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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

War News for Saturday, February 20, 2010

The DoD is reporting the death of an American sailor in an undisclosed incident in Kuwait on Wednesday, February 16th.

Dutch government collapses over Afghan mission:

Drones Play a Growing Role in Afghanistan: The Air Force now flies at least 20 Predator drones — twice as many as a year ago — over vast stretches of hostile Afghan territory each day.

A (Soviet) Soldier’s Guide to Afghanistan: Advice for NATO troops in Helmand Province? No, these handy tips are part of a list of do’s and dont’s for Soviet soldiers fulfilling their international socialist duty to Afghanistan in the 1980s. Courtesy of the Russian Navy Blog, we have a marvelous translation of a 1987 handbook prepared for the “internationalist warriors” serving there.

Afghan Push Went Beyond Traditional Military Goals:

Authors of waterboarding memos won't be disciplined:

Afghan president renews peace calls to Taliban:

Sunni party drops out of Iraq's national elections:

Reported security incidents

#1: Two insurgents were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded in central Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police patrols in Kirkuk defused a cannon shell tied to a hand-grenade south of the province on Friday, according to a source from the Joint Coordination Center (JCC). “Police patrol found a 155 mm. cannon shell tied to a hand-grenade by means of wires near Shaqaq Leilaln, (8 km) south of Kirkuk, based on a tip-off by a local resident in the area,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Policemen and two civil defense and bomb squad experts dismantled the explosive after cordoning off the area without incident,” the source added.

#1: Three policemen were killed and two injured Saturday when an explosive device went off near their patrol in northern Iraq, a local police source said. The blast took place in al-Tahrir area, eastern Mosul, which lies some 400 kilometres north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

#2: Meanwhile, the body of a Christian man who had been kidnapped nearly a week ago was found in al-Siddiq area, northern Mosul. He had apparently been shot in the head, the source added. "Policemen found the body of Adnan Hanna al-Dahan, 55, who had been kidnapped from inside his own shop that was next to his house, in al-Baladiyat neighborhood," said the source

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least 30 militants were killed in an air strike by the Pakistani military. The air strike took place in South Waziristan district where the military in October launched an air and ground offensive to flush out Taliban militants. The "hideout in Shawal mountains was targeted after a tip off received that terrorists were hiding there," the military said in a statement.

#2-3: In other violence, suicide bombers attacked two police stations in northwest Pakistan, killing a police station chief and wounding six other policemen, police officials said.

#2: In the first attack, a gunfight broke out when two would-be suicide bombers stormed into a police station in Mansehra, police said. One of the attackers was shot dead and the other fled, station chief Waheed Khan told AFP.

#3: In a separate attack in the neighbouring mountain town of Balakot, a suicide bomber killed police station chief Khalil Khan and wounded three policemen, local police official Sabir Ullah told AFP.

#4: Two Afghan civilians were killed Saturday morning as their motorbike stepped over a roadside bomb, planted by Taliban militants in the southern restive Helmand province, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. "Two innocent Afghans were martyred this morning when their motorcycle struck a mine in Nahr-e-Saraj district," the statement said.

#5: A civilian was killed in Nad-e Ali yesterday morning after an ISAF patrol believed he was carrying an IED toward them.According to initial reports, the patrol warned the individual by waving their hands, providing verbal warnings and firing small pen flares into the air. The man dropped the box, turned and ran away from the patrol, and then for an unknown reason turned and ran toward the patrol at which time they shot and killed him.

#6: Two Taliban militants were killed as their bomb exploded prematurely in Herat province west of Afghanistan Saturday, a local official said. "Two Taliban terrorists were busy in mine planting on a road in Shindand district this morning but suddenly the device went off killing both on the spot,"district chief Lal Mohammad Omarzai told Xinhua.

Similar incident killed five Taliban militants including their commander Mullah Sharafudin alias Shahabudin along with four of his bodyguards in Dasht-e-Archi district of northern Kunduz province Friday.

#7: Taliban in the latest wave of violent attacks raided the house of a district chief in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province Friday night and police repulsed the attack killing the attacker, deputy to provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Haqtash said Saturday. "A group of Taliban rebels under Mullah Khanak attacked the house of the chief of Archi district Shikh Sadi on Friday night but police returned fire killing Khanak on the spot," Haqtash told Xinhua. No casualty has been reported on police, he added.

MoD: Lance Sergeant David Walker

MoD: Lieutenant Douglas Dalzell

DoD: Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn

DoD: Lance Cpl. Larry M. Johnson

DoD: Pfc. Kyle J. Coutu

DoD: Pfc. Charles A. Williams

DoD: Pfc. Eric D. Currier