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

Friday, December 24, 2010

War News for Friday, December 24, 2010

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Minister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters,
Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye byes
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

(Let me tell you now)
Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulation,
Integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary,
Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper,
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
Hare Hare Krishna
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

John Lennon

Reported security incidents

#1: Unknown gunmen killed a surgeon in western Baghdad, a security source said on Friday. “Unknown gunmen killed Dr. Ali Ismail, a surgeon while driving his own car in al-Adl neighborhood, western Baghdad, late Thursday (Dec. 23),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that they used guns with silencers and fled to unknown place after the attack.

#2: The cousin of Sheikh Harith al-Dhari, the secretary-general of the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), was assassinated by unidentified gunmen in western Baghdad city on Thursday, a security source said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on Sheikh Fareed Abdulkareem al-Dhari in the area of Khan Dhari, western Baghdad, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: The same day, four members of the Sahwa militia which opposes Al-Qaeda, including a leader, were wounded by a bomb while driving in Al-Muqdadiya, northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two houses were blown up on Friday south of Baghdad, killing five people, including three children, and wounding four other people, Iraqi police said. The pre-dawn attacks occurred within four hours of each other in Qariya al-Asriya near Iskandiriya, a city considered an Al-Qaeda stronghold before the militants were pushed out by Iraqi and American forces in 2008. Police said among those killed were a man, a woman and three children -- one of them a one-year-old -- and the wounded included a woman, a young man, and two children.

#1: “An IED went off near a U.S. military convoy in al-Mahaweel district, (16 km) northern Hilla. Possible casualties or losses could not be known as the area of cordoned off and all roads leading to the blast site blocked,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Also on Friday, gunmen killed two policemen and burned their vehicle in an ambush in the city of Samarra, north of the Iraqi capital, police said. "Two members of the federal police were carrying out a patrol in the Qadissiya area when they were stopped and killed by unknown assailants carrying automatic weapons," said a police official, on condition of anonymity. The attackers "then burned the (police) vehicle with the driver still inside and the other outside. They managed to escape," the official said.

#1: In the north, two policemen were killed and four soldiers injured when bombs went off targeting their separate patrols in Tikrit city.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Some 150 militants attacked five security posts in Pakistan's tribal area near the Afghan border overnight, sparking a clash that killed 11 soldiers and 24 insurgents, officials said Friday. The fighting in the Mohmand tribal area shows that insurgents in the region retain significant ability to coordinate and mount complex assaults, despite multiple military offensives against Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in Pakistan's northwest. The top government official in Mohmand, Amjad Ali Khan, said 11 soldiers died in the fighting, while a dozen were wounded. The troops called in helicopter gunships to help push back the militant fighters, said Maj. Fazl Ur Rehman, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps security force. The fighting ended by morning. Information from Pakistan's tribal regions is nearly impossible to verify independently because access is restricted and the conflict zones are dangerous.

#2: Also Friday, a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a bike exploded on the outskirts of Quetta city in southwestern Pakistan, killing a police officer and wounding five more, police official Hamid Shakil said. Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province

#3: Foreign troops raided a compound belonging to a private security firm in Afghanistan's capital, killing two Afghan guards and seizing weapons, an Afghan government spokesman said on Friday. The raid took place overnight and involved a unit from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemari Bashary. ISAF declined to comment on the raid and directed inquiries to Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, whose head reports directly to President Hamid Karzai. The directorate also declined to comment. Bashary said two Afghan guards were killed and three wounded in the raid, which he said was not co-ordinated with Afghan troops. He said the incident was being investigated, but did not provide further details.

#4: An explosion rocked Khost city the capital of Khost province in east Afghanistan on Friday, casualties feared, an official said.

DoD: Lance Cpl. William H. Crouse IV