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

Friday, March 21, 2008

War News for Friday, March 21, 2008

The Associated Press is reporting the death of a Romanian ISAF soldier in an improvised explosive device attack in the north of Qalat district, Zabul province, Afghanistan on Thursday, March 20th. The Dead soldier is identified as Ionut Cosmin Sandu, 29. One other soldier was wounded in the attack.

Security incidents:

#1: U.S. forces killed seven gunmen and arrested 20 others during operations in central and northern Iraq on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

#2: Clashes erupted between joint Iraqi-U.S. forces and unidentified gunmen in southwestern Baghdad on Friday morning, a security source said."The al-Yarmuk hospital received five civilians wounded in those clashes," a medic from the hospital told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq
#3: 2 unidentified bodies were found by Iraqi Police today; 1 in Ur and 1 in al-Hurriyah.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A police patrol was attacked by gunmen in Della Abbas village, 20 km to the south of Baquba causing the injury of 3 policemen.

#1: Gunmen opened fire upon a civilian car wounding 2 civilians in Mendili, to the east of Baquba.

#1: Iraqi security forces are clashing with Shiite militia fighters southeast of Baghdad for the second day. Iraqi officials say at least two police officers and two gunmen have been killed in the recent fighting in Kut between Iraqi security forces and factions from the Mahdi Army militia.
The clashes began when militia gunmen attacked security checkpoints on Thursday.

Iraqi officials said Friday that at least two police officers and two gunmen had died in the fighting in the city of Kut.

Six gunmen were killed by ground troops and air strikes by Apache attack helicopters and two detained, he said. An Iraqi police lieutenant meanwhile had been kidnapped, he added.

"They captured 17 policemen and forced them to take off their clothes. Then they freed them in their underwear," said one of the officials. The second police source said the gunmen had burnt several cars and captured a number of weapons from the police. U.S. forces later brought eight bodies in black plastic sacks to al- Bayaa police station in southern Baghdad, he said.

#1: The Multi-National Forces' Echo base was rocketed in the predominantly Shiite city of Diwaniya, a security source said on Friday. "The Polish forces' Echo base was attacked in the wee hours of the morning with two Katyusha rockets," Colonel Ghassan Ali Mattar told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq (VOI). The source who could not say if there were casualties among the Polish soldiers added "these rockets are newly used in Diwaniya.”

#1: A senior officer and two of his escorts were killed and two civilians wounded when his motorcade came under an armed attack in Balad district, Salah al-Din province, on Thursday night, police said. "The motorcade of Lt. Col. Sabry Latif, the chief of al-Mahata police in Balad, (80 km) north of Baghdad, came under attack by unidentified gunmen who showered the two-vehicle motorcade with bullets. Latif and two escorts were killed in the attack," a police source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A roadside bomb exploded in al-Alam Square, on the main route between Tikrit and Baghdad injuring a little boy at 9 am today.

#1: Gunmen break into a house and kill one of its inhabitants in the village of al-Hoori, Shirqat district, a little before dawn today.

#1: A policeman's body was found with gunshot wounds on Thursday, hours after his abduction in southeastern Mosul, police said.

#2: Police found one decapitated body on Thursday in southeast Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: Two Iraqi army soldiers were wounded on Friday in a bomb explosion in western Mosul, the official spokesman for the Ninewa operations command said."An improvised explosive device went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol in al-Islah al-Zeraai neighborhood in western Mosul, injuring two soldiers," Brig. Khaled Abdul Sattar told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#1: The small bomb was hidden in a rubbish bin near the main shrine in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the focal point for Afghanistan's New Year celebrations on Thursday, police said. Four people, including shopkeepers, were hurt in the explosion, said the northern city's security chief, General Abdul Rauf Taj. A few small shops and a car were damaged.

#2: A soldier with the NATO-led force in Afghanistan that is helping the government deal with the insurgency died on Thursday after being struck by a bomb in the south, the alliance said.