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

Monday, August 18, 2008

War News for Monday, August 18, 2008

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Saturday, August 16th. No other details were released. We assume this to be an American soldier.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from non-combat related injuries in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Sunday, August 17th. No other details were released. We assume this to be an American soldier.

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an IED attack in the region of Forward Operating Base Attal, in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Monday, August 18th. One other British soldier and an Afghan National Army soldier and the patrol interpreter were wounded in the attack. Here's the NATO statement.

Pakistan's Musharraf announces resignation:

Iran tests rocket for future launch of satellite:

Ex-Marine decries prosecution in civilian court:

Renewed violence grips Tal Afar:

Philippines drives rebels out; 34 people killed:

Record number of US contractors in Iraq:

As of early 2008, at least 190,000 private personnel were working on US-funded projects in the Iraq theater, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) survey found.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded five people, including three policemen, when it exploded in the Mansour district of western Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded nine people, including three policemen, when it exploded near a U.S. military patrol in the Yarmouk district of western Baghdad, police said.

In a separate incident, a roadside bomb detonated near a U.S. patrol while approaching an Iraqi police checkpoint in the al-Yarmouk neighborhood in western Baghdad, injuring three Iraqi policemen and six civilians, the source said. It was unclear whether the U.S. patrol sustained any casualty as the troops immediately cordoned off the area, he said.

#3: Gunmen killed one man and wounded his wife when they opened fire on the couple's car in Zaafaraniya district of southeastern Baghdad, police said.

Faris Jabir Thahir, a Shiite cleric, was killed by unknown gunmen while he was driving his car with his mother and wife in Baghdad southeastern neighborhood of Zaafaraniyah," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Thahir's mother and wife were wounded by the attack and transported to a nearby hospital, the source said.

#4: A suicide bomber killed 15 people Sunday night, including at least six U.S.-backed Sunni Arab fighters, near a crowded outdoor market in east Baghdad, security officials and local leaders said. At least 30 people were wounded in the attack near the historic Abu Hanifa Mosque in the Sunni district of Adhamiya. Women and children were among the dead, said Abu Abed, the head of the U.S.-funded Sons of Iraq neighborhood security group there. The commander at the checkpoint, Farouq abu Omar, and four of his men were slain, he said.

Also Monday, mourners in Baghdad's Azamiyah district fired guns in the air to show their grief during the funeral of Farooq al-Obeidi, deputy head of a group of U.S.-allied Sunni fighters who was killed by a suicide bomber. Nine other people were killed and at least 20 were wounded in Sunday night's blast, Iraqi officials said. They declined to be identified because they weren't authorized to release the information. The U.S. military put the toll at eight killed, including six U.S.-allied fighters, and 12 wounded.

#5: Another explosive device wounded two policemen and an Iraqi civilian in the central district of Karrada.

Three police officers and a civilian were wounded in roadside bomb that exploded in the Karrada district of central Baghdad, police said.

#6: Sunday Police found 1 dead body today in Saidiyah neighborhood(south Baghdad).

#7: Iraqi forces killed three militants and arrested 33 others during last the 24 hours in different areas in Iraq, Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Diyala Prv:
#1: One civilian man was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted the house of an Iraqi army officer northeast of Baaquba city on Monday, a security source in Diala said ."The IED went off inside the house of an Iraqi officer in the rank of captain in the village of Taja, Qarat Tabba district, Khanaqin, (155 km) northeast of Baaquba, wounding one civilian man near the house," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Masked gunmen ambushed a bus carrying electoral officials in southern Iraq on Monday, killing two and seriously wounding a third, officials said. The attackers opened fire from a passing car in the Abu al-Khasib area south of Basra, which saw bitter infighting among Shiite factions before a U.S.-backed Iraqi military operation curbed violence earlier this year. Two top members of a local committee preparing for provincial elections were killed, according to police and the head of Basra's elections panel, Hazim al-Rubaie.

#1: A US military helicopter has reportedly crashed in Iraq's northern Salahuddin province 150 km north of the capital Baghdad. "We have received information that a US helicopter crashed in the Shwikhat area near the town of Dawr,” an anonymous source from Salahuddin's Joint Coordination Center (JCC) told Xinhua on Monday. "The helicopter crashed maybe due to technical failure because we did not see or heard any anti-aircraft fire before the incident," said the source, citing eyewitness reports. He added that US troops had closed off the crash site immediately following the incident. The US military has not yet confirmed the report.

A media advisor for the U.S. army denied on Monday that a helicopter crashed in the al-Dor district, Salah al-Din province.

#1: Gunmen killed a religious leader on Sunday outside a mosque in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: An explosive device on Monday detonated near a U.S. patrol vehicle in eastern Mosul city, an official Iraqi source said."Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a U.S. patrol in Mosul's eastern al-Nuaimi Street, but casualties have not been reported thus far," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq­- Voices of Iraq­. Speaking to VOI, a media advisor for the U.S. army denied the news, saying "None of our patrols has been hit by an explosion in Mosul city."

#3: Meanwhile, an official source from Ninewa police told VOI that an Iraqi lawyer, Faris Sadeeq, was seriously wounded on Sunday night when unknown gunmen driving a civilian vehicle attacked him in front of his house in Falasteen neighborhood, southeastern Mosul, and was taken to a nearby hospital.

#4: A member of the Kurdish security forces was wounded in an explosive charge attack that targeted his patrol in eastern Mosul, the second blast to hit the city on Monday, an official source said. "Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a Zirfani forces patrol in al-Faisaliya neighborhood, eastern Mosul, wounding a patrolman," the source, who preferred to remain unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq­- Voices of Iraq.

#5: A roadside bomb wounded three prison guards in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Nine Afghan civilians have been killed in a bomb explosion outside a US military base in the eastern province of Khost bordering Pakistan. A bomber detonated an explosive-laden car near the gates of the Salerno camp in Khost on Monday, killing 9 civilians and wounding 13 others, Afghan and US military officials said.

#2: Several militants were also killed Sunday when a group of insurgents attacked US-led forces during a search operation in the Tag Aab district of the north-eastern province of Kapisa province, a US military statement said. The troops responded to the insurgents’ attack with small-arms fire and airstrikes and recovered weapons and ammunition, it said.

#3: A helicopter of U.S.-led coalition forces made an emergency landing on Monday in Nangarhar province in the east, the U.S. military said, adding there was no report of injuries. It did not say why the aircraft made an emergency landing.

#4: The Interior Ministry said nine Afghan guards protecting a convoy of supplies for foreign forces were killed in a Taliban ambush on Sunday in Zabul province in the south.

#5: Several insurgents were killed during a clash with U.S.-led coalition forces in Kapisa province, near Kabul, on Sunday, the U.S. military said.

#6: Several militants were killed during a clash with Afghan and coalition troops in southeastern Paktika province on Sunday, the U.S. military said.

Quote of the day:

An Iranian arsenal could deter attack:

The writer of the letter "Why does Iran seek nuclear arsenal?" (Aug. 13) wonders why Iran would seek nuclear weapons. The reasons seem abundantly clear. America invaded Iraq on the false pretext that it had weapons of mass destruction. But America has not invaded any nation that had such weapons. Given talk in some quarters about an invasion of Iran, perhaps the Iranians believe it's better to really have such weapons to deter an invasion than to be accused of having them as a prelude to invasion.And given our shameless war of aggression in Iraq, such reasoning is quite hard to refute.
Robert Birt