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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

War News for Tuesday, January 31, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, January 31st.


Obama confirms U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan

On the Ground in Afghanistan, a Taliban Whose Momentum Seems Anything but Broken

Alternate routes for Nato supplies may come under attack: experts

Reconstructing the bombing of a CIA base

Fear drives new front in Afghan peace talks: analysts

US unilateralism in Afghanistan

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 31, Jan. 30th.


Reported security incidents
#1: Dozens of heavily armed Taliban militants attacked a Pakistani military post on Tuesday, sparking clashes that killed seven soldiers and wounded another 10, the military said. At the time, security forces claimed to have taken control of Jogi, which is strategically located near Orakzai district, birthplace of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. A senior military official told AFP that "more than 300 Taliban attacked" the checkpost at around midnight (1900 GMT Monday) in central Kurram, which is on the Taliban route into North Waziristan and onto the Afghan border. Pakistani security forces retaliated and killed around 25 militants, but seven soldiers were also killed and 10 others wounded, the official said. Independent confirmation of death tolls is largely impossible in the tribal belt, a Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold barred to journalists and aid workers. "Heavy fighting continued until this morning," the military official said. Local administration official Sher Bahadur confirmed the military deaths but put the number of wounded paramilitaries at 12.

#2: Four armed insurgents were killed during joint Afghan and coalition security operations in several provinces in the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#3: Three people were killed and eight others wounded in a suspected suicide bombing at a house in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police officials said. The house belonged to the leader of a pro-government tribal militia fighting against militants in the nearby Khyber tribal region.

#4: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least 25 armed militants were killed and injured following a military operation in eastern Kapisa province. A spokesman for provincial police commandment in eastern Kapisa province Asadullah Hamidi said, the operation was conducted in Elasai district by Afghan security forces. Mr. Hamidi further added, at least 19 militants were killed and 6 others were injured during the military operations. He also said, several regions in Elasai district was cleared from the militants and the local residents can continue to their normal lives. In the meantime local officials said, at least eight civilians were also killed and injured during the military operations. The officials said, Afghan civilians were killed during clashes between Afghan security forces and armed militants. According to local officials, Afghan security forces did not suffer any casualties during the operations.

Monday, January 30, 2012

War News for Monday, January 30, 2011

U.S. Drones Patrolling Its Skies Provoke Outrage in Iraq

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 30, Jan. 29th.


Reported security incidents
#1: Pakistani army forces have killed at least eight militants during an air strike in the northwestern Kurram tribal region, Press TV reports. Gunship helicopters belonging to Pakistan's army bombarded the militant's hideouts in the Murghan and Kandlor area of central Kurram tribal region near the Afghanistan border on Sunday, killing the eight militants and wounding ten others.

#2: The Taliban have kidnapped a member of Afghanistan's peace council during a bid to promote talks in the volatile east, underscoring the difficulty negotiators face in winning support for nascent negotiations from the Taliban frontline. Maulavi Shafihullah Shafih, a low-level member of the High Peace Council set up by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to liaise with the Taliban, disappeared on Friday in the Asmar district of the eastern province of Kunar, authorities said on Sunday. The attack wounded four people, including Masoom Stanekzai, head of the council's secretariat.

#3: An Afghan-led security force supported by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), killed a leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Taloqan district, Takhar province, on Sunday, the coalition said in a statement.

#4: Four armed insurgents were killed and one was wounded during security operations in several provinces, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.


MoD: Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung

Sunday, January 29, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, January 29, 2012

A member of the Afghan Peace Council, Shafiullah Shafi, is reported kidnapped in Kunar. He had gone to that province to try to recruit insurgents to the peace process. No one has so far claimed responsibility for seizing him.

Police foil a plot in Kandahar province, seizing a motorbike rigged with explosives.

And, an Afghan soldier is arrested in Herat with an explosive motorbike.

Afghan President Karzai meets with British BP David Cameron in London. Cameron warns against precipitous withdrawal of foreign forces. On Saturday, the two signed a strategic pact to govern relations after 2014.

Meanwhile, British Chief of Staff David Richards, who commanded NATO forces in Afghanistan from 2006-2008, has been talking out of school, telling a journalist that the military effort in Afghanistan is "amateurish, and "verging on the complacent," while the British have failed to learn the lessons of the Iraq war or provide adequate resources. (I don't know how it works in Britain but were he a U.S. general, he'd be home tomorrow tending his tulips. -- C)

Pakistan FM Hina Rabbani Khar will visit Kabul February 1 to try to make nice, in the wake of the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani and accusations that Pakistan is harboring Afghan Taliban. She will be the first woman to lead a Pakistani delegation to Afghanistan.

Iraq Update

Xinhua reports several incidents: a civilian is killed by a sticky bomb in Maqdadiyah; in Baquba, a sticky bomb attack on a police officer injures him and 2 bystanders; while in Bani Sa'ad an attack on a Sahwa checkpoint injures 2. Finally, an explosion in southeast Baghdad injures 8 people. Apparently one person did in fact die in the Baghdad blast, which targeted a police patrol.

In Samarra, attackers invade the home of an official of the Iraqi Reconciliation Institution, seriously injuring him and killing a guest.

Ancient Mandaean sect is disappearing from Iraq. In addition to facing religious persecution, their traditional livelihood of gold- and silversmithing has become impossible in an environment of uncontrolled crime.

St. Louis throws a parade for Iraq vets.

U.S. VP Joe Biden has been calling Iraqi leaders to try to facilitate factional reconciliation. However, Iyad Allawi tells Asharq alawsat (here via Aswat al-Iraq, the original interview does not appear to be available in English) that he fears for his personal safety, and:

"The situations are heading towards very difficult trends for several reasons, in their forefront of which is the nature of the political process that was built on erroneous basis, including marginalization and political sectarianism, thing that led for non-building of State institutions, able to present proper services for citizens, especially in the security field and non-implementation of the conditions, cited in the national partnership, agreed upon, thing that also led for difficult tensions facing the country nowadays, such tensions that were stepped up for serious practices, including the case of Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimy and Deputy Prime Minister, Saleh al-Mutlaq," Allawi said in the interview.

"There are no laws in the country, where the law is politicized and the laws are under politicization, along with measures that are taken outside the limits of the law and against the Constitution; that is why there is no concept for the sovereignty on the law, complete disrespect for the sovereignty of the Constitution," Allawi added.

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.

Friday, January 27, 2012

War News for Sunday, Friday 27, 2011

Suicide Car Bombing Kills 28 in Baghdad

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 26

US Army's massacre in west Iraq's Haditha township must not pass without punishment, MP

German parliament resolves drawdown of Afghan mission


Reported security incidents
#1: Pakistani gunship helicopters on Friday attacked two militant camps in the northwestern Kurram tribal region near the Afghanistan border killing seven militants, security officials said. The death toll could not be independently verified and militants often dispute official accounts.

#2: Meanwhile, in Dera Bugti a paramilitary soldier was killed when a landmine exploded during mine-clearing operations, security officials said. After the explosion, militants opened fire and killed another soldier, officials added. Baloch separatists and Taliban militants have been active in the province and have been blamed for such violence in the past.

#3: Militants fired three rocket-propelled grenades at Pakistan's top military academy in the northern town of Abbottabad, damaging a section of the boundary wall but causing no injuries, police officials said.

#4: Militants attacked a paramilitary checkpost in the Dera Bugti area of the southwestern Baluchistan province, killing five soldiers, security officials said.

#5: Militants attacked a paramilitary checkpost in the Barandem area of the northwestern Bannu district, killing a soldier, intelligence officials said.

#6: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least 3 insurgents planting roadside bombs were killed following an air raid by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in eastern Khost province. The officials further added, the incident took place on Thursday night at Haram Khel village in central Lakan in eastern Khost province. According to reports, one of the insurgents was detained following the operation, along with explosives and other equipments at the scene of the incident.


DoD: 1st Lt. David A. Johnson

Thursday, January 26, 2012

War News for Thursday, January 26, 2011

The DoD is reporting the death of an ISAF Marine who died from a a non-combat related illness somewhere in the U.S. on Sunday, January 22nd.


Thousands of Nato trucks in Pakistan backlog

IED attacks in Afghanistan set record


Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide car bomber targeting a NATO-sponsored reconstruction team killed four Afghan civilians, including a child, and wounded 31 on Thursday in southern Afghanistan, officials said. Three civilian international members of the aid team — two men and one woman — were among the wounded, said Daud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor. He said their injuries were not life threatening and did not know their nationalities. The bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle Thursday morning as a convoy of a NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team passed by in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, Ahmadi said. The blast ripped through the convoy of armored vehicles, knocking at least one over and charring others. The explosion also shredded nearby storefronts and damaged at least 17 civilian cars nearby, a provincial statement said.

#2: Pakistani officials say gunmen have attacked a military checkpoint in southwestern Baluchistan Province, killing six soldiers. The officials said about a dozen gunmen attacked the post of the paramilitary Frontier Corps in the district of Dera Bugti, about 400 kilometers southeast of the provincial capital, Quetta, before dawn on January 26. After killing the soldiers, the gunmen are reported to have taken the soldiers' weapons and escaped.

#3: Twenty-two Pakistani forces were injured during an assault by a group of militants in the Jogi area of the northwestern Kurram tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, security officials said. The officials said security forces fought back and killed 20 militants in the incident. The death toll could not be independently verified and militants often dispute official accounts.

#4: Militants attacked a paramilitary checkpost in the Barandem area of the northwestern Bannu district, killing a soldier, intelligence officials said.

#5: According to local authorities in southern Afghanistan, at least four militants were killed following armed clashes with the Afghan National Police forces in southern Helmand province. The officials further added, at least two Afghan police service members were also killed during clashes with the armed militants, which lasted more than 8 hours. District Security Chief for Nad-e-Ali Omer Jan confirming the report said, the clashes started on Wednesday evening. Mr. Omer Jan further added, at least eight other militants were also injured during the clashes.


DoD: Capt. Joshua C. Pairsh

MoD: Signaller Ian Sartorius-Jones

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

War News for Wednesday, January 25, 2011

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from unreported causes at a patrol base in the Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, January 24th. News reports this as a possible suicide. Here’s the ISAF release.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, January 25th.


France Rules Out Early Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

North Fayette man killed in Afghanistan helicopter accident - James Scott Ozier, 30, was one of three employees of Palm Bay, Fla.-based AAR Airlift Group who died on Jan. 16 while conducting operations for the U.S. Department of Defense in Helmand Province.

British soldier in 'suicide' in Afghanistan

US drone attacks unlawful and unacceptable: Salman Bashir

East Afghan frontline emerges as major hurdle


Reported security incidents
#1:
SIX Pakistani soldiers and 17 Taliban militants have been killed in an overnight clash in a northwestern tribal district near the Afghan border. Some 50 Taliban fighters attacked Pakistani troops during a search operation in Jogi village of central Kurram tribal district late yesterday, officials said. "Six soldiers were killed and four injured in the clash. Troops repelled the attack and killed 17 militants," Sher Bahadar Khan, a local government official in Kurram told AFP. The militants were Pakistani Taliban, he said. A senior official of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps confirmed the attack, and the casualties, and added that troops had taken control of the area. Independent confirmation of the death toll was not immediately possible as the lawless tribal region is barred for journalists .

#2: An Estonian soldier was seriously wounded in an explosion in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday. Yesterday morning, insurgents attacked an Estonian infantry squad that was patrolling near Nad-e-Ali in Helmand Province. One soldier was struck by an improvised explosive device.

#3: At least five insurgents have been killed as Afghan forces and NATO-led Coalition troops conducted operations in eastern Afghanistan region, the NATO-led forces said on Tuesday. “Afghan and Coalition Forces killed five insurgents and detained eight suspected individuals in eastern Afghanistan during operations throughout the past 24 hours, Jan. 23,” the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a press release. “A coalition airstrike killed five insurgents after troops positively identified them with weapons in Tagab District, Kapisa Province,” it said. Afghan National Police (ANP) detained four individuals in Mehtarlam District, Laghman Province after a small-arms fire engagement.

#4: Several insurgents were killed during a combined Afghan and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operation in search of a Taliban leader in Kot district, Faryab province on Wednesday, the coalition said in a statement.

#5: Two civilians were killed and seven others were injured Wednesday when two rockets fired by suspected Taliban insurgents hit a house in the country's Kapisa province.


DoD: Cpl. Christopher G. Singer

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

War News for Tuesday, January 24, 2011

Christopher D. Bordoni, 21, was wounded in an attack involving a suicide bomber while serving in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, according to a statement from his family. He was sent to a hospital in Germany, and was recently transferred to the San Antonio Military Medical Center to receive treatment, according to the statement. According to his family, Bordoni was on patrol in the Kajaki district when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle entered the area. It was reported that several civilians, military personnel and police were injured and killed, according to the family's statement.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 24


Reported security incidents
#1: At least five insurgents have been killed as Afghan forces and NATO-led Coalition troops conducted operations in eastern Afghanistan region, the NATO-led forces said on Tuesday. "Afghan and Coalition Forces killed five insurgents and detained eight suspected individuals in eastern Afghanistan during operations throughout the past 24 hours, Jan. 23," the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a press release. "A coalition airstrike killed five insurgents after troops positively identified them with weapons in Tagab District, Kapisa Province," it said.

#2: A fresh drone attack carried out by the American CIA in North Waziristan Agency Monday morning killed 6 people. Reports reaching here said a few predator planes, in a third missiles hit after Mohmand tragedy, targeted a vehicle in Degaan area some 30 kilometers west of Miran Shah the headquarters of North Waziristan agency Monday early morning destroying the vehicle completely. “The American planes hovering in the skies for quite some time fired many missiles at a vehicle heading towards Datta Khel area from Tehsil Degaan and the vehicle was seen in high flames where as a nearby house was also damaged”. Sources told Observer adding as many as six people on board the vehicle were found dead. Some official sources said those killed were the fugitives and hailed from Turkmenistan. “They did not appear to be the local militants”. The people of the area said and added that three drones were hovering in the skies when the attack took place

Monday, January 23, 2012

War News for Monday, January 23, 2011

Afghans hit by food price hikes as Pakistan shutdown bites

Afghan soldier killed French troops over U.S. abuse video


Reported security incidents
#1: At least five Afghan policemen have been injured in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan's eastern province of Khost, officials say. The blast took place on Monday morning when a police vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Mando Zayi district near the Khost city.

#2: A suspected U.S. drone fired missiles at a house and a vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, Pakistani intelligence officials said, killing four alleged militants in an attack that could signal the program is picking up steam after strained relations halted strikes late last year.

#3: Sixteen insurgents have been killed in a series of operations conducted by Afghan and NATO-led coalition forces over the past 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Sunday. "Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan National Army and Coalition Forces have launched six joint operations in Kabul, Kapisa, Kandahar, Helmand, Wardak and Khost provinces over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.

#4: International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan following a press release on Monday announced, Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban leader in Sayyidabad district, Wardak province on Saturday. The source further added, the leader, Farid, served as a Taliban judge in Wardak province. He was responsible for multiple ambushes, roadside bomb and direct-fire attacks against Afghan and coalition forces throughout the area. He was also known for mistreating the local populace and facilitating a kidnapping operation.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, January 22, 2012

French Defense Minister GĂ©rard Longuet meets with president Hamid Karzai on Saturday evening. After saying it was reconsidering its mission to train Afghan forces after an Afghan soldier killed four French soldiers and wounded 17 on Friday, France now says the mission will continue.

Meanwhile, U.S. Special Envoy Marc Grossman meets with Karzai for a second straight day to discuss peace process with insurgents.

Number of Afghans seeking asylum abroad hits an all-time high in 2011. UN statistics find more than 30,000 sought asylum in countries around the world from January through November. "Many Afghans are turning to a thriving and increasingly sophisticated human smuggling industry to get themselves — or in most cases, their sons — out of the country. They pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to cross into Iran or Pakistan to more $25,000 for fake papers and flights to places like London or Stockholm," says AP. The true number who flee is greater than 30,000 because not all seek legal asylum.

Afghan officials claim that a total of 28 militants have renounced violence in Nangarhar and Herat provinces. There is no telling the importance of this, whether these individuals are truly connected with Taliban or other organized insurgent groups, or whether these small numbers are meaningful. We shall see. -- C

Interior Ministry says 10 insurgents killed, 6 captured in various places around the country in the past 24 hours. They also make the (bizarre) boast that they seized 7 AK-47s. (That's like saying the New York City police seized 7 bags of pot.)

Five Afghan border patrol troops killed in an ambush in Herat.

At least one civilian killed, 9 injured in Kapisa province in a failed attack on an Afghan army convoy.

Iraq Update

Two police, 1 Sahwa fighter and 2 insurgents dead in attack on a checkpoint in al-Asoud, near Baquba. Also, a car bombing in Mosul kills one person and injures 3, including 2 police officers.

Human Rights Watch says the human rights situation in Iraq is worsening, Iraq sliding toward authoritarianism. (HRW doesn't seem to have posted the report yet so we have only secondary sources.) From the CNN report:

The group says it uncovered a secret prison where detainees were beaten, hung upside down and given electric shocks to sensitive parts of their bodies. . . .

"It's not a one-off thing that's happening," said Samer Muscati of the group's Middle East and north Africa division. He urged the government to make clear that it did not back torture.

The group was also critical of the crackdown on peaceful protesters by security forces, saying both the federal government and regional authorities in Kurdistan "responded with violence" and "used legal means to curtail protests."

The group also points to violence against women and girls, and journalists.

Quote of the Day from Anatol Lieven, writing in the New York Review of Books. I highly recommend this informed and thoughtful analysis. Shorter version: Cut a deal and get the hell out.

[W]hat America has done is to create a huge Afghan army—but one that is overwhelmingly dependent on US help to pay and arm its troops—alongside a weak and shamefully inept civilian state.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

War News for Saturday, January 21, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, January 21th.


Bulgarian Man among 4 French Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

Congresswoman: All 6 killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan were Hawaii-based Marines

Iraq: Body of Briton Is Returned - The body of a British hostage kidnapped in 2007 has been turned over to the British Embassy in Baghdad, officials said Friday. The hostage, Alan McMenemy, was one of five men kidnapped by Shiite militants outside the Finance Ministry. He was part of a security detail guarding a computer expert, Peter Moore, who was released alive in 2010

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 21, Jan 20th.


Reported security incidents
#1: Five Afghan policemen were killed Friday following a clash in the country's western province of Herat, a provincial police source said on Saturday. "An unspecified number of armed insurgents laid an ambush against a unit of Afghan border police force in bordering district of Gulran late Friday triggering a clash that left five border policemen dead," a police official with the fast-reaction unit of border police in the province, Mohammad Saliman told Xinhua via phone. He said a police vehicle was also damaged in the incident in the province 640 km west of capital Kabul.

#2: In another development, four armed insurgents were killed by the Afghan security forces in Barmal district of eastern Paktika province earlier Saturday. "Four armed insurgents including two suicide bombers were shot dead by Afghan security forces at around 10:00 a.m. local time near the Barmal district bazaar," the provincial government said in a statement, adding that the killed insurgents had the intention of attacking a district headquarters and a nearby Afghan and foreign troop's joint coordination center in the bordering district. It said no Afghan police, army or civilian were injured in the incident in the district bordering Pakistan.

#3: A roadside mine killed four civilians and wounded two in Lashkar Gah city, Helmand province, on Saturday, said Kamaluddin Shirzai a senior police detective in the southern province.

#4: Afghan security forces and foreign troops killed four insurgents, wounded two and detained 17 during operations across the country in the past 24 hours, the interior ministry said in a statement

#5: A roadside bomb exploded next to a pro-government tribal militia patrol in the Jamrud area of the northwestern Khyber tribal region, killing two militiamen and wounding three, local government officials said.

Fr/MoD: l’adjudant-chef Fabien Willm

Fr/MoD: l’adjudant-chef Denis Estin

Fr/MoD: le sergent-chef Svilen Simeonov

Fr/MoD: le brigadier-chef Geoffrey Baumela

Friday, January 20, 2012

War News for Friday, January 20, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a non-hostile related injury in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, January 18th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of four ISAF soldiers who were killed by an Afghan Army soldier in an undisclosed location in Eastern Afghanistan on Friday, January 20th. Various news reports these are French soldiers.

The Navy Times is reporting the deaths of six ISAF soldiers in a helicopter crash in Musa Qala district of Helmand province, Afghanistan on Thursday, January 19th.


France to suspend Afghan military operations after soldiers' deaths

Pakistan: NATO supply routes not reopened

Costs soar for new Afghan War supply routes - The U.S. is paying six times as much to send war supplies to troops in Afghanistan through alternative routes after Pakistan last year closed its border crossings to NATO convoys.

Marine in Haditha killings trial has to decide: Fight or take a deal

Two foreigners kidnapped in Pakistan- German and an Italian were kidnapped from central Pakistani city of Multan Thursday night, a media report said Friday. The police told media that both of them were employees of a non-governmental organisation working for the relief and rehabilitation of flood effected people in the eastern province of Punjab.

Norway's intelligence chief quits after Parliament blunder sees her admit spies are operating in Pakistan

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 20, Jan. 19th.

Baghdad governor threatens to kill any foreigner for security breach

Afghanistan’s Soldiers Step Up Killings of Allied Forces

At least 1 dead, 24 injured in blast in southeast Turkey

3 policemen killed by gunmen in southern Yemen

DOD Identifies Units for Upcoming Afghanistan Rotation


Reported security incidents
#1: An explosion happened close to the airport in Jalalabad city the capital of eastern Nangarhar province 120 km east of Afghan capital Kabul on Friday, injuring five people, an official said. "An oil tanker exploded some 100 meter away from the gate of Jalalabad airport injuring five people," the official told Xinhua but declined to give his name, saying that authorized officials would brief the media. Meantime, spokesman for provincial administration confirmed the incident, saying that four civilians were injured in the blast. "An oil tanker caught fire close to the airport as a result four civilians sustained injuries,"Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said.

#2: According to local authorities in southern Afghanistan, at least 12 armed militants were killed following armed clashes with the Afghan police forces in southern Helmand province. The officials further added, the incident took place after a number of armed militants ambushed a police check post in Nawzad district of southern Helmand province. Provincial police officials said, the clashes started around 4 am local time on Thursday and continued until 6 am. Gen. Dawlatzai further added, at least two Afghan police service members were killed and three others were injured during the clashes.


DoD: Spc. Keith D. Benson

DoD: Cpl. Phillip D. McGeath

Thursday, January 19, 2012

War News for Thursday, January 19, 2011

Russian Says Western Support for Arab Revolts Could Cause a ‘Big War’

'Pakistan to re-open NATO routes to Afghanistan'

Afghans wage anti-US rally in Kunar

Wilmington Marine Wounded in Afghanistan - 27-year-old Corporal Josh Sams stepped on an IED in Afghanistan on Wednesday. both legs were amputated.

Rice Lake man dies in Afghanistan - On Monday night, Darrell and Jan Walker received a phone call from their daughter-in-law confirming every parent's worst nightmare. The helicopter their son Todd and two other men were flying in had been shot down in Afghanistan. All three men were killed. Todd flew helicopters for 27 years all across the world. He had spent the last year in Afghanistan, working with AAR Airlift and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Area man dies in Afghanistan - A Clay County man died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan earlier this week. AAR Airlift Spokesman Chris Mason confirmed to The Brazil Times Wednesday Michael Clawson, 51, Brazil, was one of three crew members killed in the accident, which took place in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, at approximately 10:45 a.m., local time, Jan. 16. According to reports, AAR Airlift was in Afghanistan doing work for the United States Department of Defense. AAR Airlift is a unit of AAR Corp., based in Wood Dale, Ill.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 19, Jan. 18th.



Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber in a car blew himself up in front of an airport in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least six civilians, police said. The blast occurred at the Kandahar International Airport.

#2: Taliban fighters also attacked a police checkpoint in the Now Zad District, also in Helmand Province. At least two police officers and 12 Taliban fighters, including a local commander identified as Mullah Abdul Baqi, were killed in the ensuing gun battle, said Dawoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor. Another two officers were wounded, he said.

#3: In Nad Ali District, which authorities had declared largely cleared of insurgents over the past year, a roadside bomb on Wednesday killed the district head of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence service, along with a member of the district council, or shura, and two other people, according to Mr. Ahmadi, the governor’s spokesman. The bomb was planted near the home of the security directorate chief, Wali Mohammad, and struck his car as he arrived there at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Mohammad Ismail Hotak, the head of the Operation Coordination Center in the province. Also killed were shura member Gul Agha, a security directorate agent, and a civilian, Afghan officials said.

#4: In the second incident, which took place an hour earlier on Wednesday, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeted a joint Afghan police and International Security Assistance Force patrol in Kajaki District, northern Helmand Province. The explosion took place in a crowded bazaar area, killing three police officers and ten civilians, and wounding 22 other people, according to Mr. Ahmadi.

#5: A senior Afghan official said on Wednesday that NATO forces killed five civilians, including one woman and two children, during a night raid earlier this week in northeastern Afghanistan. A NATO statement said the alliance was aware of a military operation in Chawkay district of Kunar province on Monday and was checking into the report. Kunar province governor Sayed Fazelullah Wahidi said the raid occurred Monday night. He said coalition helicopters fired into a compound, killing two militants and five civilians, including a woman and two children.

#6: Twenty Afghan civilians, including 13 children and six women, were killed by a roadside bomb in Khoshamand district of southeastern Paktika province, said Brigadier Josef Blotz, senior spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

#7: Twelve Taliban insurgents were killed and six others wounded when a homemade bomb they were making exploded in a compound in Ghormach district of northern Faryab province on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said.

#8: One civilian was killed and ten others wounded when a rocket hit their home during a battle between foreign troops and Taliban militants in Koshk district of western Herat province, the provincial governor's spokesman, Sadiq Behrozyan, said. It was not immediately clear who had fired the rocket, he said.

#9: Four Afghan policemen on patrol were killed when a roadside bomb ripped through their vehicle in southern Zabul province, said Abdul Razziq, a senior provincial police official

#10: At least three police men were injured in a suicide blast that hit a police check post in northwestern Pakistani city of Nowshera on Thursday, reported local Urdu TV Geo. According to the report, the blast took place at about 02:20 p. m. (local time) in Akora Khattak area of Nowshera, a city some 50 km east of the provincial capital Peshawar in northwest Pakistan. The police was checking the vehicles at a check post located at the entering point of the city when a suicide bomber blasted himself injuring at least three policemen including an official. The report said that police received a tip-off by intelligence sources that a suicide bomber may target some sensitive area in the city on Thursday so the police were checking all the vehicles entering in the city.

#11: According to local authorities in northern Afghanistan, an Afghan intelligence, National Directorate for Security official was critically wounded following a roadside bomb explosion in northern Kunduz province. A spokesman for provincial police chief Syed Sarwar Hussaini confirming the incident said, the incident took place after the vehicle of the Afghan intelligence official struck with a roadside bomb wounding him critically.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

War News for Wednesday, January 18, 2011

Pakistan rejects US envoy visit

Coalition limits details on troops killed by Afghans

Pakistan to resume jet fuel supply to Afghanistan

British troops in Afghan child abuse investigation


Reported security incidents
#1: Afghanistan's government says its security forces have killed nine armed insurgents and captured 23 suspects in a series of raids across the country. An Interior Ministry statement issued Wednesday morning said the operations over the preceding 24 hours in eight different provinces also discovered caches of weapons, ammunition and explosives. Meanwhile, the country's Defence Ministry says a soldier was killed and four were wounded in clashes with insurgents on Tuesday.

#2: Pakistani reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif, who worked for the Voice of America, was shot and killed in a mosque in northwest Pakistan, VOA reported. The report said the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Aatif's assassination Tuesday in Shabqadar, a small town about 25 miles from Peshawar, capital of the violence-ravaged Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The report, quoting police and witnesses, said Aatif, who was in his 40s, was shot in the head and chest by two people who arrived at the mosque where the journalist was offering his evening prayers. The assassins escaped.

#3: Annoyed with the silence of the government and others over the US drone intrusions, gun-totting tribesmen took things in their hands on Tuesday and fired at the drones that appeared over North Waziristan Agency. Local people said that more than six unmanned planes were seen flying at low altitude over Miramshah, Razmak, Datakhel, Mirali, Shawal and other areas of North Waziristan throughout the day.Angry tribesmen in some areas started heavy firing on the drones. Witnesses said that tribesmen used Kalashnikov rifles and heavy machineguns to shoot down the intruding
unmanned planes. According to reports, drones also flew over Azam Warsak area of the adjacent South Waziristan Agency.

#4: Casualties were feared as a blast rocked Kunduz city, capital of Kunduz province, some 250 km north of Afghan capital city of Kabul, provincial police sources said Wednesday.

#5: A suicide car bomb struck close to a military base in eastern Afghan province of Nangahar on Tuesday, killing two people including the attacker and wounding two others, an official said. "A suicide bomber set off his explosive-laden car next to a military base in Ghani Khil district in Nangarhar province at 02: 30 p.m. local time Tuesday, as a result one guard at the gate of the base was killed and two others sustained injuries," spokesman of the provincial administration Ahmad Zia Abdulzai told Xinhua.

#6: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, an explosion rocked eastern Khost province on Wednesday. The officials further added, the incident took place around 11:00 am local time on Wednesday after an explosive device attached to a Corolla type vehicle went off in the area. Provincial security chief for eastern Khost province Gen. Mohammad Yaqoob said, the explosion took place as a result of a magnetic bomb which destroyed the vehicle. Gen. Yaqoob further added, there were no civilian casualties as a result of the incident.

#7: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least two Afghan police service members were injured following mortar attack in eastern Nangarhar province. The officials further added, the incident took place at fourth district of Jalalabad city after a mortar struck a police check post. Provincial security chief Gen. Masoom Hashimi confirming the report said, the incident took place on Tuesday night around 8 pm local time.


DoD: Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman

DoD: Lance Cpl. Kenneth E. Cochran

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

War News for Tuesday, January 17, 2011

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin B. Wise died at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl Germany on Sunday, January 15th. He was wounded from a small arms fire attack in Balkh province, Afghanistan on Monday, January 9th.


Albania Sends Fresh Soldiers to Afghanistan

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 17, Jan. 16th.


Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan authorities say a prominent anti-Taliban tribal leader has been assassinated while praying inside a mosque in the southern city of Kandahar. Armed insurgents entered the mosque and gunned down Mohammad Nahim Agha Mama as he prayed Tuesday morning. The Kandahar governor's office condemned the killing as "an anti-Islamic and antihuman act" that desecrated a place of worship. It said the Pashtun tribal leader and local council member of Dand district was well-known for encouraging peace and urging his followers not to join the Taliban.

#2: Three American private contractors working for the Defense Department were killed when their helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan on Monday, their company said. The contractors' company, AAR Airlift, said that there were no other passengers on the helicopter and that the cause of the crash was not yet known.

#3: Two people while planning mine were killed on Sunday with their own mine in Maiwand district of Kandahar province. According to Zulmay Ayoubi, Kandahar governor’s spokesman two people while planting a mine in a public road in Musa area of Maiwand district were killed due to explosion of their own mine. Ayoubi said the individuals had planted eight mines on the roadside which one of them blown while being planted.

#4: Ten militants were killed in a skirmish with Pakistani paramilitary forces in the Kohlu area of the southwestern Baluchistan province, security officials said.

#5: Militants set off explosives next to a natural gas pipeline in the Sui area of Baluchistan, damaging a section, local government officials said.

#6: An Afghan Taliban local leader was killed in a search operation in the country's eastern province of Ghazni, a provincial security official said on Tuesday. "Based on intelligence, a special unite of Afghan Directorate of Security (NDS) launched a search operation to capture a Taliban local leader in Gilan district of Ghazni province Monday night," head of provincial department of NDS, Amir Shah Sadat, told reporters in provincial capital of Ghanzi city. He said two other insurgents were also killed in the incident, adding that no civilian or NDS personnel were injured in the raid in the province 125 km south of capital city of Kabul.

#7: Afghan and coalition forces killed seven insurgents and detained five suspected individuals in eastern Afghanistan during operations throughout the past 24 hours, Jan. 16.


DoD: Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin B. Wise

Monday, January 16, 2012

War News for Monday, January 16, 2011

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from non-combat related injuries in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, January 15th.


FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 16

Police Officers Are Killed in Insurgent Attacks in Iraq


Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan official says a civilian helicopter has crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing all three people on board. Marjan Haqmal, police chief of Nad Ali district in Helmand province, says the Russian-made aircraft probably went down because of a technical malfunction. NATO confirmed that a civilian helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan on Monday. It said the site of the crash has been secured and that coalition forces are trying to gather more information about what happened. NATO did not provide information about casualties.

According to local authorities in southern Afghanistan, a NATO helicopter crashed in southern Helmand province on Monday. The officials further added, the incident took place on Monday afternoon at Shawol area of Nad-e-Ali district.

#2: According to Afghan Defense officials, at least two Afghan National Army soldiers were killed and two others were injured following military operations across the country. The source further added, at least two National Army soldiers were killed in Delaram district of western Nimroz province while two other National Army soldiers were injured at Shahjoi district in Helmand province and Manogi district of eastern Kunar province.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, January 15, 2012

NATO says two service members died today of non-combat injuries in the southern part of the country. No further information is available.

Afghans welcome heavy snowfall in Kabul. (Although this story doesn't point it out, snow tends to slow down fighting in the country.)

Afghan police say they seized 70 kilos of heroin in Nangarhar although, oddly, the driver of the vehicle escaped. (Hmm.) To put this in perspective, Afghanistan is estimated to have produced 6,400 tons of opium last year.)

A Pakistani parliamentary committee has finalized recommendations for a new partnership agreement with the U.S., which could result in re-opening of the border to NATO supply operations. Presumably, this would be conditional on restoration of $800 million in aid the U.S. withdrew.

Australian newspaper The Age has obtained a secret U.S. army report casting doubt on the readiness of Afghan forces to take over security responsibility in 2014. The report focuses on a Taliban attack in the town of Tarin Kowt last summer. The version released to the newspaper was heavily redacted. Excerpt:

the US report paints a picture of confusion, with Afghan forces failing to respond to a key part of the Taliban assault - an attempt to kill a militia leader who is a close ally of Australian special forces. Afghan forces were either absent or stood by and watched as US troops attacked Taliban fighters who had blasted their way into the government broadcasting station adjoining the compound of militia leader Matiullah Khan. . . .

The Australian Defence Force praised what it said was the prompt, professional and co-ordinated Afghan response to the Taliban attack in Tarin Kowt on July 28 last year. But the US report paints a picture of confusion, with Afghan forces failing to respond to a key part of the Taliban assault - an attempt to kill a militia leader who is a close ally of Australian special forces.

Afghan forces were either absent or stood by and watched as US troops attacked Taliban fighters who had blasted their way into the government broadcasting station adjoining the compound of militia leader Matiullah Khan.

Adding to the confusion was the fact US troops could not distinguish between official Afghan forces and the militia. While Afghan forces repelled a related Taliban assault on the nearby governor's office, US troops were on their own at the broadcasting station. Standard procedure was for Afghan forces to take the lead in clearing a building where the Taliban were holed up. . . .

In their absence, US troops stormed the building, with disastrous consequences. Two Taliban fighters detonated suicide vests, burying seven soldiers, including the battalion commander, Lieutenant-Colonel David Oeschger, who was seriously wounded.

In what the report says was the ''stress and urgency of the moment'', a US soldier then shot dead Afghan journalist Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, in the mistaken belief he was a suicide bomber. Afghan forces only moved into the building once the Taliban and the journalist were killed, and wounded Americans were dug out of the rubble.

The Governor of Nuristan begs for more security forces. "[Governor] Tamim Nuristani, said he has been able to maintain security in some areas in cooperation with local councils, but some militant groups still threaten government workers travelling between Kunar and Nuristan. "Not only the Taliban militants, but also militants from Hezb-e-Islami and some other groups are behind insecurity in the area," Mr Tamim Nuristani said. Meanwhile, civilians have also complained about security threat on the Nuristan-Kunar routes. . . . The limited number of Afghan security forces in the province is the main reason behind insecurity in many districts, the governor added."

Iraq Update

Ten killed, 14 injured, in a series of attacks on government buildings in Ramadi. Three police, 6 insurgents, and 1 civilian are said to be among the dead. Other reports have higher numbers of wounded. Meanwhile, Al Arabiya says 5 are dead, and a mosque is among the targets, while Reuters says 6 are dead. (Hopefully we'll have a clearer picture tomorrow.)

Car bomb in Baiji kills 1 person, injures 12.

In case you didn't know . . . I was intrigued to read last week that a U.S. Coast Guard vessel had rescued Iranian sailors who had an engine room fire. What is a coast guard cutter doing in the Gulf? The Coast Guard does possess pelagic vessels, which they call High Endurance Cutters, which are essentially warships. However, the vessel involved, USCGC Monomoy, is a so-called Island Class cutter, rated for 5 days at sea. It turns out that in 2003, the U.S. established a Coast Guard base in Bahrain to which it transported 6 Island Class cutters, and they've been there ever since. (I'm not sure how they transported them -- whether they somehow loaded them on cargo vessels or towed them -- I'd be interested to know. The unit is called Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, and you get a Global War on Terror expeditionary medal for serving.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

War News for Saturday, January 14, 2011

U.S. troops quietly surge into Middle East

Iraq suicide attack kills 50 pilgrims

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 14, Jan. 13th.

Baghdad Governor: Four armed Americans arrested in Iraq


Reported security incidents
#1: Two Fort Drum soldiers faced leg amputations after suffering major injuries in an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan early this week. The soldiers, Spc. Joseph A. Mille and Pfc. Rex Tharp, were injured Tuesday while on patrol in Kandahar Province. Pfc. Tharp, 20, North Manchester, Ind., was injured when he detonated an IED while kneeling next to a wall. His team’s leader, Spc. Mille, 20, Atlantic City, N.J., detonated another IED while running to Pfc. Tharp’s aid.

#2: A roadside bomb killed two women in southern Afghanistan, authorities said Saturday, the latest civilians killed by one of the Taliban's most effective but also indiscriminate weapons. The women were walking along a road in the southern province of Helmand when they stepped on the buried explosives Friday, the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#3: The Defence Department says two Australian soldiers have been wounded after their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in south-west Afghanistan. Defence says the soldiers were travelling in their Bushmaster vehicle when it struck an improvised explosive device (IED) yesterday a few kilometres south of the multi-national base at Tarin Kot.

#4: Police say gunmen and suicide bombers have attacked a police station in northwestern Pakistan, sparking a firefight that has left at least three officers injured. Police official in Dera Ismail Khan district Mohammad Nawaz says that the fighting at the police chief's office in the northwestern region was still continuing about two hours after it began midday on Saturday. He says that eight or 10 attackers wearing police uniforms besieged the station, and two suicide bombers detonated their explosives during the battle.

#5: At least 7 armed insurgents were killed and 6 others were detained following military operations by Afghan security forces during the past 24 hours. According to a press release by Afghan Interior Affairs Ministry, the operations were conducted by Afghan police forces in conjunction with the Afghan National Army and NATO-led coalition forces in Faryab, Helmand, Zabul, Wardak, Paktika and Logar provinces.

#6: In the meantime, officials in the ministry of defense of announced that at least 5 Afghan national army soldiers were killed and injured. Afghan defense ministry officials following a statement said, at least 1 Afghan Army soldier was killed and four others were injured after a vehicle of the Afghan National Army soldiers crashed in Tang-e-Gharo. Another Afghan Army soldier was also killed in Zherai district of southern Kandahar province, the officials said.


DoD: Pfc. Neil I. Turner

Friday, January 13, 2012

War News for Friday, January 13, 2011

Opium production soars in Afghanistan

Afghan drugs: Opium price rises by 133%

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 13, Jan. 12th.


Reported security incidents
#1: As many as seven Pakistani Army soldiers have been killed and three others wounded in an ambush by militants in South Waziristan tribal region in the northwest of the country near the border with Afghanistan, Press TV reports. Security forces, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the incident took place in the Sararogha area of South Waziristan region on Thursday, when militants ambushed the troops, who were planting mines in the area. The Army soldiers returned the gunshots fired. However, the militants managed to escape unscathed from the area.

#2: Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed the governor of Panjwai district in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar Province. Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq said Governor Sayed Fazludin Agha, along with his two sons, were traveling when a suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives into Agha's convoy. A report quoting an Afghan government office said two of Agha’s bodyguards were also killed. An official at the Kandahar central hospital said at least 13 wounded police officers were receiving medical treatment.

#3: Three Pakistani security personnel, who had been injured in an overnight militants attack in the country's northwest, died Friday, police said. Police said that nine security men were injured when over a hundred militants Thursday night attacked the Police Post in Sarband, an area on the boundary of the restive Khyber tribal region and Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Police said that nine paramilitary soldiers and police had been injured when heavily armed militants launched the late night attack. The check post is jointly manned by the paramilitary Frontier Corps and the police. Local media quoted police as saying that three militants were also killed in fire by the security personnel. Police sources said that the militants used rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons in the attack.

#4: U.S. Army Specialist Joshua Saul was serving in Afghanistan when a sniper shot him in the back. Saul's wounds were extensive and he went through multiple surgeries at San Antonio Military Medical Center to repair the damage.

#5: International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan following a press release on Friday announced Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban leader in Almar district, Faryab province on Wednesday. The source further added, the targeted leader is an explosives expert with ties to suicide-attack networks known to target Afghan government officials. ISAF officials, he is suspected of planning a suicide-bomb attack that killed an Afghan security official in October 2011. According to ISAF officials, several insurgents were killed in response to militants fire at the security force during the operation.


DoD: Pfc. Michael W. Pyron

Thursday, January 12, 2012

War News for Thursday, January 12, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a non-combat related injury in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, January 11th.


Taliban: Afghan talks won't mean end to fighting

US probes urination on dead Taliban fighters

Intelligence study glum on Afghan war

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 12, Jan 11th.

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of January 10, 2012



Reported security incidents
#1: An Australian sailor serving in Afghanistan as an explosives expert has been sent home to recover from injuries sustained in a roadside bomb attack. The sailor and two other Australian soldiers were wounded in the attack, which happened during an operational mission on January 2, about 60km northwest of the army base at Tarin Kowt. The sailor was one of a small team of navy experts serving in Afghanistan with the Combined Team-Uruzgan.

#2: At least 14 soldiers were killed late Wednesday when suspected Baluch separatists ambushed their vehicle in Pakistan''s southwestern Baluchistan province. Pakistani officials said the incident took place in Turbat district near the Iranian border.

#3: Eight militants were killed when Pakistani fighter jets bombed their hideouts in the Jogi area of the northwestern Kurram tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, security officials said.

#4: Afghan police backed by national army and the NATO-led troops have killed 11 Taliban militants and detained 17 others across the country over the past 24 hours, a press release of Interior Ministry issued here said on Thursday. These operations have been conducted in Kapisa, Helmand, Faryab, Zabul, Wardak, Ghazni and Khost provinces to stabilize security in the country, the press release said. Two more militants sustained injuries during the operations, it added. However, it did not say if there were any casualties on the security forces.

#5: At least one Taliban militant was killed and another militant was injured following armed clashes with the Afghan police forces at Adraskan district of western Herat province. Provincial police commandment in western Herat province following a press release said, the clashes took place at Kotal Palangi area in eastern regions of Adraskan district while the Taliban militants were collecting Zakat in the area.

#6: At least four employees of a private road construction company was killed by armed militants in central-eastern Maidan Wardak province. A provincial governor spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, the dead bodies of the four individuals working for the road construction project was found in Syedabad district of Maidan Wardak province. Mr. Shahid further added, the deceased invidividuals were the residents of Baghlan province and were kidnapped by the Taliban militants. He also said, Afghan police forces were ambushed by the Taliban militants while they were trying to evacuate the dead bodies of the construction project employees. Provincial governor spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that the Taliban fighters fled the area and there were no casualties as a result the clashes.

#7: At least 2 Afghan civilians were killed and three others were injured following a roadside bomb explosion in southern Kandahar province. According to a statement issued by Kandahar provincial media office, the incident took place on Wednesday afternoon at Mano Kondlano village in Shahwalikot district of southern Kandahar province, killing at least two Afghan civilians and injuring two other civilians. The source further added, the incident took place after a civilian vehicle struck with a roadside bomb. Another explosion took place at Takhtpol district after a civilian vehicle struck with a roadside bomb, officials said. According to local officials, at least one Afghan civilian was injured during the second explosion.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

War News for Wednesday, January 11, 2011

Spaniard Named to Senior NATO Post in Afghanistan

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 11. Jan. 10th.


Reported security incidents
#1: 'A suicide bomber blew himself up inside the Kandahar police headquarters while General Abdul Razzaq was still there,' Rahmatullah Atrafi, the provincial deputy police chief, told dpa. This is the second time General Razzaq has been targeted since he became the police chief last year after a suicide bomber killed his predecessor General Khan Mohammad Mujahid. 'Only the bomber was killed. No one was injured in the attack,' Atrafi said of Wednesday's bombing. However, according to an official at Kandahar Hospital, one Afghan policeman injured in the attack was taken to hospital.

#2: The U.S. carried out its first drone strike into Pakistan since errant November airstrikes by U.S. forces killed two dozen Pakistani troops along the Afghan border. The latest missile attack killed four militants, three of them Arabs, according to Pakistani intelligence officials. The drone strike took place Tuesday near Miran Shah in North Waziristan, an al-Qaida and Taliban stronghold that has been pounded by the U.S. since the drone program began in earnest in 2009.

#3: A bomb exploded in a market in the town of Landi Kotal in the northwestern Khyber tribal region, wounding six people, local security officials said.

#4: Afghan police in conjunction with national army and the NATO-led troops have killed 10 Taliban insurgents and captured 40 others over the past 24 hours, a statement of Interior Ministry released here Wednesday said.

#5: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least 15 people were killed and injured following a missile attack on Afghan National Army base at Mandakol in eastern Kunar province. The officials further added, the incident took place around 1:00 pm local time on Tuesday. Provincial public health administration chief Dr. Asadullah Fazli said, at least 14 injured individuals and 1 dead body have been taken to the provincial hospital. Dr. Fazli further added, the deceased person is a member of the Afghan national army. He also said, at least 2 Afghan civilians and 12 Afghan national army soldiers were among those injured during the incident.


DoD: Pfc. Dustin P. Napier

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

War News for Tuesday, January 10, 2011

Why do we ignore the civilians killed in American wars?


Reported security incidents
#1: Police killed three potential suicide bombers in Afghanistan's volatile east on Tuesday after the attackers stormed a government building and a gunfight was continuing against a fourth assailant, authorities said. Two policemen were killed in the firefight, the ministry of the interior said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Paktika province, which shares a porous and ill-defined border with Pakistan. The four insurgents, with small explosives strapped to their bodies and carrying grenade launchers, targeted the government communications office near the home of the Paktika governor Mohebullah Samim. “One policeman was killed and part of the communications building is now on fire,” Samim told Reuters, adding the fourth insurgent “was still resisting”. Troops from NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were providing air support, he said.

#2: A remote-controlled bomb blast killed 35 people and wounded more than 60 others in the deadliest attack in months in the Taliban-hit tribal region of northwest Pakistan. The explosion on Tuesday took place in a market in Jamrud, one of the towns of the troubled Khyber tribal region, which also used to serve as the main supply route for NATO forces operating in Afghanistan. 'The total number of deaths in the blast is 35 while 69 people were wounded, and of them the condition of 11 is critical,' a senior administration official Shakeel Khan Umarzai told AFP.

A bomb has killed at least 23 people and wounded 26 when it exploded near a fuel station in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber region, one of the restive tribal areas where insurgents are battling government forces, regional officials said. "It was a huge blast and caused damage to a number of vehicles at (a) bus terminal," said Khyber tribesman Khan Zaman from the Jamrud bazaar, around 25 kilometres west of the city of Peshawar. Tribesman said members of the pro-government Zakhakhel tribal militia were the target of the attack. Members of the militia - or "lashkar" - were filling their vehicles at the station when the bomb exploded. Assistant Political Agent Jamrud Mohammad Jamil Khan said three members of the Khasadar tribal police force were killed.

#3: Ten Taliban insurgents were killed in an operation by Afghan and foreign forces in northern Afghanistan, Afghan police said Tuesday. Sher Jan Durani, a police spokesman for the northern province of Balkh, said the rebels were killed overnight in the province's Charchenak district. 'Insurgents used rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire to engage the security force,' the statement said.

#4: An Afghan soldier turned his gun on U.S. military personnel while they were playing volleyball at a camp in southern Afghanistan, killing one and wounding three others before being fatally shot, the Afghan police said Monday. It was the third time in just over two weeks that a man wearing an Afghan Army uniform attacked NATO personnel. In the earlier cases, the Taliban claimed responsibility, although there was no immediate claim in this case that the Afghan soldier had Taliban sympathies. The attack took place Sunday afternoon in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province. The Afghan soldier approached the volleyball game and appeared to watch the soldiers play before opening fire with an M-16 assault rifle, said Ghulam Jilani Farahi, deputy police chief of Zabul province. Another U.S. soldier who heard the firing shot and killed the attacker, he said.

#5: A total of six people were injured Tuesday morning when two successive blasts rocked Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, said the country's Interior Ministry. "Initially, there was a mine explosion in front of a shop in the first precinct of Jalalabad city at around 6:00 a.m. local time, with no casualties, but shortly after a unit of police arrived in the scene another bomb went off, injuring six people," the ministry said in a press release. It said the injured include two policemen, two mine clearance personnel, a child and a member of Afghan National Directorate of Security or intelligence agency.


DoD: Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger

DoD: Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr.

DoD: Spc. Christopher A. Patterson

DoD: Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt

Monday, January 9, 2012

War News for Monday, January 09, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier apparently from an ANA soldier in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, January 8th.


Hammond soldier the lone survivor of Afghanistan explosion

Official: Beheaded bodies of 10 Pakistani soldiers found

Security developments in Iraq, January 9, Jan 8th.


Reported security incidents
#1: Seven suspected Taliban militants have been killed in a special operation in Afghanistan, a government spokesman said. A unit of the Afghan National Directorate of Security launched an operation Sunday on a Taliban hideout in Mirmandab area of Gereshk district in the southern province of Helmand, Daud Ahmadi told Xinhua. An exchange of fire broke out shortly after the intelligence agency forces arrived at the compound, leaving seven militants dead. Four of them were later identified as Malawi Mansour, Abdul Raziq, Mullah Maluk and Shekari. No members of the security force or civilians were injured in the raid, he said.

#2: Three civilians were killed and another sustained injuries as a suicide bomber blew himself up in Khost city, the capital of Khost province 150 km southeast of capital city Kabul Sunday evening, police said. "A man strapped explosive device in his body blew himself up next to a police checkpoint in Khost city last evening killing three civilians including two children," senior police officer in Khost city Sardar Mohammad Zazai told Xinhua. Another civilian was injured in the blast, he said, adding the suicide bomber was also killed in the explosion. There were no casualties on police, he added.

#3: According to local authorities in northern Afghanistan, at least four militants including two Taliban commanders were killed following an air raid by NATO-led coalition forces in northern Jowzjan province.

#4: Afghan Defense Ministry officials following a press release on Monday said, at least 5 Afghan National Army soldiers were injured during the past 24 hours. The source further added, the soldiers were injured during military operations at Sabari district of eastern Khost province.


DoD: Senior Airman Bryan R. Bell

DoD: Tech. Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz

DoD: Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler

Sunday, January 8, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, January 8, 2011

Here we go again: Afghan inmates 'tortured, abused' at US-run prison. Of course, if there aren't any pictures, nobody will care:

Afghanistan investigators revealed that many inmates were held without evidence at Bagram prison, officially known as the Parwan Detention Center that holds 3,000 detainees, including terror suspects. . . . The head of the commission investigating abuse accusations, Gul Rahman Qazi, said prisoners had complained of abuse including beatings, humiliating body searches and being exposed to extreme cold.

"During our visit to Bagram some of the prisoners talked of misconduct, some alleged they had been tortured," he said.

This Russian news service has more. (For some mysterious reason I'm not finding a lot about this in U.S. media, at least not yet.)

A small group of Taliban are said to have laid down their arms in Herat and joined the peace process in a formal ceremony.

The U.S. is now testing pilotless cargo helicopters in Afghanistan. Hey, why not turn the whole war over to the robots?

Eric Schmitt of the NYT says CIA drone attacks in Pakistan have been suspended since November due to tensions between the U.S and Pakistan. According to his informants, this has allowed militant groups in Pakistan, including the Haqqani network, to regroup and increase their activities. Make of it what you will. I link to this MSNBC reprint so people won't have to burn their NYT freebie privilege, in case that matters to someone.

Iraq Update

Twin bombings in Karbala, targeting Shiite pilgrims, kill 2 and injure 13.

Explosion in Mahmoudiya kills 1 pilgrim and injures 5.

Interior Ministry formally calls on Kurdistan to hand over Hashimi. Titular Iraqi president Jalal Talabani says he will go to Baghdad this week to discuss the issue. Meanwhile the Iraqiya bloc is showing signs of strain, with six members suspended over dissent about the tactic of blocking the session of parliament.

Isaac J. Bailey hopes for the best for the Iraqi people, but concludes it's not up to the U.S. to secure it for them. Meanwhile, Mike Dorning of Bloomberg News totes up the financial cost:

Direct federal spending on the war through 2012 will reach $823 billion, surpassing the $738 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars the U.S. spent on the Vietnam War, the Congressional Research Service estimated in a March 29 report. Only World War II had a higher direct cost, $4.1 trillion, in current dollars. Not counted in that is the interest of more than $200 billion the federal government has already had to pay on the resulting debt, said Linda Bilmes, a senior lecturer in public finance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Bilmes also estimates the price over the next 40 years of health care and disability compensation for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts will be almost $1 trillion. “The veterans’ costs in particular will dwarf the other budget costs,” said Bilmes, who was an assistant commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton.

By any measure, the price of the Iraq conflict has far outstripped forecasts by President George W. Bush’s administration as it made the case to go to war. Then-White House budget director Mitch Daniels and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld projected the U.S. would spend $50 billion to $60 billion and said they believed part of that would be defrayed by other countries.