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 25, 2010

War News for Thursday, February 25, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British Airman in a roadside bombing in an area north of Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, February 24th.

Sunni leader decides to take part in Iraq election:

SKorea endorses sending troops back to Afghanistan: The National Assembly approved Thursday a government proposal to send 350 troops to protect South Korean civilian aid workers in the volatile country. The troops will be deployed in central Parwan province from this July to the end of 2012.

Afghan wounded tell of more left behind in Marjah: Metraux said an accurate toll of civilians killed or wounded in military assault will not be known until health officials can move freely in the area.

Blackwater flouted rules in Afghanistan’:

C.I.A. and Pakistan Work Together, but Do So Warily:

Reported security incidents

Diyala Prv:
#1: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday attacked the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Diala’s al-Saadiya district and injured two guards, according to a local security source. “The gunmen opened fire on the building, located in Diala’s al-Saadiya district (35 km south of Khanaqin), wounding two security guards,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two Iraqi soldiers were injured when unknown gunmen threw a hand grenade at a checkpoint in Mosul City, a local security source said on Wednesday. “The incident occurred in al-Zohour area, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A powerful explosion jolted the city of Falluja on Thursday and left an unspecified number of casualties, a police source said. “A number of civilians were killed in the strong explosion that took place in eastern Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A vehicle crammed with explosives was seized on Thursday in east of Falluja city, Anbar police chief said. “Anbar police managed on Thursday (Feb. 25) to seize a vehicle laden with 1500kg of explosives from TNT to C4 on the high way, east of Falluja,” General Bahaa al-Karkhi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: U.S. Marines and Afghan troops slogged through bomb-laden fields Thursday to clear the last pockets of insurgents from the southern Taliban haven of Marjah. The Marines' progress was slowed by difficult terrain with no roads, few tracks and many hidden mines, but there was no gunfire by mid-morning. Several armored vehicles fell into irrigation canals while others were damaged by roadside bombs. The last couple days have been relatively calm, with limited engagement by insurgents, as troops secured areas they've already taken and moved into position to tackle these final insurgents holdouts.NATO said in a statement that while there are still occasional gunfights in town.

#2: As the offensive closes in on its second week, 13 NATO troops have been killed and three Afghan soldiers, according to military officials. Eighty NATO troops have been wounded, along with eight Afghans.At least 28 civilians have been killed, including 13 children, according to the Afghan human rights commission.

#3: Suspected militants Thursday blew up a tanker in northwest Pakistan carrying fuel for Nato troops across the border in Afghanistan. The driver escaped unhurt while his helper was wounded after a timed bomb planted on the tanker exploded outside Peshawar, police official Hazrat Ali told AFP, setting the vehicle ablaze. Bomb disposal official Tanvir Ahmed said that the timed bomb was attached to the tanker with a magnet.


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