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, March 16, 2011

War News for Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, March 15th.

Canada prepares to pack everything for Kandahar pullout

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say Afghan war isn’t worth fighting

Reported security incidents

#1: At least 3 civilians and 4 policemen have been injured in two improvised explosive device (IED) blasts close to southwestern Baghdad’s al-Rashid markets on Tuesday, a security source said. “Two IEDs blew up close to al-Rashid markets in southwestern Baghdad’s Daura district, wounding 3 civilians and 4 policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that the IEDs were targeted against a police patrol in the area.

In a separate incident, a policeman and a civilian were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol on a highway that passes through New Baghdad district in southeastern the capital, the source said.

#2: Policemen defused seven bombs in separate areas in Baghdad in the past 24 hours, the Baghdad Operations Command said on Tuesday. "Policemen defused six explosive charges and a sticky bomb, in addition to seizing a big depot in the past 24 hours," the BOC said in a statement on its website.

#3: “An IED blew off in central Baghdad’s Karrada district on Wednesday, wounding 6 civilians, who were driven to hospitals,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: He said that another IED blew off in east Baghdad’s Zayouna district, wounding 2 civilians who were taken to a hospital, also causing damage to several shops close to the venue of the blast.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A police officer had been killed and his wife was seriously injured in an explosive charge blast in his car in northeast Iraq’s Diala Province on Tuesday night, a Diala Police source said. “A police officer, working with the Explosives Unit of Diala Police, was killed and his wife was injured, in an explosive charge blast on his car in new Baaquba district in Diala Province on Tuesday night,” the police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: In Diyala, unidentified gunmen stormed the house of an anti- Qaida paramilitary group member, known as Awakening Council group, in a village near the town of Buhruz, south of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The gunmen shot dead the group member and wounded his wife, the source said. Iraqi security forces in the area chased the fleeing attackers and traded fire with them, killing one while the others escaped in the surrounding orchards, the source added.

#1: A U.S. Army patrol had been attacked by an improvised explosive device (IED) in southern Iraq’s city of Basra, causing no human or material losses, a Basra security source said on Tuesday. “An IED blew up against a U.S. Army patrol on the Hamdan Road, 10 kms south of Basra on Tuesday, but caused no human or material damage,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Baaj:
#1: Five Yazidis were kidnapped on Tuesday by gunmen in military uniform in west of Mosul, according to a security source. "Gunmen in military uniforms kidnapped five Yazidis near a village in al-Baaj district, west of Mosul," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the gunmen attacked three cars, kidnapping the men and left women.

#1: A police spokesman says a car bombing in a northern Iraqi city rife with ethnic tensions has killed three people and wounded 18. Kirkuk city police spokesman Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir says the car was parked near a hospital and government office when it exploded around 9 a.m. on Wednesday. He says the attack appeared aimed at the city’s Kurdish director of water and sewage.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An American missile attack Wednesday killed five people in a northwestern region of Pakistan that is under effective Islamist militant control, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The missile destroyed a house in the North Waziristan region close to the Afghan border, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations of their agency. The identities of the victims or the details of the strike were not known.

#2: One person was killed when unknown gunmen opened fire at Nato tankers in Balochistan province’s Mastung area on Wednesday, DawnNews reported. Four tankers were set ablaze in the attack.

DoD: Pfc. Arturo E. Rodriguez