The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Saturday, October 27, 2007

War News for Saturday, October 27, 2007

Security incidents:

#1: A bomb exploded Saturday in a predominantly Shiite area southeast of Baghdad, killing eight people and wounding 13 others, police and hospital officials said. The blast, which occurred at 7:30 a.m. in Jisr Diyala, targeted restaurants frequented by government employees and construction workers, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. Two police officers and two women were among the wounded, the officials said.

#2: Similarly, another policeman was killed and six wounded in the town of Alexandria, 40 kilometres south of Baghdad, when a bomb went off near a police patrol, local authorities said.

#3: Facing staff shortages in Iraq, the U.S. State Department announced on Friday that diplomats would have no choice but to accept one-year postings in the hostile environment or face losing their jobs. In what is likely to be an unpopular move with staff, State Department human resources director Harry Thomas said about 250 "prime candidates" for vacant Iraqi posts would be notified on Monday of the decision.

#4: U.S. forces said they killed two Shi'ite militiamen, including one wearing a suicide vest, during a raid north of Baghdad to capture a rogue leader of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Seven more people were killed in other attacks on Saturday, including five in Diyala, police said. The five were killed in separate attacks -- three by mortar shells and two in a roadside bombing, police said. The other two were killed in northern Iraq.

#1: A senior police chief in an area of Iraq riven by sectarian violence was kidnapped at an army checkpoint along with seven bodyguards and has not been heard from since, police and interior ministry sources said on Saturday. They said Colonel Amer Nussayif Jassim, chief of police in the town of Miqdadiya, northeast of Baghdad, had been stopped at an army checkpoint while driving to work in a two-car convoy, bundled into the trunk of a car by soldiers, and taken away.

#1: Gunmen killed a policeman in a drive by-shooting in central Kut, 170 km (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two bodies with gunshot wounds and signs of torture were recoverd from the Tigris River in Suwayra, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Salah ad Din Prv:
#1: A U.S. Soldier assigned to Multi-National Division – North was killed when he sustained small arms fire while conducting operations in Salah ad Din Oct. 25.

#1: Police sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa at least 16 al- Qaeda-affiliated militants were gunned down overnight during armed clashes between them and police forces in southern Samara, 118 kilometres north of Baghdad. The militants belonged to The Islamic State of Iraq, an Iraq-based extremist group with strong links to the al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network.

#1: Police meanwhile told dpa that six Kurdish truck drivers were killed Saturday morning and six wounded when three bombs went off as their trucks passed south of Kirkuk, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad. The trucks were carrying cement blocks to Iraqi and US army bases in the area. The trucks and their loads suffered considerable damage

#2: Kirkuk's police department also said that one policeman was killed and five were wounded when a bomb went off near a police patrol.

#1: A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the entrance to a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing three Afghan soldiers and one Afghan civilian, a U.S. official said. Initial reports indicated the bomber walked up to the first security gate outside of Forward Operating Base Bermel in Paktika province, said Maj. Christine Nelson-Chung, a U.S. spokeswoman. She said three Afghan soldiers and one civilian were killed and that four Afghans were wounded.