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, February 2, 2011

War News for Wednesday, February 02, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a non-combat related injury in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, February 1st.

Al-Qaida kills top Yemeni intelligence official

Reported security incidents

#1: An employee at the Trade Ministry was killed when a bomb stuck to his car exploded in Al Yarmouk region, western Baghdad.

#1: A division chief at Iraqi Intelligence Department, Razzaq Qasem Ali, was killed by unknown gunmen in northern Baghdad. Unknown gunmen opened fire on Tuesday night on the car of Qassem Ali as he was passing near Baghdad gate in Taji District, a police source told Alsumaria News.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A car bomb killed nine people close to the main northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, the latest in a rash of attacks that are challenging recent police claims of progress against Islamist militants in the region. Twenty others were wounded in the blast on a main road leading to Pakistan's border area with Afghanistan, said government official Siraj Ahmed Khan. Three children were among the dead. The possible target of the bombing was not immediately clear. It was the third major bombing in or near the city in the last week.

#2: Also in the northwest, a group of militants on Wednesday attacked a security post in the Anarggi area of Mohmand tribal region, killing three paramilitary soldiers and wounding four. The troops returned fire and killed 16 insurgents, said Javed Khan, a government administrator.
#3: In the nearby Orakzai tribal region, fighter jets pounded suspected militant hideouts, killing 15 alleged militants and wounding 10 others, said local government administrator Aurangzeb Khan.

#4: Elsewhere in the tribal area, several mortars fired from Afghanistan landed near an army checkpoint in the Ghulam Khan area of North Waziristan on Wednesday, killing one Pakistani soldier and wounding three others, said Pakistani intelligence officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The attack sparked an intense gunbattle that began around noon and was still ongoing an hour and a half later, they said. Another set of Pakistani intelligence officials said the attack came from an Afghan security post across the border. They spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reasons. Gen. Abdul Hakim Isaqzai, provincial chief of police in Afghanistan's Khost province, confirmed that clashes have taken place along the border involving local Afghan police using small arms. He could not confirm the use of mortars. The fighting followed a decision by Afghan police to set up a security checkpoint on their side of the border about 10 days ago, he said. Isaqzai blamed the Pakistanis for starting the clashes. No casualties have been reported on the Afghan side.

#5: Also Wednesday, police said gunmen killed four policemen and kidnapped four others, including a senior local official, in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province. The incidents occurred several hours apart late Tuesday night in Bolan district, said police official Khamisa Khan. The dead included a local police chief, and the official who was kidnapped along with four of his guards was Shaukat Ali, deputy commissioner of Jal Magsi district, he said.

#6: Suspected militants killed five policemen in a shootout in the volatile southwestern Baluchistan province early on Wednesday, police said. Some 20 militants attacked the policemen travelling in a car who were heading towards the provincial capital, Quetta.

DoD: Spc. Omar Soltero