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, January 28, 2012

War News for Saturday, January 28, 2011

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from small arms fire/gunshot wounds in the Khar Nikah region of Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on on Friday, January 27th. Here's the ISAF release.

French pull out early - France is to speed up its withdrawal from Afghanistan, handing over all combat missions to Afghan forces in 2013, a year earlier than planned.

France, Breaking With NATO, Will Speed Afghan Exit

US special operations expanding as wars recede

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 28, Jan. 27th.

US helicopter makes emergency landing central Baghdad

Navy wants commando ‘mothership’ in Middle East

Reported security incidents
#1: Joint Afghan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations killed five armed insurgents during the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#2: In addition, two insurgents were killed by their own explosives while attempting to plant a roadside mine in Ghazni province on Friday, the ministry said.

#3: A roadside bomb killed two Pakistani soldiers when it exploded in the Jogi area of the northwestern Kurram tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, a local security official said.

#4: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, a US drone on Friday crashed in eastern Ghazni province. Provincial governor spokesman Modasir Afghan said, the drone crashed at Janjat village in Deh-Yak district, due to technical problems.


dancewater said...

US helicopter crash fuels rumors that US military is still in Iraq

A helicopter operated by the U.S. Embassy made an emergency landing near the Tigris River on Friday, setting off rumors among Iraqi citizens that U.S. combat troops hadn’t actually left.

The helicopter was on a routine flight transporting embassy personnel over Baghdad, according to embassy officials.

“The helicopter experienced a mechanical problem, requiring it to land. The pilot controlled the landing and set it down near the Tigris River. No one was injured and no property was damaged,” Michael McClellan, an embassy spokesman, said in a statement.

Last month, U.S. combat troops left Iraq, but the U.S. Embassy maintains a large diplomatic presence here.

According to one Iraqi media report, a U.S. Embassy helicopter experienced mechanical failure and landed in Baghdad. Residents wondered whether it was a U.S. military mission, according to interviews with people who asked not to be named to protect their privacy. Other residents wondered how a U.S. helicopter, with all its advanced technology, could have such problems.

For weeks, many Iraqis have had trouble believing that the combat force that invaded their country has fully left, and U.S. troops are quietly stationed somewhere.

Embassy officials, who operate out of a heavily fortified and guarded compound in Baghdad’s Green Zone, said the incident was handled without much incident.

After the helicopter touched down, diplomats called Iraqi security forces, which quickly responded and secured the area, McClellan said. A U.S. embassy flat-bed truck arrived, and took the helicopter back to the American Embassy under Iraqi security escort.

“There were no threats to any embassy personnel,” McClellan said. “The U.S. Embassy greatly appreciates the quick and professional response by Iraqi security forces.”

Movement aboard vehicles can be difficult and slow in Baghdad these days, owing to lots of checkpoints and increased questions over visas, permits and paperwork.

dancewater said...

434 deaths in Iraq in month since US pulled out

Since the United States military withdrew from Iraq in the middle of last month, 434 Iraqis have been killed in attacks across the country, according to security officials, one of the highest tolls for that amount of time in the past few years.


Despite the carnage, top Iraqi security officials say their fight against insurgents is increasingly successful.

The acting minister of interior, Adnan al-Asadi, said in an interview here on Thursday that when the Americans were in Iraq they made the fight against Al Qaeda more difficult.

“It became better after the Americans left,” he said. “They were slowing our operations. Sometimes we would arrest a bad guy, and they would get involved and say, ‘That is our guy,’ and they would have him set free.”