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, March 6, 2010

War News for Saturday, March 06, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in an IED attack in near Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Friday, February 5th. Here's NATO's release.

Iraq set for years of Sunni-Shi'ite tensions:

Unity Elusive as Iraq Grasps Trappings of Democracy:

As U.S. prepares to leave after 7 years, Iraq's future uncertain:

Reported security incidents

Diyala Prv:
#1: Unidentified gunmen blew up a ballot station in a village of Jabara suburb, Diala, on Friday while security forces arrested two suspects in the village, a local security source said. “The gunmen blew up a school serving as a ballot center in the village of Ashoukani, Jabara suburb, (35 km) southwest of Kifri district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A child was killed when in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in northern Babel on Friday, according to a local police source in the province. “An IED planted in al-Musayyab, (45 km) north of al-Hilla city, went off near a child, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A car bomb exploded near a bus for pilgrims in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Saturday, killing at least three people, including two Iranians, on the eve of key national elections, officials said. A group of Iranian and Iraqi pilgrims were waiting to board the bus after visiting a famous shrine when the blast occurred about 100 yards (meters) away, a witness said.

Iran's ambassador to Iraq Hassan kazemi Qomi said on Saturday that the terrorist attack in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq has not targeted Iranian pilgrims. The attack occurred in the parking lot of pilgrims' buses and it did not target Iranian pilgrims, he said adding two buses belonging to Iranian pilgrims were at the scene of the explosion. He added the Saturday attack in Iraq left one Iranian dead and 54 wounded that 37 of whom are Iranians. He added Iranian national Mrs. Fatemeh Boroujerdi has been killed in the explosion.

#1: Seven persons were wounded by gunmen’s random fire in southern Kirkuk city on Friday, according to a senior security official. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a number of civilian pedestrians on the Baghdad Road area, near a cotton gin in southern Kirkuk, wounding seven of them,” Col. Ghazi Ali, the al-Muqdad police chief in Kirkuk, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The attacking gunmen were boarding a Nissan vehicle,” Ali said, not giving further details.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A member of the Afghan parliament says she escaped injury when her convoy was attacked by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. Fauzia Khofi, who represents the far northern province of Badakhshan, says insurgents fired on her seven-vehicle convoy early Saturday as it was traveling from Nangarhar province to Kabul.She says insurgents used AK-47s, heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades to attack the convoy, which kept moving.The lawmaker had requested extra protection for her trip from the Interior Ministry, and five police vehicles joined two of her vehicles. She says a policeman suffered a leg injury and another was slightly wounded in the attack.

#2: A huge blast rocked Afghan capital Kabul Saturday morning causing panic among the people.
Meantime, a security official who declined to be identified described the blast as part of a military exercise, saying troops were exercising to improve their ability. In the militancy-plagued Afghanistan any bang causes panic among the war-weary people. Nevertheless, another source on the condition of anonymity described it a rocket attack in 9th precinct of Kabul city but failed to provide more details.

#3: One civilian was killed and two others were injured as a bomb ripped through a market in Khost province, east Afghanistan on Saturday, army officer Mohammad Zahir said. "The blast took place in a money exchange bazaar at 01:00 p.m. local time killing one innocent person and injuring two others," Zahir told Xinhua.

#4: Taliban attacked a patrol team of German troops and injured a soldier in Kunduz province north of Afghanistan, a spokesman of German Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) said Saturday. "The troops were on patrol in Chardara district Friday evening when came under Taliban attack resultantly one soldier sustained injuries," Mortens who gave only one name told Xinhua. Mortens who speaks for the civilian-military unit PRT involved mostly in reconstruction activities also added that the incident occurred in Qasab village and troops returned fire during which several militants were also killed and injured.

#5: At least two Pakistani paramilitary soldier were killed and three others injured when unidentified men lobbed hand grenade at their vehicles in the southwestern city of Quetta on Friday night, police said. Two vehicles of the paramilitary soldiers were patrolling in Sipni area when the miscreants threw bomb at the convoy. One van was hit by the bomb and was badly damaged in the attack.

#6: At 08:55 local time (06:20 Bulgarian time) a fire has been opened against the Phoenix military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, with a rocket-propelled grenade. The grenade dropped outside the territory of the base. No one of the Bulgarian contingent got injured and no material damage was caused to the base, the Ministry of Defense announced.

#7: An Australian Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialist suffered a superficial wound to his hand during the controlled detonation of two insurgent Improvised Explosive Devices overnight. The specialist was destroying the two explosive devices after they were discovered by an Australian patrol in the Chora valley region of Oruzgan province on Thursday the 4th of March.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Nigel K. Olsen