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

Monday, February 14, 2011

War News for Monday, February 14, 2011

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two British ISAF soldiers from a non-hostile incident at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Monday, February 14th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Monday, February 14th.

Drones hurt Pakistan bid to win hearts and minds

Reported security incidents

#1: Gunmen using weapons equipped with silencers opened fire at a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding two others in Tarmiya, 25 km (15 miles) north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

#1: Two blasts took place southwest of Kirkuk on Sunday evening, leaving 20 vehicles ablaze and damaging several houses, a senior security official said. “Al-Zab district, (85 km) southwest of Kirkuk city, was rocked by two blasts near a store and a house that belongs to a leader of the sahwa (awakening) tribal fighters,” Brig. Sarhad Qader, the director of the Kirkuk Districts Police Department (KDPD), told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The two blasts left 20 vehicles on fire and caused damage to the house of a sahwa leader and nearby houses, but left no casualties,” Qader added.

Four persons have been injured and 20 cars were set ablaze in three explosions in Zab town, southwest of northern Iraq's oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Sunday night, a Kirkuk Police director said. "Three consecutive explosions took place, at 10 pm local time Sunday night, in Zab town, some 85 km to the southwest of Kirkuk, one inside a car show, the second close to the residence of al-Sahwa (Awakening) commander and the third inside the town's main market," Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He said that the result of the explosions had been 4 civilians injured and 20 cars set ablaze inside the car show, along with material damage to the house of the Sahwa commander and some marketing shops in the town. "Preliminary investigations have shown that the first blast inside the car show, belonging to Haj Tahsin Najim, had been caused by a Katusha rocket that fell on the car show, whilst the causes of the other explosions were not known till late Sunday night," the Police officer said, giving no further details.

#2: In Kirkuk, an armed group kidnapped Christian citizen Iyad Daoud in front of his house in Al Khadraa District, southern Kirkuk. Daoud was driven to an unknown destination.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An armed man has been killed, in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast, while trying to plant it close to a traffic policeman's house in Falluja city in western Iraq's Anbar Province, a police source said on Monday. "An armed man, trying to plant an IED in a traffic policeman's house in central Falluja's Teachers District, was killed, while trying to blow up the explosive device," the security source said.

#2: A local government-backed militia leader, Hikmat al-Jumaili, was wounded when a roadside bomb blast struck his vehicle on Saturday in Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A Taliban suicide attacker targeted a popular shopping mall in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, killing two guards and wounding at least two other people, officials said. Interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP that the attacker blew himself up after he was stopped at the gates of the Kabul City Centre, Afghanistan's first modern-style indoor shopping complex that opened in 2005. "It was a single blast. A suicide bomber tried to enter the mall. He was stopped by the guards at the entrance, he blew himself up and killed the two armed private guards and injured two other people nearby," he said.