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, March 8, 2008

War News for Saturday, March 08, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North Soldier in an explosion in Diyala Province on Friday, March 7th. One other soldier were wounded in the attack.

The DPA is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an explosion in the Khawa district of eastern Paktika province, Afghanistan on Saturday, March 8th. One other soldier was wounded in the attack. We will assume this to be an American soldier. Here's the ISAF statement.

Security incidents:

#1: U.S. forces arrested seven members of a suspected Iranian-backed militia in operations south and north of Baghdad on Thursday and Friday, the U.S. military said.

#2: Around 5:00 p.m. an IED exploded in Muthaffar square in Sadr city in east Baghdad. No casualties were reported.

#3: US army detonated under control two IED. The first IED was in Adhemiyah neighborhood while the second IED was in Kadhemiyah neighborhood, both in north of Baghdad.

#4: Clashes took place between two groups of insurgents in Hurriyah neighborhood in west Baghdad around 4:30 p.m. No casualties were reported.

#5: Police found four unidentified bodies in Baghdad. Three bodies were found in Rusafa, the eastern side of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (1 body in Shaab, 1 body in Sadr city and 1 bodyin Obeidi). The fourth body was found in Doura neighbrohood in the western side of Baghdad.

Diyala Prv:
#1: in Diyala province, an official in the joint police-army operations center said roadside bombings killed six people in Wajihiyah, about 15 miles east of the provincial capital of Baquoba. In the first attack, a bomb destroyed a car — killing a mother and her two children and wounding two others, including the woman's husband. The second attack hit a bus, killing three men and wounding two others, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

#2: Two civilians were killed and six others were injured in an IED explosion that targeted a minibus in al Khammar village east of Baquba city on Saturday morning.

#2: One Multi-National Division - North Soldier was killed from injuries sustained from an explosion while conducting operations in Diyala March 7. One MND-N Soldier was injured during the attack and evacuated to a Coalition forces hospital.

#1: Gunmen killed a civilian near al Ameer school in downtown Baquba north of Baghdad around 7:30 a.m.

#1: Iraqi security forces found about 100 badly decomposed bodies in a mass grave north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Saturday, one of the largest such finds in the country for months. U.S. and Iraqi security forces said it was not clear who was responsible for the grave near Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, or when the victims had been killed.

#1: Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday in Basra, protesting deteriorating security in the southern city where Iraqi forces assumed responsibility for safety last December.

#1: A roadside bomb killed a member of a neighbourhood security unit and wounded four others in Hawija, 70 km (45 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

#1: A French reporter was stabbed Saturday and slightly injured in a hotel in Iraq's northern Kurdish city of Irbil, police said. The reporter was hospitalized with minor injuries to her arm, according to Irbil police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul-Khaliq Talat. The reasons for the attack were unclear, police said, and added that the manager and 10 members of the staff were arrested and the hotel was closed. No further details were released, including which media employed the reporter.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: The Ramadi police arrested a gunman wearing an explosive belt in the northern part of the city on Saturday, a security source said.

#1: A roadside bomb struck a civilian car in Afghanistan's troubled Helmand province Saturday, killing three persons including two children and wounding another, a press release of the country's Interior Ministry said. "Two children and an old man were killed and a lady was injured as their vehicle ran over a mine in Nad Ali district this morning," the press release added.

#2: A NATO-led soldier was killed and another wounded in eastern Afghanistan. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers were conducting a routine patrol in the Khawa district of eastern Paktika province, near the border with Pakistan on Saturday morning, when the attack occurred, the alliance said in a statement. 'Two ISAF soldiers were wounded and evacuated to an ISAF hospital for medical treatment. After arrival, one of the two soldiers died of wounds sustained from the explosion,' ISAF statement said.

On the home front:
#1: An Airman assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, was found dead in a dormitory room March 7. At 8:50 a.m., base officials discovered the Airman unresponsive and with injuries consistent with a stab wound. The Airman was immediately taken to United Regional Hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas, and was pronounced dead at 9:35 a.m. The incident is under investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the 82nd Security Forces Squadron.