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 31, 2010

War News for Friday, December 31, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a roadside bombing in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, December 31st.

Reported security incidents

#1-7 Two Iraqi Christians have been killed in a new wave of apparently coordinated bomb attacks in the capital just two months after militants massacred 46 Christians in a church in the city. A total of 14 bombs were placed at different Christian homes late on Thursday, an interior ministry official said on Friday. "Two Christians were killed and 16 wounded" by the 10 bombs that went off, while security forces were able to carry out controlled detonations of four other devices, the official said.

#1: The only deadly attack was in the central district of Al-Ghadir, where a home-made bomb exploded at around 8:00 pm (1700 GMT), killing the two Christians and wounding three others.

#2: Most of the 14 bombs, which targeted Christian homes in a total of seven different areas of the city, were in Karrada in central Baghdad, the official said. Three devices wounded three Christians in that area, while all four of the controlled detonations were also in Karrada.

#3: Another bomb targeted a house in Al-Ilam neighbourhood in southern Baghdad, wounding one person.

#4: two bombs wounded four people in Dora in the south of the city.

#5: one bomb in Saidiya, also in the south, wounded two people.

#6: Another device targeted a Christian home in Yarmuk in western Baghdad, wounding one, and a house in Khadra,

#7: also in the west of the city, was targeted by a bomb that wounded two people.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Insurgents threw hand grenades into two homes in a Taliban provincial heartland Friday, killing a child and wounding six civilians. The Kandahar governor's spokesman, Zelmai Ayubi, said authorities were investigating why the two houses in Zhari were targeted in Friday's attack. Ayubi said the child was killed by the blast in one house, while those wounded in the second included another child and a woman.

#2: NATO said Friday that several insurgents and a child had been killed in fighting during a joint operation with Afghan forces targeting a Taliban logistics officer in a compound in Wardak province east of Kabul the previous day. The joint force came under fire Thursday from the compound and fired back, killing several insurgents, it said in a statement, without specifying how many. But it said the force found an injured child while securing the compound, and despite evacuating it to a NATO hospital, the child died of its wounds.

#3: To the north in Kunduz province, a joint force killed an insurgent and detained several suspects during an operation against a militant believed to make roadside bombs and suicide vests, and to use anti-aircraft guns against NATO and Afghan forces, the coalition said.

#4: At least two Australian soldiers have been injured in an attack by Taliban militants in the south Afghanistan province of Uruzgan, local officials say. The soldiers were diffusing an explosive device in the provincial capital of Trinkut on Friday when they came under attack, a Press TV correspondent reported, quoting local officials.

The Australian Defence Force said the first digger was wounded by 'a single shot fired from an unknown location and direction' on Thursday at about 5.12pm (AEDT). The second was hit by the shooter a short time later while securing a landing zone for an aero medical evacuation.

#5: A blast badly damaged a Nato oil tanker in the bordering town of Chaman in Balochistan on Friday. Official sources said unidentified people had planted an explosive device on the rear of the tanker. The device went of with a huge explosion when it reached near border with Afghanistan. Tanker caught fire because of blast. One person sustained injuries as fire also engulfed a nearby car.

#6: 'Two policemen were killed and two others injured when Afghan forces raided an important Taliban centre,' Faiz Mohammad Tawhidi, spokesman for the provincial governor, told the German Press Agency dpa. The raid was conducted by the police on Thursday night in Khoja Bahawodin district in the northern province of Takhar. 'Six suspected insurgents were detained in the operation,' he said.

#7: One passerby was killed and one wounded in a roadside bomb blast in the northwestern town of Lakki Marwat, police said. The blast took place near towns police headquarters.