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, August 29, 2007

War News for Wednesday, August 29, 2007

US President George W Bush was once again trying cover his failure in Iraq by accusing Iran, Iran's state news agency IRNA said Wednesday, referring to the president's speech to the American Legion in Reno, Nevada.


President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces.


Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work.

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(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Corps - Iraq soldier from enemy action in the vicinity of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Tuesday, August 28th.

(2) The Canadian Department of National Defense is announcing the death of one of its soldiers assigned to NATO/ISAF in Afghanistan. The soldier apparently was found in his barracks room at the secure ISAF headquarters compound in Kabul significantly injured from a gunshot wound. Despite being given immediate medical treatment, he died about an hour later on Wednesday, August 29th. Winnipeg radio station CJOB is reporting that although enemy action is not considered a cause, investigators have not ruled out either murder or suicide. The ISAF statement can be found here.

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Security incidents:


Baghdad:
#1: The bodies of 13 people were found in various districts of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.

#2: Gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque, killing three worshippers and kidnapping three others in the Qahira district of northern Baghdad on Tuesday evening, police said.

#3: 1 civilian killed and 3 injured in car bomb explosion in the car park of al-Karkh courthouse in upscale Mansour neighborhood, around 11:00 am. The parked vehicle was detonated by remote control

#4: 1 civilian injured by IED explosion in New Baghdad district, east Baghdad at around 10:00 this morning.


Karbala:
#1: Sporadic gunfire echoed through the center of Karbala early Wednesday after daylong clashes between rival Shiite militias claimed up to 51 lives and forced officials to abort a Shiite religious festival that had drawn up to 1 million pilgrims from around the world. Officials reported 51 dead and 247 injured on Tuesday, but the city council member said Wednesday that 38 had been killed and 231 injured.

#2: The revered Shi'ite shrines of Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas in the Iraqi city of Kerbala were slightly damaged by gunfire during heavy overnight clashes, a local official said on Wednesday. Ali Kadhum, an official in the media office of the two shrines, said bullets had damaged the domes and minarets of both buildings, while an electricity power unit supplying both shrines had been badly damaged.

#3: Fierce armed clashes has reerupted on Wednesday between the Iraqi army and militants near the two holy shrines of Imam Hussein and his brother al-Abbas in central Karbala city, while Iraqi Prime Minister sacked the Karbala security operations chief, Iraqi security sources said. Iraqi forces used helicopters to curb the militants, as clouds of smoke and fire were sighted in the city, the source added. A number of buildings and hotels were destroyed in the centre of the city.

#4: "Chief of Babel police General Qeis al-Maamouri escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb went off targeting his motorcade while heading to Karbala accompanying a police force," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity, noting that the police arrested two gunmen who detonated the bomb remotely.


Najaf:
#1: Gunmen attacked a SIIC party headquarters with rocket-propelled grenades in central Najaf city and torched a SIIC party office in the nearby holy city of Kufa.


Iskandariya:
#1: Gunmen attacked and set ablaze the headquarters of SIIC in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad on Tuesday night, police said.


Al Hamza District:
#1: At least six people were killed and four wounded when gunmen attacked a SIIC party headquarters and set it a blaze in the al-Hamza district of Babil province south of Baghdad overnight, police said.


Hilla:
#1: At least six Iraqis were killed and four others wounded in armed clashes on Wednesday between two Shiite factions, Iraqi security sources said. Militants loyal to the Shiite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr stormed at dawn the offices of the Shiite Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq in the areas of Hamza and Qassim in Hillah city, setting their contents on fire and breaking glass, the sources said. Following the attack, armed clashes between the militants from the two sides broke out. No further details were immediately available.


Tikrit:
#1: A woman and her five children were killed when gunmen stormed into her house in the village of al-Bu Ajeel just east of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.


Hawija:
#1: 1 Iraqi Army soldier killed. Mohammed Jumaa's house was raided by gunmen, in Hawija district to the west of the city of Kirkuk, early this morning. He was killed defending his home and family


Kirkuk:
#1: One Multi-National Corps – Iraq Soldier died of wounds suffered during combat operations in the vicinity of Kirkuk Aug. 28.

#2: 1 Iraqi Army soldier killed. Azad Qadir Ahmed, was attacked by gunmen in al-Askari neighborhood in the city of Kiruk late yesterday evening.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint south of Mosul in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh on Wednesday, killing at least five policemen and a civilian, a provincial police source said. "Unknown gunmen opened fire early in the morning at a police checkpoint in the Hamam al-Alil area, 20 km south of Mosul, and traded fire with the policemen, killing five of them," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. A civilian was also killed after being caught in the crossfire while bypassing the checkpoint, he said.

#2: A sniper shot dead a policeman in Mosul on Tuesday, police said.

#3: Police killed a gunman wearing a suicide vest in Mosul on Tuesday, police said.


Afghanistan:
#1: The US today said its forces had killed more than 100 suspected insurgents after a convoy of Afghan and US troops came under attack in Afghanistan. "Afghan national security forces, advised by coalition forces, engaged and eliminated more than 100 insurgent fighters in a battle that started this morning and is still continuing in northern Kandahar province," a US military statement said. There were no civilian casualties, but one Afghan soldier was killed and three foreign troops and three Afghan soldiers were wounded. The Taliban are particularly strong in Kandahar, where the movement had its roots. The casualty figures could not be independently verified but, if confirmed, would represent the highest Taliban death toll for many weeks.

#2: A suicide bomber blew himself up in a town in Afghanistan's southeastern province of Paktika on Wednesday killing four civilians and two Afghan soldiers, the provincial governor said. The attack happened in the Barmal district which is close to the border with neighbouring Pakistan, the governor, Akram Khpelwak, told Reuters. The bomber attacked a group of Afghan soldiers who were shopping, he said.

#3: An ISAF service member was found dead in his barracks room around 7:30 a.m. today.

A member of the Canadian Forces has been found dead of a gunshot wound inside a secure compound in the Afghan capital. A military statement says the soldier serving at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul died shortly after 7:30 a.m. local time today. The victim had been found seriously injured in his room an hour earlier and doctors were unable to save him. Few other details are available. However, military officials ruled out enemy action, saying the incident occurred within the ISAF compound.

#4: Australian soldiers attached to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Task Force opened fire on a vehicle which accelerated towards a checkpoint, the Defence Department says. Defence spokesman Andrew Nikolic said soldiers shot at the vehicle after the driver failed to heed visual and verbal warnings as it approached a checkpoint at an engineer work site in the Tarin Kowt region of Oruzgan Province. The vehicle stopped immediately after being hit by rifle fire. The driver received non-life-threatening injuries and soldiers provided him with first aid and assisted in his evacuation to a hospital after it was determined he no longer posed a threat, Brigadier Nikolic said.

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Casualty Reports:

The DoD has identified the Marine who died from enemy action in Al Anbar Province on Sunday, August 26th: Lance Corporal Rogelio A. Ramirez, 21, of Pasadena, California.

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