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

Monday, February 22, 2010

War News for Monday, February 22, 2010

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two U.S. Army helicopter pilots in a helicopter crash near an airfield on an undisclosed U.S. base in northern Iraq on Sunday, February 21st.

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, February 21st.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, February 20th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an indirect fire attack attack while supporting Operation Moshtarak, Afghanistan on Sunday, February 21st.

Dutch troops to leave Afghanistan in August:

Next target of combat mission in Afghanistan is kandahar:

Petraeus says US operations in S. Afghanistan start of long campaign:

US to launch major campaign in Afghanistan in next 18 months:

Details posted on alleged CIA-flights to Poland:

Georgia –US Discussing Supply Route to Afghanistan:

War game shows how attacking Iran could backfire: (off topic but an interesting read.)

Reported security incidents

#1: Gunmen shot and killed eight members of the same family and cut the heads off some of them on Monday in a mainly Sunni Muslim district southeast of Baghdad, a senior security official said. "Unknown gunmen killed eight members of the same family with silencers, and cut the heads off some of the bodies," the office of Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi said in a statement. The attack took place at about 7am local time (0400 GMT) in the al-Wahda neighborhood of the Madaen district outside Baghdad, the office said. No further details were given.

#2: And in Baghdad, higher education ministry official and university professor Thamer Kamil was gunned down while he was in the east Baghdad Al-Canal area, a policeman said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

#3: Five civilians were earlier wounded when several mortars hit Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, which is home to several foreign embassies and government departments, an interior ministry official said.

#4: A magnetic bomb stuck to a civilian car detonated in Salahuddin intersection in Ameriyah neighbourhood, west Baghdad at noon Sunday, killing the driver.

#5: Two military personnel working in the Iraqi Defence Ministry were shot dead by gunmen in a speeding car in northern Baghdad, police said.

#6: A police officer assigned to the Interior Ministry and a civilian employee of the ministry were wounded by unknown gunmen as they sat in a car in Baghdad, police said.

#7: Two mortar rounds landed in or near a complex that used to house Saddam Hussein's central security directorate in eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said. Another source said the complex was now used as a U.S. base. No casualties were reported.

#1: Sunday A bomb planted in a house where tribal leaders were gathering wounded three people in the town of Madaen, 30 km (20 miles) southeast of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Four policemen were killed and two others wounded on Sunday when a homemade bomb engulfed their vehicle as they prepared to secure an electricity site in central Iraq, a security official said. The blast occurred in Imam Wais, 70 kilometres (43 miles) from Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, which is one of Iraq's disputed areas and was a hotbed of Sunni insurgents in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion. The casualties were members of Iraq's electricity police, whose job is to guard the war-torn country's power plants, said an official from Baquba's operational command headquarters. The officers were on a reconnaissance mission ahead of planned repair work by engineers at an electricity station that piped power from Iran to Baghdad before it was blown up by insurgents two years ago.

#1: Sunday Gunmen opened fire on a minibus carrying Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims, killing one and wounding seven, in Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

#1: A Shiite pilgrim was killed and seven more wounded by gunfire as they were walking to Samarra, north of Baghdad for a religious ceremony.

#1: And in Tikrit, further north, a suicide bomber killed a shopkeeper and wounded two of his clients, police said.

#1: Sunday A roadside bomb wounded a civilian in Hawija, 210 km (130 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: In the restive northern city of Mosul, meanwhile, two Iraqi soldiers were killed when their checkpoint came under fire from unidentified gunmen on Monday morning, police Captain Muwafaq Khadhim said.

#2: In a separate incident two policemen were shot dead at around midday while manning a checkpoint near a popular market in central Mosul, Lieutenant Marwan Abdul Karim said.

#3: In other violence on Sunday, a policeman was gunned down outside his house in the restive northern city of Mosul by unknown assailants, a security official told AFP.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Iraqi police say a car bomb targeting a police building has killed three people in the capital of Iraq's western Anbar province. Police officials say a suicide bomber exploded the car outside the Internal Affairs office in the provincial capital, Ramadi.

The suicide car bomber struck an interior ministry detention centre in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, killing a man, his six-year-old son and a policeman, said a police officer and a doctor at the city's hospital. The attack occurred around 12:20 pm and left also four people wounded, including two policemen.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The Afghan government says a NATO airstrike has killed at least 33 civilians in southern Afghanistan. The Council of Ministers released a statement Monday condemning the incident as "unjustifiable." In a statement, NATO said its forces were targeting insurgents in Uruzgan province, and that an air strike accidentally killed and wounded civilians. It did not say how many.

#2: At least two Afghan civilians, including one child, have been killed in a French missile strike in the northeastern of the war weary country. Local Afghan officials said that six civilians were also wounded in the attack that occurred in Dolat Khel in Kapisa province on Monday. Witnesses told Press TV the French missile hit a car that was carrying local traders.

#3: Three people were killed and eight others were injured Monday in an explosion in northwest Pakistan's Swat, police said. The blast at Nishat chowk in Mingora, the main town of Swat, also damaged six shops and destroyed at least eight vehicles. A visitor to Mingora, Ejaz Ahmad Niazi, told Xinhua that he heard a big explosion which was followed by gunfires.

DoD: Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary