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, August 28, 2007

War News for Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Photo: A New York Times article describing Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFP's) and their alleged Iranian connection. These deadly weapons are an advanced form of Thermobaric Weapon which has been deployed though out Iraq is many different forms for years. There is a difference of opinion on where and how these bombs have originated in Iraq with no real evidence pointing to the Iranian regime. The photo also shows how easy it would be to manufacture such a device in a small munitions facility from someone with experience in manufacturing other types of roadside bombs .


(1) Bloomberg News Service is reporting the deaths of three American soldiers from the U.S. led forces in Afghanistan. Their unit was ambushed by Taliban forces using small arms fire and RPGs in Kunar Province in the far east of the country on Monday, August 27th. In addition to the American deaths, two Afghan soldiers died, and three coalition and seven Afghan soldiers were wounded.
(2) Reuters is reporting the deaths of three U.S. soldiers, part of NATO forces in Paktia Province, in a suicide bombing on Tuesday, August 28th. The soldiers were working at a bridge construction site when the bomber detonated explosives that were strapped to his body. Six other soldiers were wounded in the attack.


Security incidents:

#1: A Bradley Fighting Vehicle was seen engulfed in flames at the side of the road leading to Baghdad Airport Tuesday morning, but there was no immediate report about the incident from the military. It appeared to have been hit by a huge explosion. The stretch of highway is one of the most heavily guarded in Iraq.

#2: In a separate incident gunmen opened fire randomly on vehicles returning to Baghdad, wounding two pilgrims in a small bus

#3: And a sniper opened fire on pilgrims in southern Baghdad, wounding four.

#4: The bodies of 12 people were found in various districts of Baghdad on Monday, police said.

#5: The Iraqi army said it had killed 14 gunmen and arrested 21 in different parts of Baghdad during the last 24 hours.

#6: A civilian was killed and three others wounded when a car bomb ripped through central Baghdad's Sheikh Omar area on Tuesday, police said. "The explosive vehicle was left parked on the main road in Sheikh Omar," a security source, who asked not to have his name mentioned, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

Diyala Prv:
#1: Hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi forces backed by helicopters and jet fighters killed 33 Sunni insurgents who were holding back the water supply to the Shiite town of Khalis, the American command said Tuesday. The assault that killed 33 insurgents north of Baghdad began before dawn on Monday when a joint force was landed by helicopter in the village of Gubbiya, 10 miles east of Khalis. The assault force killed 13 fighters and attack aircraft killed 20 others, the military said. The area is known to be controlled by al-Qaida in Iraq. Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad, has been the scene of repeated Sunni insurgent bombings and mortar attacks.

#2: Four Iraqi army soldiers were killed when an explosive device went off nearby in the district of al-Khalis, 15 km north of Baaquba, police said. "A charge exploded on the main street of al-Aazim, Khalis district, destroying an Iraqi army vehicle and killing all four passengers on board, including an officer with the rank of first lieutenant," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: At least 10 people were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their bus in Baquba, 65 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad, police said

#1: at least five people were killed in gunfire as more than a million Shiite pilgrims jammed the holy city of Karbala.
A member of the city council said the center of town was in chaos with pilgrims running in all directions to escape the gunfire. No one, he said, was sure who was doing the shooting. He said a rocket-propelled grenade exploded near the shrine.

An Interior Ministry official in Baghdad said six people had been killed and 30 wounded in the clashes. Police said one of those killed in the latest violence was a woman.

#2: A boy was killed and his father was wounded by drive-by shooters who opened fire on their car as they drove home from Karbala.

#3: Police said two mortar bombs also crashed onto the city but it was not immediately clear whether anyone had been wounded.

#4: Police said gunmen armed with automatic weapons and pistols tried to take control of the area around two revered Shi'ite shrines, the focal point of the ceremonies. They confronted the police and army who opened fire.

#5: Local authorities began evacuating Shi'ite pilgrims from the holy Iraqi city of Kerbala on Tuesday after fierce clashes between security forces and gunmen during a major religious event, police said. Police said buses had been readied to take pilgrims out of the southern city while police and army reinforcements were heading toward the Imam Abbas and Imam Hussein shrines, the focal point of the celebrations.

Police ordered a curfew Tuesday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala and ordered more than one million pilgrims to leave after two days of violence claimed least 10 lives during a Shiite religious festival.

#6: (update) Gunmen battled Iraqi security forces on Tuesday near two of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines in the city of Kerbala, where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had gathered for a religious festival. A senior security source in Baghdad said 25 people had been killed, mostly policemen. An official at Kerbala's al-Hussein Hospital said it had received eight bodies and 29 wounded. They could also hear the sound of intense gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades being fired. U.S. warplanes could be seen in the skies above. The security source said 65 people had been wounded.

#1: Gunmen killed a policeman and wounded his brother in Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, on Monday night, police said.

#1: Gunmen opened fire on Shi'ite pilgrims, wounding two in Mahaweel, 70 km (45 miles) south of Baghdad on Monday, police said.

#1: Gunmen shot dead one Shi'ite pilgrim and wounded other three in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad on Monday, police said.

#1: At least six Shi'ite pilgrims were wounded by gunmen in Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed a police lieutenant-colonel in al-Bu Ajeel village near Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, on Monday night, police said.

#1: At least two policemen and a civilian were wounded when gunmen opened fire on their car in southern northern city of Kirkuk, police said.

#2: Gunmen opened fire and wounded a policeman and his wife inside their car in northern city of Kirkuk, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: In Fallujah, the Sunni city 40 miles west of Baghdad, mourners buried 11 victims of a mosque suicide bombing Monday night. Ten people were wounded in the attack which police said targeted an anti-al-Qaida Sunni sheik who had just returned from Syria.

#1: Three NATO soldiers were killed and six wounded in a suicide raid on Tuesday in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said, in the latest spate of rising attacks on Western troops in recent days. The soldiers were working on a project at a bridge construction site when the bomber detonated explosives attached to his body, NATO said in a statement.

#2: The six troops from the US-sponsored Afghan National Army were killed in two separate bomb explosions near the country`s eastern border with Pakistan, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
#3: Elsewhere, NATO troops and Afghan soldiers killed 15 militants near the major Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala in the opium-producing southern province of Helmand yesterday, the alliance said. The insurgents ambushed them with machine guns and rocket propelled-grenades and a dozen were killed in the immediate exchange of fire, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement. The soldiers then swept through nearby residential compounds, it said. "During the search, a trench-bunker system was found and three of the insurgents were killed there by direct fire," it said.

Casualty Reports:

(1) The DoD has released the identity of the Marine who died from enemy action in Al Anbar Province on Saturday, August 25th: Lance Corporal Matthew S. Medlicott, 21, of Houston, Texas.

(2) The DoD has identified the two Task Force Lightning soldiers who died in a small arms fire attack in the vicinity of Samarra in Salah ad Din Province on Sunday, August 26th:
Sergeant Joshua L. Morley, 22, of Hendersonville, North Carolina
Specialist Tracy C. Willis, 21, of Marshall, Texas
The Associated Press is reporting that although the DoD listed Morley's hometown as Boise, Idaho, family members stated that he considered Hendersonville, North Carolina, to be his hometown. Indeed, the Fayetteville (North Carolina) Observer goes on to say that he was born in Hendersonville and that most of his relatives still live in the area. "Hendersonville was as much of a hometown as he ever knew," said his father. The Ashville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times describes him as a sniper team leader who had spent the past twelve months participating in combat missions against insurgents in the Samarra area. His wife gave birth to their daughter last April ... a daughter he had never gotten to see.
Very little has appeared in the media at this point regarding Willis. The North Carolina News & Observer is carrying a brief article stating that he joined the army in March 2005. After basic training, he served as a radio telephone operator ... and was currently serving as a scout. He is survived by his parents in San Antonio.(3) The DoD has identified the Kentucky Army National Guardsman who died in a small arms fire attack in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, on Sunday, August 26th: Staff Sergeant Nicholas R. Carnes, 25, of Dayton, Kentucky. Dayton is right on the Ohio River just across from Cincinnati, Ohio. So perhaps that is why Carnes applied for work at BB Riverboats, eventually becoming a captain, this according to an article in the Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal. In fact, that is where he met his wife, who was also a riverboat captain with BB. This September would have marked their 1st wedding anniversary. Although Carnes graduated from high school in 2000, he had signed up with the Army National Guard a year previously. In October 2006, he was called up for his first deployment and sent to Afghanistan where he served as squad leader for his field artillery unit. On August 26th, he was out on patrol looking for enemy IEDs when his unit came under enemy fire near a town called Lewanne Bazaar at which point he was apparently shot in the leg. He died later that day at a medical facility at Orgun-E, Paktika Province.