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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

War News for Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Miami Herald is reporting the death of an American soldier in a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Wednesday, February 10th.

Iraq Orders Former Blackwater Security Guards to Leave:

Leader Faulted on Using Army in Iraqi Politics:

Ten militants killed in Russia's North Caucasus:

Reported security incidents

#1: A car bomb went off near a police patrol in western Baghdad on Wednesday and wounded five people, an Interior Ministry source said. The attack took place shortly before sunset when a booby- trapped car parked near the intersection of Adel neighborhood exploded, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The blast damaged one of the patrol's police vehicles, wounding two policemen aboard, along with several nearby civilian cars, the source said, adding that three civilians were also wounded by the blast.

#2: Two civilians have been injured in an explosive charge blast in the capital Baghdad, a police source said on Thursday. “A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in al-Bayaa neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad, wounding two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: An unknown gunman has assassinated a mosque imam in the capital Baghdad, a police source said on Thursday. “Last night, an unknown gunman opened fire on Sheikh Mohammed al-Jaf, the imam of al-Hussein Mosque, after coming out of the mosque following al-Ishaa (evening) prayer,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Iraq oil pipeline used to transport oil from Kirkuk oil fields to Dora refinery in Baghdad was blasted on Monday night with an explosive said Iraq Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani. The Minister added that the pipeline had been idle for years, but was recently reactivated, for the first time since the fall of the former regime as it was the target of many sabotage activities. The resumption of oil pumping thru this pipeline increased output at the Dora refinery from less than 70000 barrels per day (bpd) to more than 100000 bpd. Shahristani said that the Ministry cadres started to repair the pipeline and hoped that works will end in the upcoming couple of days.

Attackers bombed a frequently attacked oil pipeline north of Baghdad, slowing production at a refinery in the capital by half, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said Wednesday. No one was hurt in the bombing, on Tuesday night, in Rashidiya, just north of the city.

#1: Wednesday Gunmen wounded four civilians and a policeman when they hurled a hand grenade at a police checkpoint in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Clashes between gunmen and police wounded three policemen including a former police chief and two attackers on Wednesday in central Haditha, 190 km (120 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Pakistan's military says an officer was killed and two others injured in an ambush by militants in the Khyber tribal area bordering Afghanistan. They were among rescuers who had gone to the site of an army helicopter crash in a remote valley. The pilot and another on board died, officials say. An army brigadier was killed in the ambush, while a major and a lieutenant were injured, he said.

#2: Update In the suicide attack on a Khasadar patrol vehicle in Jamrud tehsil, 11 Khasadars, a captain and seven civilians were killed and 11 people were injured. The powerful blast destroyed the vehicle on the main Peshawar-Torkham road near a police checkpoint. Three other vehicles were heavily damaged by flying shrapnel. The shoes and slippers of the victims were scattered across the blood-spattered road. Jamrud’s Assistant Political Agent Rehan Khattak confirmed that 11 Khasadar personnel, an officer identified as Captain Salim and seven civilians, three tribal elders among them, had died in the attack.