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, February 3, 2010

War News for Wednesday, February 03, 2010

NATO is reporting the deaths of two American soldiers in a roadside bombing in an unidentified area in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, February 2nd.

3 U.S. Soldiers Die in Attack by Pakistan Militants:

Secret operation ruined by deadly al-Qaeda bomb: It is believed US troops have been training Pakistan's Frontier Corps since at least 2008. The training program has never been officially admitted to by Pakistan's government.

The soldiers were in Pakistan as members of a small, little-publicised American mission to train members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps to fight Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. Officials spoke of their deaths on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. The US embassy declined to comment.

Earlier a spokesman for the Frontier Corps said that there were four foreign victims, who were all aid workers. "The four foreigners were working for an NGO. They are from the international community," he said.

Reported security incidents

#1-2: Hours earlier, two separate roadside bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims exploded in Baghdad, killing one and wounding seven others, a security official in the capital said.

#1: The official said the first attack took place Wednesday at about 6:15 a.m. in western Baghdad, killing one person and wounding three.

One civilian was killed and three others were wounded in an improvised explosive device explosion in western Baghdad, a police source said on Wednesday. “The bomb, planted on the main road in al-Mansour neighborhood, western Baghdad, went off this morning (Feb. 3) targeting Shiite pilgrims heading for Karbala, killing one and injuring three,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: He said a second explosion in southwest Baghdad wounded four pilgrims.

Three civilians were wounded on Wednesday in a roadside bomb explosion in southwestern Baghdad, a police source said. “The bomb, planted by unknown gunmen on the road near a Shiite mosque in al-Aamel neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad, went off, targeting Shiite visitors heading for Karbala, injuring three,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Iraqi forces managed on Tuesday to defuse an improvised explosive device in northeastern Baghdad, the Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) said in a statement. “The forces defused the bomb on the Mohammad al-Qassem highway near al-Nedaa mosque, northeastern Baghdad,” said the statement received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. A police source had said earlier that an explosive charge went off targeting Shiite pilgrims in al-Zaafaraniya region, southeastern Baghdad, injuring three of them.

#1: A bomb planted on a parked motorcycle exploded Wednesday on the outskirts of the holy city of Karbala, killing at least 20 Shiite pilgrims and wounding more than 100 others amid tight security for the huge religious procession, officials said. The bomb exploded at about 11 a.m. in an area known as Ibrahimia, near the east entrance - one of three - into Karbala, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media. At least 108 people were wounded in the attack, the official said, adding that the area was clogged with pilgrims and the number of casualties could increase. A hospital official in Karbala, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the number of dead and wounded.

#2: A bomb attached to a military vehicle killed three people and wounded 21 others in eastern Kerbala on Tuesday night, police said.

#1: Gunmen shot and killed a police officer near his house in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a civilian in al-Haramat region in western Mosul, while he was coming from his village in al-Hamidat district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Three gunmen shot an 18-year-old young man when they stormed his house in al-Shuhadaa neighborhood, central Mosul,” the same source said.

#3: One policeman, a civilian and a child were wounded in a hand grenade attack in central Mosul, a police source said on Tuesday. “Unknown gunmen threw a hand grenade at a police vehicle patrol in al-Farouq region, central Mosul, injuring a policeman, a civilian, and a child,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops killed one suspected insurgent and arrested two others in a raid southeast of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A second Australian soldier was wounded in a weekend bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, Defence says. Defence initially said only one soldier was slightly wounded when a Bushmaster armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) on Saturday - the first Australian soldier wounded in Afghanistan so far this year. It now says another soldier was wounded in the same incident. "The second soldier received minor head injuries as a result of the blast," a defence statement said.

#2: A helicopter of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was slightly damaged in landing at Kandahar in south Afghanistan Wednesday, a statement of the alliance said. "An ISAF helicopter was slightly damaged when it struck a vehicle with its rotor blade upon landing in Kandahar City today," the statement added. There were no injuries from the incident and no insurgent involvement, it stressed.

MoD: Corporal Liam Riley

MoD: Lance Corporal Graham Shaw

DoD: Capt. David J. Thompson

DoD: Spc. Marc P. Decoteau

DoD: Lance Cpl. Michael L. Freeman Jr.,