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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

War News for Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

The justices handed the Bush administration its third setback at the high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The vote was 5-4, with the court's liberal justices in the majority.

June 10 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb went off near a police commando mobile checkpoint close to the Sakhrah Restaurant in Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The blast wounded nine commando members and damaged several nearby civilian cars, the source said.

A car bomb struck an Iraqi police commando patrol in central Baghdad, killing three people and wounding more than a dozen, a security official and a medic says. The attack occurred at about 2pm (2100 AEST) in the Al-Allawi district. One commando and two civilians were killed, and 15 people wounded, 12 of them commandos, the security official confirmed.

#2: In a separate incident, gunmen in a car threw a hand grenade on Iraqi soldiers manning a checkpoint in the Safarat, or embassies, neighborhood in western Baghdad Thursday morning, wounding six soldiers, he said.

#3: Also on Thursday, a director in the Iraqi Interior Ministry survived a bomb explosion when a roadside bomb went off near his convoy, wounding six people, the source added. "Maj. Gen. Sameer al-Wa'ili, survived the bomb attack unhurt, while his convoy was passing the Beirut Square in eastern Baghdad," he said, adding that three of Wa'ili's bodyguards and three civilians were wounded by the attack.

#4: Another bomb explosion targeted the convoy of the local governor of al-Sha'ab district in northeastern Baghdad, wounding five civilians, while the governor escaped unhurt, the source said.

#5: Wednesday 4 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Amin; 1 in al-Obaidi; 1 in Washash and 1 in Hurriyah.

#6: U.S. forces said six Iraqis were killed when a bomb struck a U.S. convoy in the Kadhamiya district of Baghdad on Wednesday. Seven Iraqis and two U.S. soldiers were wounded. A police report on the same incident on Wednesday had said that five minibus passengers were killed and 10 wounded when a bomb exploded near a minibus.

#7: A controlled explosion by the Iraqi army took place for a roadside bomb which was found in Ghadeer neighborhood (east Baghdad) . No casualties reported.

#8: A bomb which was put inside a car detonated at the main street of the Muthana airport which houses the headquarters of Iraqi army and Dawa party. 3 people were killed and 15 were wounded (including one police commando killed and 12 others wounded) who were passing by when the explosion took place.

#9: Police found 4 dead bodies in Baghdad today : 3 were found in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank ); 1 in Zafaraniyah ,1 in Ur and 1 in Shaab. While 1 was found in Dora in Karkh bank.

#10: An Iraqi police officer and a civilian were wounded in a roadside bomb attack on a police convoy in the Rusafa area of eastern Baghdad, U.S. forces said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb attack killed three security personnel from the Kurdish peshmerga forces deployed in the restive Diyala province of Iraq, a security official told AFP on Thursday. The attack took place in the town of Jalawla in Diyala late Wednesday, the security official from the peshmerga forces said on condition of anonymity. Five others were seriously wounded in the attack, he added.

#1: Three civilians were wounded on Thursday by a roadside bomb explosion targeting a security care company convoy in Wassit, a police source said. "An explosive device, planted on the road (Kut-Missan), went off near a convoy of the security care company (AGS)," the source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. "Three civilians were wounded in the blast and were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment," he added."One of the convoy's vehicles was damaged in the attack," he noted.

#1: Several members of American-backed neighbourhood security units called "Sons of Iraq" repelled an attack on their homes by al Qaeda fighters on Wednesday, killing four insurgents, U.S. forces said. Three "Sons of Iraq" members were wounded in the clash, near the town of Ishaqi, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, they said.

#1: In the north, Iraqi security forces backed by tribal police killed four gunmen, two of them Egyptians, near Tikrit, police said Thursday. Police and members of a tribal force known as the Awakening Council raided a hideout of suspected terrorists in Ishaki, near Tikrit, 170 kilometres north of Baghdad, police sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

#1: Two tank drivers were wounded in an attack launched by unknown gunmen against four tanks carrying crude oil in Mosul on Thursday, a police source said. "Unknown gunmen opened fire on four crude oil tanks near Jiran intersection, south Mosul, leaving two tank drivers wounded," a Mosul police source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. The source noted "one of the tanks was set ablaze by the attack."

#2: A roadside bomb went off targeting a police patrol in al-Sukr district, northern Mosul, leaving a policeman wounded, "a source from Ninewa operations command told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq.

#3: The source noted "a second roadside bomb detonated against a police patrol in al-Muhandisin district, northern Mosul, leaving one woman wounded".

#4: Meanwhile, Brig. Khalid Abdel Sattar, spokesman for Ninewa operations command, pointed out "joint army and police forces defused a car rigged with explosives in al-Sukr district".

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: The headquarters of the Islamic party in Falluja was detonated by an explosive charge on Thursday, said a police source. "An explosive device, planted by unidentified gunmen inside the headquarters of the Islamic party in al-Jumhouriya neighborhood in central Falluja, was detonated, causing several material damage to the building," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq on condition of anonymity. The source did not give more details.

The local headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of three Sunni parties in the Iraqi Accordance Front, was damaged when five bombs planted inside the building exploded in the city of Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police and a member of the party said. One guard was wounded.

Casualty Reports:

#1: Afghan police said on Thursday they killed a would-be suicide bomber disguised in a burqa after he ignored warning shots. Officers guarding a police compound in southern Helmand province shot the man after he ignored an order to freeze and instead started running towards the building, said provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain Andiwal. "He was shot in the forehead after he ignored warning shots and was killed on the spot. When we took off his burqa we found he was a man with suicide vest tied around his body," Andiwal said. The explosives did not go off and there were no other casualties, he said.

#2: Meanwhile, local media reported Thursday that US planes bombed some areas in tribal areas for the second straight night Wednesday. No casualties were reported in the bombing on Zeba Mountain in South Waziristan by two US planes. The continuing strikes and violation of Pakistani airspace have drawn heavy criticism in the South Asian nuclear-armed country.

Army Specialist Justin Donnelly and 17 other soldiers were wounded when a truck bomber concealed explosives under tanned animal hides during the attack on an American patrol base in Tamim Province in northern Iraq. One soldier was killed. Donnelly, 22, spotted the vehicle, which rammed into blast walls outside the small base, and alerted everyone, said his mother, Valerie Donnelly. Valerie spoke to her son before he was scheduled to undergo surgery Monday night (U.S. time), and he told her his injuries were non-life threatening and included shrapnel wounds. James said his son's left foot won't support any weight and he has nerve damage in his left hand.

Sgt. Luis ‘‘Tito” Rosa-Valentine, 25, lost both of his legs, left arm and hearing two days before his birthday in an April 21 roadside bomb explosion while he was leading a patrol along a dangerous road east of Sadr City in Baghdad.