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, March 22, 2010

War News for Monday, March 22, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in an IED attack 3km south of Sangin district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Monday, March 22nd.

Iraq’s Premier Endorses a Recount of the Vote:

Reported security incidents

#1: Iraqi police and hospital officials say gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead two municipal officials in Baghdad. Authorities said the victims were members of the local municipal council in Sadr City, an eastern Baghdad district that's home to an estimated 2.5 million Shiites. The two were killed Monday as they were trying to hire a taxi to go to work. One of the victims died on the scene, while the second succumbed to his wounds later in hospital.

#2: Six civilians have been injured in an explosive charge blast in the capital Baghdad, a local police source said on Monday. “This morning, an explosive device went off in al-Rashad neighborhood, close to Sadr City (eastern Baghdad), wounding six civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: The chief of the Iraqi press syndicate on Monday said that unknown gunmen had targeted his convoy in Baghdad, seriously wounding his driver. “On Sunday evening, unknown gunmen opened fire on our convoy in southwestern Baghdad, seriously wounding my driver,” Muayyad al-Lami told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. A police source said that the gunmen attacked Muayyad’s car with small arms fire on the highway near al-Biyaa neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad.

#4: Two Iraqi policemen have been killed in an armed attack in the capital Baghdad, a local police source said on Monday. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint in al-Radwaniya area, southwestern Baghdad, killing two police personnel,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A car bomb exploded as a police bomb squad tried to disarm it, wounding one policeman, in the town of Hawija, outside Kirkuk, 210 km (130 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Suspected U.S. drones fired missiles Sunday at a house and car in a militant- dominated tribal region near the Afghan border, killing at least four people, officials said. The attack occurred in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, two intelligence officials said. The drones fired three missiles, they added, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

#2: Separately, the bullet-riddled bodies of four Pakistani tribesmen, killed for allegedly spying for the United States, were found Sunday elsewhere in North Waziristan, witnesses and officials said. Officials said the four dead tribesmen were kidnapped by the Taliban about 10 days ago.

#3: A NATO-led patrol shot dead an elderly Afghan man after he refused to leave a house during a search for Taliban leaders. The man was shot in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, during the operation by Afghan and foreign soldiers on Sunday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

#4: Separately, ISAF said two rockets hit the military annex of Kabul's international airport on Sunday, with a third landing outside the perimeter. A fourth rocket landed in the Pul-e-Charke district of eastern Kabul, an area of military bases, it said, adding it had no reports of casualties at the airport.

#5: At last 40 Taliban militants have been killed in clashes and gun battle in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province over the past week, a local official said on Monday. "Taliban stormed Shah Kariz village in Musa Qala district last Monday and so far over 40 rebels had been killed," district chief Mullah Abdul Salam told Xinhua. Salam said seven police also lost their lives during the fighting and 18 other police personnel were wounded.