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, March 17, 2010

War News for Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing approximately 20km north of Musa Qal'ah, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, March 17th.

MNF-Iraq (OIF) is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier in an indirect fire attack on their Diyala province base on Saturday, March 13th. Two additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

MNF-Iraq (OIF) is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier from non-combat related causes on Saturday, March 13th. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq (OIF) is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier in a vehicle roll-over while conducting a patrol in an undisclosed area in northern Iraq on Monday, March 15th. Three additional soldiers were wounded.

Followers of Sadr Emerge Stronger After Iraq Elections:

OPEC set to maintain oil output levels:

Forces in Afghanistan under NATO command:

Reported security incidents

#1: Tuesday A bomb attached to a car wounded three people in southern Baghdad, the Baghdad security spokesman's office said.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: Police also announced that the house of a former high-ranking army officer named Maged Mahmoud al-Zawbai was attacked with explosives by militants on Tuesday night in the area of Abu Ghraib, 20 km west of Baghdad. He was injured in attack.

#1: twin bomb attacks in the town of Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of the capital, killed eight people. The bombs went off within minutes of one another after attackers attached two bombs to passengers cars.

Eight people were killed and 11 wounded when two sticky bombs exploded in separate attacks five minutes apart in the town of Mussayab, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A total of 15 civilians were wounded on Tuesday in two explosions in north of Hilla city, a police source said.“Two bombs, stuck to two busses, went off in north of Hilla on Tuesday (March 16), injuring 15 civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A U.S. vehicle was burned on Tuesday as a result of a bomb explosion in north of Hilla, a security source said. “A bomb went off on Tuesday (March 16) near the main bridge in al-Mussayab district, north of Hilla, setting a Hummer ablaze,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A Christian shopkeeper was gunned down on Wednesday in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul. "Unknown armed men driving an unmarked car killed Sabah Gurgis while he was on his way to work this morning," police Major Khalid Mahmud said.

#2: One soldier was killed on Tuesday by a gun with a silencer at a checkpoint in western Mosul, according to a security source. “A gunman shot the solider using a gun with a silencer at an army checkpoint in al-Islah al-Zeraai neighborhood in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: THREE Australian soldiers were almost killed when their armoured vehicle was blasted by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Two other Diggers also were wounded in the devastating blast near the main Australian base at Tarin Kowt.The infantry soldiers from the 1st Mentoring Task Force were blown up during a routine patrol as summer approaches and the "killing season" begins in the war against the Taliban. The three critically wounded soldiers were treated by combat medics and flown by helicopter to a nearby Australian-US medical centre on Tuesday night. But the coalition hospital was unable to treat the more serious injuries, so they were evacuated to Kandahar airfield, which is equipped and staffed to deal with critical wounds such as amputations and brain trauma.

#2-3: Suspected U.S. drones fired missiles at vehicles and hit a militant hide-out in a tribal region of northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least nine insurgents, two officials said.

#2: In the first attack, the drones fired four missiles at a vehicle and flattened a nearby house near Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region, killing six militants, an army and an intelligence official said.

#3: About 50 minutes later, drones fired three more missiles at a vehicle in Madakhel town, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Miran Shah, killing three insurgents, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Other militants were also wounded in the two strikes, they said.

#4: In Pakistan's southwest city of Quetta, an explosion destroyed a house, police official Mohammad Nawaz said. Police recovered a man's body as well as some literature about the banned Sunni extremist outfit, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Nawaz said authorities were trying to figure out if the victim was involved in bomb-making.

#5: Meanwhile, men armed with rockets and petrol bombs ambushed a security checkpoint at Speen Qabar, near the Khyber tribal district, killing five police officers.

#6: The same group is said to have fixed a bomb under a tanker carrying fuel for Nato forces in Afghanistan, causing the vehicle to explode on Wednesday morning. There were no reports of casualties.

#7: Would-be suicide attackers targeted the offices of a charity in a southern Afghanistan city Wednesday morning but were killed by security guards before they could detonate their explosives-laden vests, an official said. One foreign employee was wounded in the attack on the office of International Relief and Development in the town of Lashkar Gah, said Dawood Ahmadi, spokesman for the government in Helmand province.Two gunmen wearing suicide vests burst into the compound that houses the IRD office. The first was shot by security guards and the second returned fire and was killed in the ensuing gunbattle, Ahmadi said. The charity offices are next to a government education department and officials initially thought that office was also under attack.Lashkar Gah is the closest major town to Marjah, where thousands of NATO troops have been fighting to oust the Taliban from their largest stronghold and operational hub in Helmand province.

#8: Two children of a family sustained injuries when mortar shells fired by Afghan security personnel hit a house in Zakhakhel area in Khyber Agency on Tuesday, official sources said. The sources said that two mortar shells fired by Afghan security personnel from a border post hit a house in Khanak Killay in Zakhakhel area in Landikotal subdivision, injuring two kids. The names of the injured minors could not be ascertained. The mortar shells were fired by the Afghan security forces when Taliban, according to tribal sources, attack a checkpost of the Afghan National Army in Deh Bala district in Nangarhar province, near Pak-Afghan border. Both sides use light and heavy weapons against each other for several hours.

DoD: Pfc. Erin L. McLyman

DoD: Sgt. 1st Class Glen J. Whetten