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, May 31, 2008

War News for Saturday, May 31, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Force – West Marine in a non-combat related incident in Iraq on Friday, May 30th. No other details were released and the incident is under investigation.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a coalition soldier from a suicide car bomb in the eastern Afghan Nangarhar province on Saturday, May 31st. Six other people including three civilians and three soldiers were wounded in the attack. The military has not yet confirmed the death.

May 29 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: U.S. forces said they captured a key "special groups" suspect in eastern Baghdad. The suspect is accused of involvement in kidnappings and managing funds for the special groups.

#2: Gunmen on a motor bike kidnapped a 10 year old girl at Zayuna neighborhood (east Baghdad).

#3: A roadside bomb was defused by the Iraqi army in the Mansour neighborhood (west Baghdad) near a restaurant .No casualties or damage were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen assassinated the head of the Diyala morgue, Ahmed Foad, at Al-Sada, a town northeast of Baquba.

#1: Three civilians were killed and seven others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a passenger mini-bus in central Baaquba on Saturday, police said.

A roadside bomb exploded at the local market in downtown Baquba near a dentists’ clinic. Two people were killed, and eight others were injured

#2: A mortar round killed a woman and wounded three people, including a child, when it landed on a house in a village just east of Baquba, police said.

#1: Three rockets wounded two U.S. soldiers when they landed on their base in Nassiriya, 300 km (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed an off-duty police officer near his home in Dair neighbourhood in north Basra, 420 km (260 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Afghan and NATO officials say a bomb attack against a convoy of international troops has wounded four soldiers and four Afghans in eastern Afghanistan. Maj. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, confirmed the soldiers were wounded in Saturday's attack. He says it's not yet clear whether it was an improvised explosive device or a suicide car bomb. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary says the blast in the eastern city of Jalalabad wounded four Afghans and damaged five civilian vehicles. Bashary said the attack was a suicide car bomb.

#2: An Afghan district governor for Mezan district in southern Zabul and his bodyguard were killed by unknown gunmen in Qalat, the provincial capital on Friday night, police official Abdul Matin said. He said Mohammad Younus, the district governor, was shot dead in front of his house, adding that they had started a search operation to track down the assailants, reported dpa.

#3: Canadian troops have swept through a volatile district west of Kandahar in an operation designed to ferret out nests of insurgents. The four-day swing, code-named Operation Rolling Thunder, was conducted alongside Afghan government forces. The operation saw several firefights in Zhari district, long a hotbed of Taliban activity. No Canadian casualties were reported Friday by military officials who released information about the operation. An unknown number of militants were believed killed in the operation.

#4: Unknown gunmen on Friday shot dead two local tribesmen in Shar-i-Nau area of neighbouring Afghanistan`s Paktia province. Sources said the two men identified as Syed Muhammad Ibrahim and Gulab Hussain were on way to their hometown Parachinar when armed assailants intercepted their vehicle in Shar-i-Nau area of Paktia.

#5: One Afghan soldier was killed and two others wounded when they came under fire from insurgents at a military checkpoint on Friday in Sangin District in the southern province of Helmand, the defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday.