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, January 19, 2011

War News for Wednesday, December 19, 2011

The DoD is reporting a new death unreported by the military. Maj. Michael S. Evarts died from a non-combat related incident in Tikrit, Iraq on Monday, January 17th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, January 18th. This has been reported to be an Italian soldier.

ISI takes Mullah Omar to hospital after heart attack

Reported security incidents

#1: An army soldier and a civilian were wounded on Tuesday in an armed attack by gunmen in western Baghdad, according to a security source. “Unknown gunmen attacked an army checkpoint in al-Yarmouk neighborhood, western Baghdad, injuring a soldier and a civilian, who were carried to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Five Shiite pilgrims were wounded on Tuesday in a bomb blast in northern Baghdad, according to a security source. “The bomb exploded today targeting the Shiite visitors in al-Mushahada region, northern Baghdad, wounding five persons, who were carried to the hospital for treatment,” he added, without giving more details.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber rammed an ambulance packed with explosives into a security headquarters on Wednesday, killing 13 people in the second major attack against Iraqi forces in as many days. "We have so far received 13 bodies, and are treating 64 wounded," said Firaz al-Dulaimi, a doctor at Baquba hospital, referring to the first attack on Wednesday morning in the Diyala provincial capital. The 10:00 am (0700 GMT) bomb in the middle of Baquba, a restive ethnically mixed city north of Baghdad, targeted an office of the Force Protection Service (FPS), the agency responsible for securing government buildings.

#2: A second suicide attack in a nearby town killed two others and wounded a top provincial official, shattering a relative calm in Iraq following the formation of a new government by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last month. About 90 minutes later in the nearby town of Ghalbiyah, a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-filled car in the midst of a crowd of Shiite pilgrims, killing two and wounding 16 other people, an official in the provincial security command said. Among the wounded were Diyala deputy governor Sadiq al-Husseini and three of his bodyguards, and two media employees of local satellite channel Diyala TV.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An unknown assailant has sprayed acid in the face of a prominent Afghan journalist and author in what officials and the victim say is retaliation for his politically charged writing. Razaq Momoon says he was walking near his house in a residential neighborhood of Kabul on Tuesday evening when a man ran up behind him and threw acid in his face. He says he was wearing glasses, which kept his eyes relatively protected. Momoon spoke Wednesday to an Afghan television station. He was not critically injured, but his face was splotchy with red and black patches as he spoke from his hospital bed in the capital.

#2: THIRTEEN Afghan civilians were killed when their motorised rickshaw hit a roadside bomb in south-eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials said, the latest casualties of escalating violence in the near decade-long war. The latest incident took place in the Khoshamand district of Paktika, a volatile province bordering Pakistan. Thirteen villagers were travelling to the district centre for medical treatment when the bomb struck, the provincial governor's spokesman, Mukhlis Afghan said.

#3: At least one person has been killed and more than 15 others injured when a bomb planted in a horse-drawn cart exploded near a school in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar on Wednesday morning, according to local news reports. The lone person killed in the bomb explosion was reportedly a pedestrian. The reports quoted local officials as saying that most of those injured in the blast were school children aged between five and eight years.

#4: At least five suspected militants were killed on Tuesday after a U.S. drone attacked a compound in northwest Pakistan's tribal area, Dawn News reported. Officials in Peshawar, the capital of the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, confirmed the attack and death toll, but few other details were immediately released.

#5: Three soldiers were killed and three others were injured in a rocket attack by terrorists on Tuesday, security officials said. The rocket attack took place at a security forces camp in Razmak in North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan. “At least three soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in a rocket attack,” a senior security official said. “This is the work of Taliban,” he added. Another security official in Miranshah confirmed the incident and said that three soldiers were killed and three others were injured in the attack.

#6: Also Wednesday, a roadside bomb in southern Zabul province killed four border police officers who were patrolling the area, said Gen. Abdul Raziq, the commander for border police in the south. He said the officers struck the bomb in their truck while driving through Shamulzoh district.

#7: In western Herat province Tuesday night, a rocket hit a civilian house during a firefight between insurgents and NATO forces in the area, government spokesman Shafiq Berozyan said. One child was killed and another 10 people were wounded, he said.

#8: An explosion rocked the town of Spin Boldak district in Kandahar province, 450 km south of Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, casualties feared, police said. "A suicide bomber attempted to target security forces in Spin Boldak district this morning at around 11:00 a.m. local time but the police identified and opened fire seriously injured him," Abdul Razeq the commander of Border Police in Spin Boldak district told Xinhua. "The bomber before taking his last breath exploded his explosive device strapped in his body and died on the spot," Razeq added. There were no casualties on police and civilians, the police officer emphasized.

#9: Twelve Taliban insurgents were killed and six others injured as their explosive device went off in Afghanistan Faryab province 425 km northwest of capital Kabul, Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. "The militants were busy in making roadside bombs in a compound in Totak village of Ghormach district late Tuesday night but suddenly their explosive material went off as a result 12 militants were killed and six others sustained injuries," the statement said.

DoD: Cpl. Joseph C. Whitehead

D0D: Maj. Michael S. Evarts