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, June 20, 2008

War News for Friday, June 20, 2008

UPDATE: One Soldier was killed and five wounded in three roadside bomb attacks on Coalition force patrols in Diyala province June 20. All the injured were medically evacuated. No further details given at this time, including the affiliation of the casualties.

CJTF-101 is reporting the death of a coalition service member from gunfire in Helmand province on Thursday, June 19th. No other details were released.

CJTF-101 is reporting the death of a second coalition service member gunfire in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Thursday, June 19th. In this updated release there were two soldiers killed in the same incident and another soldier was wounded. No other details were released.

The Washington Post (Reuters) is reporting the death of a soldier from a suicide bomber attack in the Girishk district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Friday, June 20th. An Afghan interpreter and five civilians were also killed in the attack. No other details were released.

In an updated article, The Daily Record reports that David McCullie was a United Nations troubleshooter who died of a heart attack at his living quarters in Baghdad. he was the UN's chief of general services in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. He was a grade seven field officer - the equivalent of a brigadier general in the army.

June 18 airpower summary:

#1: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States and its allies of plotting to assassinate him during a visit to neighbouring Iraq in March, state radio reported on Friday. "Based on reliable intelligence, our enemies had plans to kidnap and kill your servant (Ahmadinejad). But we intentionally made last minute changes in our schedule," the radio quoted Ahmadinejad telling a meeting of clerics in the Shi'ite holy city of Qom on Thursday.

#2: U.S. forces killed four militants and detained 18 others on Thursday and Friday during operations around Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#3: Thursday Two unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today; one in Ur neighbourhood and one in Kasra wa Atash.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy in Beirut Square, northeast Baghdad at 10 a.m. No casualties were reported.

#5: A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy in Doura, south Baghdad at 11 a.m. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An Iraqi soldier was killed Friday and three more, including a police officer, were wounded when an explosive device targeted their patrol in the northern city of Baquba, media reports said. Security sources told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency that the bomb went off in the main road leading to Naqib area, southern Baquba.

#2: Gunmen blew up two houses in Ashti neighbourhood, al-Saadiyah district , to the northeast of Baquba Thursday evening. Both houses were empty as they were blown up by remote control, but a civilian passer by was in the vicinity and was injured by the blast.

#1: Unidentified gunmen killed a university student in southern Diala late Thursday, a police source said. "Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen opened fire on a university student in al-Abara region in Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, killing him instantly,” he source, who asked for anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: The al-Zahraa hospital’s morgue in Kut received on Friday an unidentified female body, a medical source said.“The 40-year-old body bore signs of stabbing and torture,” the source, who asked to be unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: Police found two decomposed bodies inside a mosque two years after they were kidnapped in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Three policemen were wounded on Friday when an improvised explosive device went off targeting their patrol in Dalouiya, said a police source. “An explosive charge was detonated near a police patrol in Dalouiya, wounding three policemen. Who were rushed to the city’s hospital for treatment,” Colonel Mohammed al-Juburi told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq, noting that their health condition is stable.

#1: U.S. troops killed four suspected al-Qaida militants and detained 18 others in raids north of Baghdad targeting al-Qaida bombing networks in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Friday. In a series of operations on Friday near the town of Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, U.S. troops, at one location, were attacked by small arms fire from a nearby rooftop, prompting the troops to fire back, killing four attackers, a military statement said.

#1: Five policemen were wounded on Friday afternoon in a suicide car bomb attack on a checkpoint in southeastern Mosul, a senior security source said. “A car rigged with explosives driven by a suicide bomber, went off at 12:00pm on Friday targeting a police checkpoint in al-Wehda neighborhood in southeastern Mosul, injuring five policemen,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. “Police forces opened fire at the driver, killing him instantly before hitting the checkpoint,” he explained.

#1: A French man abducted along with his two Afghan colleagues in southern Afghanistan was released after three weeks in captivity, sources said Friday. A group of suspected Taliban militants abducted the French national, who owned a private construction company in Afghanistan, on the Kabul-Kandahar highway in Gilan district of southern Ghazni province May 29.