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 29, 2010

War News for Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an IED blast in the Lashkar Gah district, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, December 28th. Here's the ISAF release.

Insurgents Set Aside Rivalries on Afghan Border

Commander: US can’t seal Afghan-Pakistan border

Reported security incidents

#1: In a separate incident Wednesday, five civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi police patrol in eastern Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

#2: Three civilians have been wounded in an explosive charge blast east of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Thursday, according to a Baghdad security source. “An explosive charge blew off on the main road, passing through Palestine Street east of Baghdad on Thursday, wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A government-backed Sahwa militia leader escaped unharmed when a bomb attached to his car exploded in Baghdad's southern Doura district on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said.

#4: A sticky bomb attached to a car killed the driver and wounded his father when it went off in Baghdad's southern district of Saidiya, an Interior Ministry source said

#1: Three suicide bombers attacked Iraq's federal police headquarters in Mosul on Wednesday, leveling the building and killing the top police commander in the northern city, a prominent figure who had escaped several past assassination attempts, officials said. Police shot one of the attackers in an open-air yard, and his vest exploded — but while the police were distracted by the blast, the other suicide bombers charged into the police headquarters building, police said. One of the bombers entered the ground floor office of the battalion's commander, Lt. Col. Shamil Okla Ahmed al-Jabouri, where he was sleeping, and blew himself up, killing al-Jabouri instantly, a police officer at the scene said. The other bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest on the ground floor of the building shortly after the first blast, police said. The twin explosions were so powerful that they brought the police headquarters down, burying the slain commander and possibly others under the rubble, police said. Hospital officials in the city, located 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, confirmed the fatality and said they've treated one policeman who was wounded in the blast. Morgue officials in the city said they have not received any bodies.

#2: “One army soldier was wounded in a bomb explosion that targeted an army vehicle patrol in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: An off-duty soldier was killed on Tuesday in a sticky bomb explosion in south of Mosul, according to a security source. “A bomb, stuck to a private car, went off in al-Jadaa village, south of Mosul, killing an off-duty army soldier,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Police forces on Tuesday foiled a rocket attack on a residential neighborhood in western Mosul, a source from the federal police said. “A force from the Mosul brigade of the federal police defused on Tuesday (Dec. 28) a Katyusha rocket in al-Resala neighborhood in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: “An explosive charge blew off close to a fuel filling station in Garma township east of Falluja city, wounding two civilians,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan attacked two NATO supply trucks early Wednesday, killing a driver and wounding two other people, officials said. Half a dozen militants armed with assault rifles launched the attack in Landikotal, a town in Pakistan's tribal district of Khyber on the border with Afghanistan, the officials said. The militants started firing from the hilltop. A driver of one truck was killed on the spot, while his helper and another driver of another truck were injured,” local administrative official Iqbal Khatak told AFP. Intelligence officials said the militants fled after the attack, and confirmed that the trucks were carrying goods for NATO troops in Afghanistan.

#2: The governor of Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province says an Afghan army soldier has been killed in a suicide bombing. A statement released Wednesday from the governor's office said that two other soldiers and five civilians were also wounded in the attack, which occurred on Tuesday in the province's Barmal district. The statement offered no other details.

#3: Four suspected Taliban fighters were killed and 10 others detained in an operation in northern Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday. The operation, carried out by Afghan and international forces, began Tuesday morning in Gortipa, an area in Kunduz city, the capital of the province of of the same name. 'Four insurgents including two Chechen and one Tajik fighter were killed in the operation,' Abdul Rahman Sayedkhili, the provincial police chief, told reporters. Ten other suspects had been detained, he said. 'Afghan, German and US forces are taking part in the ongoing operation,' he said, adding that one Afghan policeman was injured in the offensive. The forces were fighting a group of 25 Taliban fighters in the same area, Sayedkhili said.

#4: Military helicopter gunships attacked Taliban positions in the northwestern Kurram region on the Afghan border, killing seven militants and destroying two hideouts, a senior military official in the region said. There was no independent verification of the death toll. Militant groups often dispute official casualty figures.

#5: An ISAF air strike killed several insurgents in the Pachir wa Agam district of eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, the coalition said in a statement