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, August 22, 2008

War News for Friday, August 22, 2008

The AFP is reporting the death of a US-led coalition soldier in an IED attack in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Friday, August 22nd. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting a new reclassified death. Sgt. Nickolas Lee Hopper died Sept. 8, 2007 from wounds received while supporting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq, on June 20, 2005. Hopper’s final autopsyconcludedhis death was a result of wounds received in Iraq; however, Hopper was not previously identified as an OIF casualty.

Fresh fighting erupts in southern Philippines:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Gunmen using pistols with silencers shot Major General Ahmed Rasheed Majeed, the director of the government office that issues identification cards near the national theater in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 7:30 p.m. Majeed was injured seriously.

#2: A civilian was killed and another one was injured when a member of a security company opened fire in Bab al Sharji neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 8:00 p.m., Iraqi police said. The US military had no immediate comment.

#3: Three civilians were wounded by a sound bomb in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 9:00 p.m.

#4: Thursday Police found two unidentified bodies throughout Baghdad. One body was found in Zayuna and another in Shoala.

#5: A colonel in the former Iraqi Army suspected a bunch of strangers standing next to his parked car in Amil where he was shopping, of wrong doing and reported this to the police. The police found that an adhesive bomb had been stuck to his car which they were able to defuse without casualties at 9 a.m. Friday.

#6: A mortar round targeted the Green Zone at 9 a.m. It fell near the Ministry of Planning. No casualties were reported.

#7: A man who works as a guard in one of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's offices was killed during raids conducted by the Iraqi army in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City, a source in Sadr's office said. Another man was also killed, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An Iraqi soldier was killed and eight others were wounded on Friday in a roadside bomb blast in south of Baaquba, a police source said. "An improvised explosive device went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol on the main road in south of Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, killing a soldier and injuring eight,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: A member of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol in central Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, wounded fellow guards when he opened fire on them, police said.

#1: Three civilians were killed on Friday by unknown copter fire in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. "Unknown helicopter opened fire today against a civilian car on the road between al-Huwaiyja and Kirkuk, southwest of Kirkuk, killed three civilians onboard,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: A policeman with the Iraqi Police was found dead with a bullet wound in his head in Jamia neighbourhood, central Mosul on Thursday 21 August.

#2: A policeman was killed by light arms fire at a checkpoint near al-Maash market yesterday.

#1: U.S.-led coalition forces killed 30 militants, including a Taliban commander, in an air strike in west Afghanistan, the U.S. military said on Friday, but Afghan officials said there were also civilian casualties. The air strike was called in after Afghan and coalition soldiers were ambushed by insurgents while on a patrol targeting a known Taliban commander in the western province of Herat, the U.S. military said in a statement. "Insurgents engaged the soldiers from multiple points within the compound using small-arms and RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) fire," it said. "The joint forces responded with small-arms fire and an air strike killing 30 militants." Saeed Sharif, an elder and member of a local council where the strike took place, told Reuters many civilians were killed. "Last night, around 2 a.m. some people were attending a holy Koran recitation in Shindand district when Americans started bombing. Tens of civilians were killed," said Sharif.

#2: Separately, Taliban insurgents killed four Afghan border police in a clash in southern Kandahar province, close to the Pakistani border, late on Thursday, senior police official Mohammad Anwar Khan told Reuters. Two insurgents were also killed in the fighting, he said.

#3: U.S.-led coalition forces also carried out air strikes in Kapisa province on Thursday, northeast of the capital, Kabul, after coming under attack, killing an unspecified number of insurgents, the U.S. military said.

#4: The Minister of Defence Ignazio La Russa, hearing the news of? Explosion occurred this morning in the area of Kabul and which involved three soldiers of the Italian Contingent operating there, it was immediately informed about the conditions of health personnel wounded. Il Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa, Gen. The Chief of Staff of Defence, Gen. Vincenzo Camporini, lo ha rassicurato circa il carattere lieve delle lesioni riportate. Vincenzo Camporini, has reassured about the slight injuries reported. Il Ministro della Difesa ha manifestato la propria vicinanza e solidarietà ai soldati interessati all?evento. The Defence Minister expressed his closeness and solidarity to all soldiers involved? Event. Il Ministro La Russa ha subito informato il Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri Silvio Berlusconi. Minister La Russa has been informed the President of the Council of Ministers Silvio Berlusconi.

#5 U.S.-led coalition forces killed 76 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan on Friday, most of them women and children, the Afghan Interior Ministry said. "Seventy-six civilians, most of them women and children, were martyred today in a coalition forces operation in Herat province," the ministry said in a statement.

An operation by international forces in western Afghanistan on Friday killed 76 civilians, including 50 children and 19 women, the Afghan interior ministry said. The US-led coalition confirmed it had carried out an operation, which included air strikes, in the area but said only 30 Taliban were killed, while the Afghan defence ministry said five civilians and 25 rebels had died. It was impossible to independently verify what happened in volatile Shindand district in Herat province, but the conflicting reports highlight the difficulty in establishing facts in regular clashes between troops and rebels. The police chief for western Afghanistan, Akramuddin Yawer, had also said 76 people were killed in the incident and 15 houses were destroyed in strikes.