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 29, 2008

War News for Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Photo: November 2004, Stefan Zaklin photographed this soldier, who was shot and killed in Falluja, in a house used as a base by insurgents. The photograph ran in several European publications, and Mr. Zaklin was immediately banned from working with the unit.

I'm likely breaking my own rules by posting this photograph but the article I posted below in the N.Y. Times by MICHAEL KAMBER and TIM ARANGO once again brings up the issue of why is the military banning any and every photo of the war which they can lay their hands on. Is this why the media coverage is so sanitized that the public is immune to the real violence which is going on. Or does it really protect the families of the deceased from reliving their grief.

The British MoD is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in a small arms fire attack in the Marjah area, west of Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Monday, July 28th. Here's the ISAF statement.

U.S. Air Force plans an expanded role in Iraq:

India, Pakistan halt clashes on Kashmir border:

4,000 U.S. Deaths, and a Handful of Images:

Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
#1: U.S. and Iraqi forces fanned out in the volatile Diyala province Tuesday in a new operation aimed at clearing al-Qaeda in Iraq from safe havens in an area considered the last major insurgent belt around the capital.

#2: A famer was killed when a bomb exploded in Abo Saida town northeast of Baquba city around 12:00 p.m.

#1: Turkish warplanes shelled suspected Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) positions in northern Iraq near the border with Iran on Tuesday morning, according to the Iraq-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). 'Six Turkish warplanes shelled today (the) Gali Badran area in the Kandil mountains today at 11:15am (0815 GMT),' the PUK's media website quoted an anonymous source. 'The Turkish bombardment is still going on until this moment,' it added.

#1: Policemen in Ninewa province killed a suicide bomber before ramming his explosive vehicle into his targeted police checkpoint west of Mosul city on Tuesday, a security source said.

#1: U.S.-led coalition troops killed several militants during a raid in central Afghanistan. "Coalition forces responded with small-arms fire and air strikes, killing the militants and damaging a building," the statement said, without giving a specific death toll.

#2: Separately, a suspected bomb maker and four other people died in an accidental explosion inside a house in the eastern Kunar province, said provincial deputy police chief Abdul Sabit Allayar.

#3: Afghan soldiers backed by international air support killed and wounded more than 10 insurgents when the militants engaged them with rocket propelled grenades and heavy machine gun fire on Monday in the southern province of Kandahar, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

#4: Afghan soldiers killed and wounded five insurgents during clashes in Marja district in the southern province of Helmand on Monday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

#5: A roadside bomb killed two Afghan soldiers near Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

#6: Suspected Islamic militants abducted 30 police and paramilitary troops in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday. Security was deteriorating in the Swat Valley despite a peace deal reached in May between the provincial government and pro-Taliban militants. Insurgents overpowered the security forces who were manning a security post in Swat's Deolai area, police official Ismail Khan said.

#7: On Monday, Ismail Khan said militants ambushed a pickup truck and shot three intelligence agents inside. (in northwestern Pakistan)

#8: In other unrest in the Swat Valley, security forces traded gunfire Tuesday with militants after a military convoy came under attack, Ismail Khan said. There was no report of casualties.

#9: At least two civilians were killed and five others were injured as a mortar shell hit a house during exchange of fire between local Taliban and security forces in Pakistan's northwest on Tuesday, according to local media reports.

#10: A Polish patrol came under mortar fire in Afghanistan on Monday, informs the Ministry of Defence.The ministry said that the Polish troops were shot at by Afghan insurgents and the soldiers opened fire and killed and wounded probably over a dozen. The spokesman for the Polish Military Contingent in Afghanistan says that the attack started around 4.30 pm, local time, in the vicinity of Shawal, eastern Afghanistan. "Mortar, machine guns and armour-piercing grenade launchers were used against the Polish troops, in the wake of which the Patria Armoured Modular Vehicle was damaged," said Major Jacek Poplawski. Help was called far and the fighting started. According to unverified information, over a dozen Taliban or their allies were killed.