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 30, 2010

War News for Thursday, December 30, 2010

Iraq's oil output up but snarls continue

Afghan hospital chief sacked following suicide attacks

Britain releases secret files on Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Disappearances With Reported Ties to Pakistan Worry U.S.

Advocacy group: 57 reporters killed in 2010

Reported security incidents

#1: Chief of al-Madaen Criminal Court was wounded on Wednesday by a sticky bomb in southern Baghdad, according to a security source. “Judge Ahmad Baroud was seriously wounded when a bomb, stuck to his private car, went off in central al-Madaen market, southern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Two Katusha rockets fell early on Thursday, first close to al-Zawraa Court in west Baghdad’s Mansour District, and the other on a square, not far from the same area, wounding five civilians and causing damage to a number of cars and nearby shops,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians when it went off in Baghdads southern Doura district, police said.

#4: Armed men using silenced weapons attacked a police patrol in Baghdads western Amiriya district, wounding two policemen, police said.

Salman Pak:
#1: A bomb attached to the car of a local judge wounded him when it went off in Salman Pak, 30 km (20 miles) southeast of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

#1: Gunmen killed a man in the garden of his house in northern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan and foreign forces killed at least five Taliban insurgents in assaults in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains, the former hideout of al- Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Afghan police and NATO officials said on Wednesday. Insurgents had recently begun gathering in the remote Tora Bora area in the province of Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan, to prepare attacks on Afghan and NATO troops, said provincial police chief Ali Shah Paktiawal. Afghan security forces and troops from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were conducting operations throughout the area to root out the insurgents, he said. Paktiawal said the attack killed at least five, and possibly seven, insurgents and took place in the Pachir wa Agam district of Nangarhar province overnight. ISAF said in a statement that an air strike had killed five insurgents in Pachir wa Agam, through which the Tora Bora mountains stretch. The strike was ordered against a "senior leader" believed to be responsible for planning and conducting attacks against Afghan and foreign troops.

#2: A roadside bomb blew up next to a minibus at a crowded intersection on a major highway in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 14 civilians, officials said. The blast struck the minibus in the Lashkar Gah-Sangin district in Helmand province on the main road running from the city of Kandahar to Herat, said Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Helmand governor's office. He said four others were wounded in the blast and that the dead included women and children.

#3: In an attack on one of the few calm provinces, the Taliban fired two rockets into Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan. Master Sgt. Jason Haag, a NATO spokesman in Kabul, said "two indirect fire" hit Bagram.

#4: US forces clashed with terrorists in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, fending off a Taliban assault for the second time in as many days. US soldiers came under small arms fire on Wednesday morning as they set up a combat outpost in Kunar province, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The terrorists fired from a hillside and the US troops returned fire with rifles and artillery.

#5: A Pakistani government official say helicopter gunships pounded a militant hideout in the country's northwest, killing at least 20 suspected insurgents. Jamil Khan says the army launched the strike Thursday morning in the Chinarak area of the Kurram tribal region after receiving intelligence reports about insurgents gathering there. He says the choppers also destroyed an explosives-laden vehicle. Kurram is located near the Afghan border. Many Taliban militants escaping a Pakistan army operation in the nearby Orakzai tribal region are believed to have fled there.

#6: An Afghan civilian and an insurgent were killed in Helmand province on Wednesday during a clash between militants and ISAF troops, the force said. As foreign troops moved towards the insurgents position in Nad Ali district, they came across an Afghan civilian who said the militants had shot his daughter. The woman later died of her wounds, ISAF said

#7: Gunmen attacked two trucks carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, killing a driver, a senior government official said.

MoD: WO2 Charles Henry Wood

DoD: Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen