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

Saturday, February 12, 2011

War News for Saturday, February 12, 2011

British civil society want UK troops out of Afghanistan

Reported security incidents

#1: Two policemen and a sahwa (awakening) tribal fighter were wounded when an improvised explosive device blast targeted a police patrol west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Friday, a security source said. “An IED went off near a federal police patrol on al-Ta’ie street, al-Jihad neighborhood, west of Baghdad, leaving two policemen wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Security forces in northern Iraq found a mass grave containing scores of people killed during the height of sectarian violence last decade, police told CNN on Saturday. At least 153 bodies were discovered in Buhriz, just south of Baquba in Diyala province -- a region north and east of Baghdad that endured waves of violence during the Iraqi war. Baquba police Lt. Col. Ghalib Atiya al-Jabouri said the victims included civilians, police and soldiers slain during the height of sectarian violence between 2005 and 2008. Iraq had been engulfed by fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

#2: A civilian was wounded due to a bomb stuck to a car parked next to a residential house in Al Mafrak region, western Baaquba.

#1: Two civilians were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their vehicle north of Baghdad on Friday, a local security source said. “A roadside IED planted in al-Taji, north of Baghdad, went off on near a civilian vehicle on Friday (Feb. 11), leaving two persons wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside bomb went off by the house of the government-backed Sunni Sahwa militia leader for Jellam village and wounded two of his sons, police said. Jellam is south of Dour, a small town near Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: A student has been killed in an explosion of a "strange device," south of northern Iraq's oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Friday night, according to a source representing the Joint Coordination Center in Kirkuk on Saturday. "A strange device, belonging to the former Iraqi Army, blew off in Yaychi village, 20 kms southwest of Kirkuk, when a 21-year-old student had been digging in the area of blast on Friday night," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban insurgents attacked the provincial police headquarters in the southern city of Kandahar on Saturday, firing rocket-propelled grenades and touching off an ongoing street battle that has left at least one person dead. Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Kandahar, said several militants occupied a building across the street from the headquarters and are now surrounded by police. The police post is located in central Kandahar, not far from the governor's offices. At least one person was killed and 26 were wounded, Ayubi said. Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the provincial council, said the five to six story building includes a wedding hall and shops. He said two or three militants disguised in police uniforms entered the building and began firing rocket-propelled grenades at the police headquarters. An Associated Press reporter nearby said multiple explosions rocked the neighborhood around the station. At least one of the initial blasts was followed by bursts of automatic gunfire, and that Afghan police were fighting insurgents in an ongoing gunbattle. Exchanges of gunfire occasionally died down, only to pick up again several minutes later.

Five people were killed and at least 24 civilians were injured when armed attackers entered a hotel and targeted a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan Saturday, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province said. The attackers opened fire from inside a hotel across from the police headquarters in Kandahar, the province's information center said. Zalmay Ayoubi, the governor's spokesman, said the dead included a police officer, an Afghan soldier and a civilian. Two of the suspected attackers were also killed, he said. Gunfire was still being exchanged at the scene Saturday afternoon.

#2: A British photographer has been seriously injured by a roadside blast while embedded with the U.S. Army in southern Afghanistan. Giles Duley, a Londoner who specializes in covering humanitarian issues, was flown back to the U.K. after undergoing multiple amputations at the United Nations hospital in Kandahar following the incident on Monday. The New York Times reported that he had stepped on a makeshift bomb while accompanying a foot patrol of U.S. soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, and Afghan troops. His brother, David Duley, was quoted as saying the journalist had lost one leg below the knee and another above the knee, while his left arm was severed above the elbow. However, he had escaped any internal injuries and has been conscious and lucid during treatment in the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham after being flown back to the U.K.

MoD: Private Lewis Hendry

MoD: Private Conrad Lewis