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

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

War News for Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Air Force MQ-1 Predator crashed in southern Afghanistan July 21. The aircraft is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft. The MQ-1's primary mission is conducting armed reconnaissance.

There is an unconfirmed report in the Quqnoos reporting the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in a mine explosion in the Bakwa District of Farah Province. We will not include these in our count until there's official confirmation of the incident.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Monday Police found one unidentified body in Nahdha neighborhood in east Baghdad.

#2: Around 7:30 am a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Illam neighborhood( west Baghdad). No casualties reported.

#1: Iraqi police say gunmen have killed a Kurdish journalist near the northern city of Kirkuk. Soran Mama Hama, a 23-year-old reporter for the Kurdish-language magazine Leven, was shot late Monday. Police say the motive is unknown.

#2: On Monday night, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Kirkuk city. Two policemen were killed( including the deputy of Irouba police station Colonel Khabat Aziz) and 5 others were injured.

#1: U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops clashed with and called in airstrikes on Taliban militants in western Afghanistan, killing and wounding more than 25 insurgents, an Afghan official said Tuesday. The joint force has been battling militants in Bala Buluk district of Farah province since Monday afternoon, said regional police spokesman Rauf Ahmadi. Two police officers were wounded in the fighting, which also involved coalition airstrikes on the militants' positions, Ahmadi said. 1st Lt. Nathan Perry, a coalition spokesman, said that militants used two roadside bombs, small arms and rocket-propelled grenades to attack coalition patrols in Farah on Monday and Tuesday. No coalition troops were killed, but Perry would not say if any were wounded.

A U.S.-led convoy was engaged with small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades on Tuesday morning in Bala Boluk, a U.S. military spokesman said. Air strikes were called in but no munitions were dropped. The U.S. military could not confirm if there were any Taliban dead, the U.S. spokesman said. International forces do not usually give casualty figures for insurgents.

#2: Separately, militants attacked an Afghan army outpost in the same region Tuesday and the clash there was continuing, Perry said.

#3: In Kabul, meanwhile, a suicide bomber on foot detonated himself Tuesday next to the walls of the city's historic Babur Gardens, a popular public park, wounding three civilians, said police official Ali Shah Paktiawal.

#4: Taliban guerrillas ambushed a convoy carrying supplies for a foreign security firm and killed four of its local guards on Monday in southern Zabul province, a provincial official said.

#5: In neighbouring Ghazni, Taliban fighters stormed a police post and killed four officers late on Monday, an official said.

#6: The spokesman for the governor of southeastern Paktika province was killed in his house by Taliban assailants late on Monday, an official from the area said. A Taliban spokesman confirmed the report.

Casualty Reports:

Matthew Richardson (22), from Barton-Upon-Humber, was serving in Helmand province when the Land Rover he was driving was struck by a landmine while he was out on patrol. Both of his feet were shattered by the blast. "He is extremely lucky to still be alive. I envisaged him to have lost his legs so I am so grateful."