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, August 19, 2008

War News for Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of ten French ISAF soldiers in an ambush in the Surobi district, Kabul Province, Afghanistan on Monday, August 18th. 21 other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here is the NATO-ISAF statement.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division – Center Soldier in a rocket attack on a FOB near near Amarah on Tuesday, August 19th.

Costs up for National Guard training overhaul:

Big Three Block Iran Attack: (chuckle, this is a bad commentary piece.)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The central Baghdad al-Wasti hospital received one body and four wounded people, the casualties from an improvised explosive device attack in eastern Baghdad, a medic from the al-Rasafa health department said. "The body and the four injured people were from the bomb blast in the area of al-Ubaidy in the eastern part of the Iraqi capital," the source, who did not want to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#2: One civilian man was killed when a sticky improvised explosive device emplaced by unidentified gunmen under his vehicle went off in southern Baghdad on Tuesday, an Iraqi police source said. The man's vehicle was parked in central al-Zaafaraniya district, southern Baghdad, when the IED went off right after the man boarded his vehicle. He was killed instantly," the source, who preferred not to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#3: Iraqi security forces killed one gunman and arrested 14 wanted men in separate areas of Baghdad over the past 24 hours, the Baghdad's operations command said on Tuesday.

#4: Four gunmen men in a white sedan opened fire upon a checkpoint manned by National Police on Mohammed al-Qassim highway, central Baghdad at 1 p.m. killing one policeman, injuring three. The gunmen have been captured and taken into custody.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Iraqi soldiers stormed the governor's office in the restive province of Diyala before dawn on Tuesday, killing his secretary and firing on local police, the governor told AFP. The incident in the provincial capital Baquba, which occurred about 2 am (2300 GMT Monday), sparked clashes between the soldiers and local security forces which governor Raad Rasheed Mulla Jawad said had caused casualties. "During the night, Iraqi forces from Baghdad burst into the provincial council building," arriving in Humvee armoured vehicles, said Jawad, whose province northeast of the capital remains one of Iraq's most dangerous areas. "They were hitting everyone. They disarmed the guards and killed my secretary Abbas al-Tamimi," he said, adding that the soldiers also arrested Hussein al-Zubaidi, head of the provincial council's security committee. "They took cars, mobile phones, money and then left," Jawad said, adding that an investigation had been launched to identify the culprits. The governor said the soldiers also raided the home of Baquba university's rector who was likewise arrested.

A source at the governor's office said four policemen and two civilians were wounded in the fighting before the raiding force withdrew.

After the force left the governor's office it clashed with Iraqi army and police units in the provincial capital Baquba. A source at the governor's office said four policemen and two civilians were wounded in the fighting before the raiding force withdrew.

#1: Police found 20 decomposed bodies buried in an orchard in Abu Tuma village, al-Khalis 15 km to the north of Baquba at 3.30 p.m.

#1: A civilian was killed and three more from the same family were injured in a bomb explosion in Muqdadiya, a security source said on Tuesday.“An explosive device went off in al-Dabab village in Muqdadiya, northeast of Baaquba, killing a civilian and injuring three, all from the same family,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#1: The headquarters of the 38th brigade of the 10th division of the Iraqi army was rocketed on early Tuesday, an Iraqi army source said. "The head quarters of the 38th brigade of the 10th division in al-Betiera airport, north of Amara, came under fire from 20 Katyusha rockets," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. "The rocket landed in the vicinity of the airport," he added. "The forces opened fire on the area where the rockets were launched from," he also said, without more details.

Irbil Prv:
#1: The U.S. army in Iraq denied on Tuesday that its forces killed two civilians in Makhmour district, northern Iraq, adding the two men were suspected of having conducted military operations against security forces."The U.S. forces tried on Monday to stop a vehicle boarding two suspects, who declined to submit to the soldiers' instructions. The service men then opened fire at the vehicle, killing the two men inside," Abdellatif Rayan, the U.S. army's media adviser, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: A father (55) and son (20) were killed by light arms fire from a police patrol near Daibaka, between Kirkuk and Erbil late Monday. The police are still investigating the incident.

#1: Four people, including two Kurdish security agency (Asayesh) personnel, were wounded on Tuesday when a car bomb went off near a security patrol in the district of Talkeef, north of Mosul city, police said. "The explosive vehicle, parked on the roadside in central Talkeef, went off right when an Asayesh patrol was passing by in the area, wounding two Kurdish security men and two others," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#2: A mortar shell landed on the building of al-Iraqia and al-Mosuliya satellite channels in eastern Mosul without causing any casualties, a police source said.“A mortar shell hit the building that hosts the two satellite channels in al-Karama neighborhood in eastern Baghdad without causing any casualties,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Also Monday, a suicide car bomber blasted a police checkpoint in the western city of Ramadi, killing seven policemen, an official said. The suicide bombing happened about 9:15 p.m. in the Tamim area about three miles west of downtown Ramadi, capital of Anbar province 70 miles west of Baghdad. Ten people — six policemen and four civilians — were wounded in the blast, according to police Maj. Gen. Tariq Youssef.

#1: A coalition interpreter was killed and a Canadian soldier and an Afghan child were injured in the Panjwayi district west of Kandahar city early Tuesday when a suicide bomber attacked a busy market. Witnesses say a Toyota Corolla exploded near a group of Afghan National Police and members of the Canadian forces who were conducting a foot patrol on the outskirts of Bazar-e-Panjwayi.

#2: Ten French soldiers were killed in battles with the Taliban near the Afghan capital, a French presidency source said Tuesday, as troops thwarted a second attack on a key US military base in as many days. Military officials in Kabul said the fierce clashes started with an attack Monday on an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrol in Sarobi district, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the capital Kabul. The French source, who requested anonymity, said the soldiers were killed following a "Taliban ambush". Details could not be released until the fighting was over, it said. An Afghan military officer said earlier, on condition of anonymity, that 10 ISAF soldiers were killed and another 20 were wounded in the fighting in Sarobi. Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi would not comment on ISAF casualties but said at least 13 attackers, including a Pakistani national, had been killed.

#2: Meanwhile, a team of suicide bombers tried unsuccessfully to storm a U.S. military base near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in a daring attack on a major American installation. In the attack on the U.S. base just a few miles from the border with Pakistan, militants failed to gain entry to Camp Salerno in Khost city after launching waves of attacks just before midnight on Monday, said Arsallah Jamal, the governor of Khost. Soldiers on the ground, fighter aircraft and helicopters chased the retreating militants. NATO said its forces identified the attackers about 1,000 yards outside of the base perimeter and launched helicopter gunships. Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, said Afghan soldiers, aided by U.S. troops, chased and surrounded a group of insurgents, and that six militants blew themselves up when cornered. Seven other militants died in those explosions and a rolling gun battle, he said.

Casualty Reports:

Staff Sergeant Nick Bradley, 25, is recuperating at a hospital in Washington after he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. The bomb took the life of a passenger in the vehicle. He was hurt August 3rd when he was driving the last unit of a three-vehicle convoy through a suburb of Kabul and a roadside explosive detonated.

Trenton Walter, 21, is recovering in an Afghanistan hospital, according to his father. The U.S. Marine was hurt during a firefight with the Taliban, when his crew hit two improvised explosive devices. He was injured in Afghanistan on Friday. "He received shrapnel to his left side and left arm, he has a concussion and a laceration to his right eye," the sheriff said. "He was wearing his safety glasses. They probably saved his eyes."

Corporal Josh Hoffman made it through two tours of duty unharmed, but on his third tour he was hit by sniper fire in Iraq. He's now, a quadriplegic.