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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

War News for Thursday, December 23, 2010

Afghanistan says Iran blocking fuel trucks: - “I confirm that Iranian officials have been preventing around 1,600 fuel tankers from crossing into Afghanistan for 20 days,” he said. “They (Iran) have not officially given us any reason for this blockade but in a meeting that I had with the Iranian commerce attache in Kabul, he said that the Iranian government believes these tankers were going to supply foreign troops in Afghanistan.”

Southern Iraqi city eyes break from Baghdad

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated - This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 92,860, including both units and individual augmentees.

Reported security incidents

#1: Gunmen with silenced weapons raked an army brigadier general's car with gunfire in a Baghdad street, killing him and wounding his daughter, defence and interior ministry officials said today. The attack took place last night in the Mansour district of the capital, the officials said.They named the victim as General Imad Hasham of the army's sixth division.

#2: In another attack last evening, gunmen also with silenced weapons shot and wounded police Lieutenant Colonel Majid Hamid as he was driving through the Amiriya area of Baghdad, the officials said.

#3: Three persons have been injured, among them a policeman, in two explosive charges blasts east of Baghdad on Thursday, according to a Baghdad security source. “Two explosive charges blew off against an Iraqi Federal Police patrol, close to A petrol filling station in east Baghdad’s al-Sadr city on Thursday, wounding two civilians and a policeman, and causing damage to several cars,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: One gunman was seriously wounded in a bomb explosion on Thursday in western Kut, according to a source from the Wassit police department. “An explosive charge went off inside a house in al-Falahi neighborhood, western Kut, injuring the gunman who was attempting to make it,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “A roadside bomb exploded near a civilian car in al-Aza neighborhood, western Kut, damaging the car,” the same source said. “The explosion left no casualties,” he added.

#1: An army soldier was wounded on Thursday by an improvised explosive device in southwest of Kirkuk, according to local police chief. “An improvised explosive device went off Thursday (Dec. 23) targeting a vehicle patrol of the 12th division of the army near al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk, injuring a soldier,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: One policeman was killed by gunmen in eastern Mosul on Wednesday, according to a security source. “Unknown gunmen working for the customs was killed this evening by gunmen in al-Quds neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The cop is from Talafar residents, western Mosul,” he added, without giving more details.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz Thursday, killing one police officer, officials said. The blast, which struck early in the morning in the center of the city, also wounded three civilians, said Kunduz province police chief Abdul Rahman Sayedkhaili.

#2: A Taliban leader accused of involvement in Kabul suicide bombings at the weekend has been killed in a NATO airstrike in central Afghanistan, the alliance said Thursday. The airstrike killed Abdul Hai and two of his associates Wednesday as they were trying to plant a bomb on a road in the Waghaz district of Ghazni province, NATO said in a statement.

#3: Two senior local officials in northern Afghanistan say a NATO helicopter has opened fire on a convoy of cars, killing a police officer and a civilian. Faryab province police chief Khalil Andarabi and the governor's spokesman, Ahmad Jawed Bedar, say the convoy was headed to a lunch near the provincial capital of Maimana when its was strafed by a NATO helicopter. They identified the civilian killed as Mohammad Aminuddin, the brother of former parliament member Sarajuddin Mozafari. Andarabi said two policemen and one civilian were also wounded in the strike.

#4: Afghan forces backed by NATO-led troops killed six Taliban fighters and arrested another in the eastern Ghazni province 149 km from capital Kabul on Thursday, an army officer Daud Shah Wafadar said. "The troops raided a Taliban hideout in Andar district in the wee hours of today killing two rebels, while four others were killed by the troops when they were planting a mine on a road in the district to target security forces," Wafadar told Xinhua.

MoD: Corporal Steven Thomas Dunn