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

Friday, November 25, 2011

War News for Friday, November 25, 2011

CIA marks death of spy with a rare request - a total of 23 stars have been added to the wall at the CIA's Langley, Va., headquarters that honors CIA operatives lost.

Up to 763 contractors to train Iraqi forces: US - A maximum of 763 civilian contractors and 157 US military personnel will train Iraqi security forces post-2011, if the Iraqi government gives its approval, a US officer said on Wednesday.

Reported security incidents

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen using silenced weapons killed a village mayor at a market in Jalawla, 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad, a source in the Baquba security operations centre said.

#1: Three bombs went off at the house of a member of the government-backed Sunni Sahwa militia in the village of Bahbahan, near the city of Mussayab, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. A local police source said no casualties were reported. Another police source said two men were inside the house and were wounded in the explosions.

#1: Three bombs exploded Thursday in the south Iraq port city of Basra, killing 19 people including high-ranking army and police officers, and wounding at least 65, security and medical officials said. A roadside bomb and a motor-cycle bomb exploded simultaneously at about 6: 40 p.m. in a market in central Basra, an Interior Ministry official said. Following a common pattern in Iraq, a third roadside bomb went off as people gathered at the scene, according to the official, who put toll at 19 killed and 67 wounded. An army brigade commander and a high-ranking police officer were among the dead, while police and soldiers were also wounded in the blasts, the official said.

The toll from yesterday's blast in Basra has reached 50 dead more than 50 wounded, according to security sources.

#1: An Iraqi soldier was killed and an officer wounded when clashes erupted between insurgents and an army patrol in Baaj, 375 km (235 miles) northwest of Baghdad, a local police source said.

#1: Gunmen opened fire at an Iraqi army checkpoint and killed one soldier in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a local police source said.

#2: Gunmen shot dead a government electricity department worker in the village of Shura, south of Mosul, a local police source said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Gunmen kidnapped an off-duty policeman and his son from their car in northeastern Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A bomb exploded in a crowded market and wounded five people in Ramadi, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered an investigation into an air attack by NATO forces in southern Afghanistan that killed six children and one adult, his office said on Thursday.

NATO forces were chasing five men they had spotted planting homemade roadside bombs in Zhari district of southern Kandahar province, said Zalmai Ayobi, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor. An airstrike killed one of them but four fled into a nearby village, and NATO forces attacked them from the air. Seven civilians including women and children were killed, Ayobi added. Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi, the Zhari district chief, said six of the dead were children, and another two girls were also wounded, according to a statement from Karzai's office.

#2: Pakistani troops assaulted militant strongholds in the northwestern tribal region of Kurram on Friday around midnight, killing 35 militants and wounding 10 more, security officials said. Four soldiers were also killed in the firefight, which lasted several hours. Militant sources confirmed the clashes and casualties but disputed the government's death toll.

#3: An International Security Assistance Force helicopter made a precautionary landing in eastern Afghanistan Thursday.

ISAF is still in the process of assessing the circumstances to determine more facts; however, initial reporting indicates that there was no enemy activity in the area. All crew members have recovered with no reported injuries.