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, March 12, 2011

War News for Saturday, March 12, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, March 11th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, March 11th.

End operations in Afghanistan, Karzai tells NATO

Unemployment high among young veterans

Winning Hearts While Flattening Vineyards Is Rather Tricky

Reported security incidents

#1: An Iraqi civilian has been killed and 2 others injured, along with 4 policemen, in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast south of Baghdad on Friday, according to a security source. “An IED blew off in southern Baghdad’s al-Rashid markets, aimed at a police patrol, killing a civilian, wounding 2 others, along with 4 policemen,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside bomb targeted a US patrol in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf on Saturday, according to an Iraqi security official and the American military. There were no immediate reports of casualties. "An improvised bomb targetted a US patrol in Najaf around noon today," an Iraqi security official told AFP, without giving further details. The US military said: "We can confirm that there was an IED (improvised explosive device) attack targeting US forces in Najaf. We have no reporting of casualties at this time."

#1: A car bomb wounded 20 people as it ripped through a Kurdish neighbourhood in the restive northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday, a police source said. "A car bomb exploded in the Kurdish neighbourhood of Rahimawa near a security station in Kirkuk and 20 people were wounded," the source said without giving details.

#1: POLICE say seven Iraqi soldiers have been killed in an ambush in a former al-Qaeda stronghold. The off-duty soldiers had just ended their shifts outside the northern city of Mosul when gunmen ambushed their car this morning. Two police officers said the gunmen fled after the attack. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to release the information.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A rocket hit a house in Khairdin village, some 430 kilometres southeast of Quetta, the capital of restive Baluchistan province, early on Saturday morning, killing a couple and their four children. "A man, a woman and their four children were killed when a rocket hit their house," senior police official Javed Shah told AFP. "Apparently the rocket was fired by miscreants," Shah said referring to tribal rebels who have waged an insurgency to demand more autonomy over region's natural resources like oil, gas and minerals.

#2: Separately unknown gunmen intercepted three oil tankers carrying fuel destined for Nato forces in Afghanistan, setting one of them on fire and puncturing two others causing the oil to leak, Shah said. The tankers were attacked in Bolan district, some 70km east of Quetta, but there were no casualties, he added. Local security officials confirmed both incidents and toll.

#3: In the first attack, the drones fired four missiles and hit a car in Ghureeski village close to Spinwam town near the border with Afghanistan's Khost province. The four men seated in the white car were killed on the spot and their bodies mutilated beyond recognition. There were reports that the slain men were tribal militants reportedly belonging to the adjoining South Waziristan tribal region.

#4: Almost 20 minutes after the first attack, the CIA-operated drones carried out another attack in which a double-cabin pickup truck was targeted near Jailar Village on Khaisur Road in Mir Ali subdivision. The drones, the villagers said, fired 10 missiles on the speedy pickup truck and finally hit it. The vehicle was smashed and split into pieces. The attackers didn't want to take chances and that was the reason 10 missiles were fired at just one moving target. It was not possible for the villagers to get close to the destroyed vehicle for about an hour as the drones were still hovering over the town. Later, when the spy planes disappeared for a while, the tribesmen rushed to the spot and retrieved 10 bodies from the wreckage of the vehicle.

#5: Tribesmen from the remote Dattakhel area near the Afghan border also reported seeing seven US spy planes flying over their villages. The US has once again stepped up the missile strikes in both North and South Waziristan tribal regions where the government, after a series of military operations, has finally signed peace accords with the local tribes and tribal militants.

#6: Six militants were killed in clashes with security forces in Orakzai Agency on Saturday. Sources said the militants attacked a security check post in the Kurucnki area of Orakzai Agency. The security forces retaliated and during the crossfire six militants were killed. Three security personnel also sustained injuries in the retaliatory firing.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Eric S. Trueblood