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, February 19, 2008

War News for Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Here's the link to the Williams document which was released after a FOIA request. It outlines Tony Blair's reasoning for going to war in Iraq. Note It's a large PDF.

#1: A woman was killed and two civilians others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in central Baghdad on Tuesday morning, police said."An IED planted on the main road in al-Waziriya district, central Baghdad, went off near a civilian vehicle on Tuesday morning, killing a woman and wounding two others," a security source, who declined to give his name, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#2: Earlier on Tuesday an Iraqi police source said five people were killed and a policeman wounded when an IED in a bag inside a taxi cab went off in al-Mansour neighborhood, western Baghdad."The IED killed four people of the same family and the cab driver and wounded a policeman who happened to be near the explosion site," the source, who declined to be named, told VOI, not giving more information.

#3: Around 10 a.m. an IED targeted a house in Zafaraniyah, injuring one civilian and police defused another bomb in the same place.

#4: Eight Katyusha rockets simultaneously hit two U.S. bases in eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said on Tuesday. "Eight Katyusha rockets landed on two U.S. bases in eastern side of Baghdad, with no reports on casualties," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI) on condition of anonymity. "The first four rockets landed on the base in al-Ubeidi region in eastern Baghdad, while the other four hit the base in al-Rustoumiya region in southeastern Baghdad," the source added.

#5: Iraq's military said eight policemen were killed in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday as they tried to defuse a series of rockets that had been prepared for an attack. The security forces had been responding to rockets fired at two nearby army bases, one for U.S. and one for Iraqi forces, from the capital's Shi'ite Ubaidi district. "The bomb disposal unit were trying to defuse eight rockets in Ubaidi but they lost control and it exploded, killing eight and wounding 42," said Major-General Qassim Moussawi, spokesman for Iraq's military in Baghdad.

Around 5 p.m. two U.S military outposts were hit by at least eight rockets in the Al Ubeidi area near Sadr City and Al Rustamiyah, Iraqi police and the U.S. military said. Iraqi police and army responded to the location where the rockets were launched from. The troops found a truck that was used as a launcher and some unexploded rockets. As experts tried to defuse the rockets the truck exploded, killing at least 15 police officers and injuring 27 others. Four coalition soldiers were wounded in the attack, the U.S. military said in an emailed statement.

#6: One civilian was injured on Tuesday in a mortar attack in southern Baghdad, said a police source."Three mortar rounds landed in Abu Dashier district in al-Doura neighborhood in southern Baghdad," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#7: Gunmen attacked a mini bus in Al Sinak area, killing one civilian.

#8: Police found three bodies throughout Baghdad, one in Sinak, one in Ubeidi and one in Saidiyah.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In Baquba, some 60 kilometres north of Baghdad, four members of the same family were shot and killed by militants while on their way home, the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said.

Khan Bani Saad:
#1: Gunmen killed police LC Taha Ghileith as he headed to his office in Khan Bani Saad area today.

#1: Two attacks with Katyusha rockets targeted the British base in the Basra International Airport but caused no casualties, the media spokesman for the Multi-National Force (MNF) in southern Iraq said. "Two separate attacks with Katyusha missiles targeted the British base in the city's airport, west of Basra, during the early hours of Tuesday but left no casualties because most of the rockets fell outside the base," the MNF media center said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Iraqi forces killed three militants, holding Arab nationalities, in the city of Samarra, some 125 kilometres north of Baghdad.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded four Iraqi soldiers when it targeted their patrol in central Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, the Iraqi army said.

#1: Three civilians were killed, including two brothers, when US helicopters raided an area near the village of al-Dujel, sources told dpa.

#1: Another three soldiers were wounded, when militants attacked them near the city of Bayji, sources said.

#1: "Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a civilian in his vehicle before entering a fuel station in al-Qahira neighborhood, northern Mosul, and then escaped. The man was killed instantly," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI) on customary condition of anonymity.

#2: the Republican Hospital received an unidentified seriously wounded man, the same source said, adding the U.S. forces carried the wounded man from the U.S. base in southern Mosul to the hospital without any information on the incident.

#3: Police found the body of a woman with gunshot wounds to her head and chest dumped in a cemetery in eastern Mosul

#4: A suicide bomber rammed a minibus into a building used by Iraqi security forces killing one soldier and wounding two policemen in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, said Iraqi Army Brigadier-General Khalid Abdul-Sattar. He said part of the building had collapsed.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Four individuals were wounded when mortar shells landed in central Anna city, Anbar province, a local security source said on Tuesday. Two mortars fired from an unknown location landed on Tuesday morning near al-Siddeeq Mosque in downtown Anna city, wounding four civilians," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq

#1: Kandahar city was rocked by yet another explosion Tuesday morning when a parked vehicle blew up on a busy street, killing one civilian on a motorcycle and injuring three others, according to initial reports. It appears the explosives-laden car had been left unattended, and that a remote control device was used to trigger the blast. The loud explosion occurred at 1 p.m. local time, just as a number of Afghan National Police trucks rolled past the location, near the south entrance to the city. No police officers were hurt, said District 5 commander Abdul Qader, who left a police checkpoint nearby and rushed to the scene.

Casualty Reports:

Staff Sgt. Lee Tom Jones was deployed for the third time with the 82nd Airborne Division in October of 2005 when a bomb exploded near his Humvee. The truck flipped and ignited, and the fire burned more than 45 percent of Jones’ body. In the years since the blast, Jones has been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. He has suffered three strokes. He has no feeling in his feet, which makes it hard for him to walk.

Zebulen Miller has been given aPurple Heart, the U.S. military's award for troops injured in the line of duty. Miller, a 27-year-old Air Force staff sergeant who handles bomb-sniffing dogs, was injured in a mortar attack April 30 on the Camp Normandy military base 50 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. The mortar landed less than 20 feet from Miller, whose leg was pierced by shrapnel. He was taken to Iraq's Balad Air Base for surgery and was back on duty in three weeks. Miller had been kicking down doors and looking for bombs in Iraq.

Sgt. Justin Lane, 23,, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, received a blow of shrapnel to the side of his face and suffered major hearing loss three weeks ago when an improvised explosive device detonated approximately eight feet from where he stood. The blast occurred in Samarra, Iraq, where Lane’s unit was setting up the wiring for a blocking position when they triggered a pressure plate in the road. Some of the other soldiers injured in the blast are still recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Lane said.