanian mission in Afghanistan:

Slow Start for Military Corps in Afghanistan:

Reported security incidents

#1: An Iraqi police spokesman says five Iraqis were killed and eight injured after their minibus collided with a U.S. military vehicle that was traveling in the wrong lane. Spokesman for Babil provincial police Maj. Muthana Khalid says Wednesday's accident occurred about 80 kilometres south of Baghdad on the road to Hillah. He says the minibus was carrying a family on their way to visit a cemetery. He says the wounded Iraqis were evacuated on American helicopters and there were no U.S. casualties.

#1: Two policemen were wounded on Wednesday in an improvised explosive device explosion in western Mosul, a security source said. “The bomb exploded on Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 6) in al-Zenjili region in western Mosul targeting a police vehicle patrol, injuring two policemen and damaging one of the patrol’s vehicles,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A bomb killed two children and wounded another when it exploded inside a flat in southern Mosul, police said. The police arrested the children's father for questioning.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at a house in Pakistan's northwest Wednesday, killing at least seven people in an area teeming with militants suspected in a suicide attack that killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan, intelligence officials said. Wednesday's attack occurred in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, said the intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The identities of the seven people killed were unknown.

#2: An explosion ripped through a group of civilians and foreign troops in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing four children and a policeman and wounding dozens of civilians and three U.S. soldiers, officials said. The Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement that the blast in Nangrahar province occurred when a passing police vehicle hit a mine. The ministry called it a terrorist act, implying the mine had been planted by insurgents.Buz Mohammad, the province's deputy public health chief, said four children were killed. He also told The Associated Press that 43 people, most of them children, were wounded. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the spokesman for the provincial governor, told the AP earlier that the wounded included three U.S. soldiers. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said nine of its soldiers were wounded, but could not specify their nationalities. Abdulzai said the soldiers were visiting a road construction project funded by the United States. He said two children and a policeman were killed. The discrepancy in death tolls could not immediately be reconciled.

#3: In a separate attack in the province, four Afghan policeman were killed when a remote-controlled bomb blew up their vehicle in the Khagyani district, Abdulzai said.

A suicide bomber killed four Pakistani soldiers on Wednesday near the demarcation line with India in Kashmir, the latest in a spike of attacks in the Pakistan-administered zone. The attacker detonated his explosives outside a barracks in Tarar Khal, southeast of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Sardar Khurshid, another senior police officer in the area, said: “I can confirm that four soldiers were martyred and 11 wounded in the blast.”

#4: Also Wednesday, at least 13 people were injured in an explosion at a market in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan, said Amir Pacha Mangal, director of the provincial health department. Police were investigating the cause of the blast.

#5: Three Taliban militants including their commander were killed as foreign troops raided a compound in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province Tuesday night, local police said Wednesday. "Troops with the U.S. special forces during a search operation raided a compound in Chardara district late last night and killed three militants including their commander Baz Mohammad," Abdul Rahman Haqtash, deputy provincial police chief, told Xinhua. Three other militants were arrested during the operation, he added.

#6: A blast went off in a shop in the southeastern town of Khost, wounding six civilians, a police official said.

DoD: Sgt. Joshua A. Lengstorf

DoD: Spc. Brian R. Bowman

DoD: Pvt. John P. Dion