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, December 15, 2010

War News for Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan onWednesday, December 15th.

Intelligence Reports Offer Dim Views of Afghan War

Reported security incidents

#1: The deadliest blast struck in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliyah, on a road that pilgrims frequently travel to get to the Shia holy city of Karbala. Three pilgrims were killed and 17 were wounded in that attack, police and hospital officials said. Shia pilgrims from across Iraq are headed to Karbala for Ashoura.

In western Baghdad's Ghazaliya neighborhood a roadside bomb detonated near a gathering of pilgrims killing at least 10 and wounding 21 others, an Interior Ministry official said.

#2: At least three civilians have been injured, among them a Sunni Endowment Department staff, in an explosive charge blast that pinpointed a Department vehicle in north Baghdad’s Aadhamiya district on Wednesday, a security source said. “An explosive charge, planted by unknown gunmen on the roadside in north Baghdad’s Aadhamiya district, blew off when a car belonging to the Sunni Endowment Department passed through the road, wounding three civilians, among them an Endowment staff, and causing damage to an Endowment vehicle,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An hour later, another bomb hit pilgrims marching in Khalis, a former al-Qaida stronghold about 80 kilometers north of Baghdad. Authorities said 14 were wounded.

Thi Qar:
#1: Nine Security elements were wounded Tuesday in armed clashes with a tribe in northern Thi-Qar, according to a security source. “Armed clashes flared up in Thi-Qar between security elements and a tribe, during which nine security elements, including three officers, were wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The forces arrested 12 tribal men after the clashes,” he added.

#1: Separately, a roadside bomb in the northern city of Kirkuk killed one passer-by and wounded two others, city police and hospital officials said.

#1: A Christian female student had been abducted by a group of armed men east of north Iraq’s city of Mosul on Tuesday, a Mosul security source said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An Afghan civilian was accidentally killed in a coalition airstrike. The aircraft was providing backup to Afghan and coalition forces that came under fire during a patrol in Marja in Helmand province.

#2: In Kandahar province on Wednesday, three Afghan civilians were killed and nine others, including two children and a police officer, were seriously wounded, by a vehicle bombing. The incident occurred in the province's Kandahar district.

#3: Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked three suspected militant hideouts in the northwestern tribal region of Orakzai on Wednesday, killing six insurgents, security officials in the region said. There was no confirmation of the account and militants often dispute official accounts.

#4: Gunmen set fire to a NATO tanker in the southwestern Baluchistan province on Wednesday, police said. The tanker was carrying fuel for NATO forces fighting the Taliban insurgency in neighbouring Afghanistan

DoD: Cpl. Sean M. Collins

DoD: Cpl. Willie A. McLawhorn Jr.

DoD: Spc. Patrick D. Deans

DoD: Spc. Kenneth E. Necochea Jr.

DoD: Spc. Derek T. Simonetta

DoD: Spc. Jorge E. Villacis