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

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

War News for Wednesday, August 10, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier in an IED attack in a northwest neighborhood of Baghdad on Wednesday, August 13th. An Iraqi interpreter was also killed in the attack.

Taliban attacks Nato by choking supplies:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The U.S. army headquarters in northern Baghdad came under mortar shells attack, the U.S. forces' media advisor said on Wednesday. "The U.S. army headquarters in al-Kazemiya region in northern Baghdad was shelled or rocketed with no word on casualties," Abdellatif Rayan told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

Diyala Prv:
#1 A police officer was injured on Wednesday when an improvised explosive device went off in the south of Baaquba, a police source said. "An explosive charge went off targeting a police vehicle patrol in south of Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, injuring a police lieutenant," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#1: A suicide truck bomber targeted the mayor of a town near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Wednesday. The suicide bomber was driving a pickup truck that blew up near the convoy carrying Abdul-Karim Ali Nsaif, the chief administrative official of Multaqa, a Sunni town about 20 miles (35 kilometers) west of Kirkuk, the U.S. military said. Nsaif was on his way to work when the blast occurred, wounding him and three of his guards, said Kirkuk police Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir.

#1: A parked car bomb also struck a local market in the Qayara area south of the northern city of Mosul, killing at least one civilian and wounding six others, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

#2: Two civilians were injured by a bomb in al Zainjili area in west Mosul city on Wednesday morning.

#3: Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded by a parked car bomb that targeted their patrol in downtown Mosul city on Wednesday morning.

#4: The U.S. military said a suicide car bomber struck an Iraqi army patrol in the northern city of Mosul, killing an Iraqi soldier, two civilians and wounding 15 people.

#1: Two Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) soldiers are receiving specialist medical care for wounds suffered in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Oruzgan province early yesterday morning. The soldiers were travelling in a SOTG Bushmaster vehicle at the time of the incident. Defence spokesperson Brigadier Brian Dawson said one soldier was seriously wounded in the attack while the other suffered only slight wounds as a result of the IED blast. Neither of the soldiers suffered life-threatening wounds.

Afghan officials say a militant ambush south of Kabul targeted a U.S. aid organization's vehicle Tuesday, killing an American, a Canadian and an Irish national. Abdullah Khan, the provincial deputy counterterrorism director, says the three women worked for the New York-based International Rescue Committee and were attacked in Logar, one province south of Kabul.

#2: Insurgents killed three female international aid workers and their local driver in an ambush in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the provincial governor said. "They were traveling in a car towards Kabul," said Abdullah Wardak, the governor of Logar province south of Kabul where the incident took place. "Three foreign women employees of IRC (International Rescue Committee) and their local driver were killed in this ambush by the opposition forces," he said. "I do not know the identity of the foreigners."

#3: A suspected U.S. missile strike targeting an alleged militant gathering point killed at least nine people, including foreigners, in northwestern Pakistan, military and intelligence officials said Wednesday. At least four missiles struck a compound in a remote and mountainous area near Angore Adda in the South Waziristan tribal region late Tuesday, the officials told The Associated Press. The military official said at least nine people died. Two intelligence officials said between 22 and 25 people died, including Arabs, Turkmen and Pakistani militants in what they believed was a U.S. missile strike launched from Afghanistan.

#4: Several soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb which hit a convoy of NATO-led forces in southern Kandahar province on Wednesday, a provincial official said.

Roadside bombing targeting NATO convoy on Wednesday morning in southern Afghan province of Kandahar inflicted injuries on NATO soldiers, ISAF press office said. "It occurred in Kandahar-Herat highway in Jalai district where the convoy of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was on patrol and hit IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device)," an ISAF spokesman told Xinhua. "A small number of ISAF soldiers were injured," the spokesman said. Meanwhile, a witness refused to be named told Xinhua at the scene that at least two or three Canadian soldiers were injured in the explosion.

#5: Five police were killed and four wounded by a remote-controlled bomb in Helmand province on Tuesday, an official from the area said on Wednesday.

Five policemen were killed and four others were wounded when their vehicle hit IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) Tuesday night in southern Afghan province of Helmand, an official said on Wednesday. Dawud Ahmadi, the provincial spokesman, told Xinhua that the ill-fated policemen were patrolling by car in the Marja district late Tuesday night when their vehicle was struck by remote controlled IEDs.

#6: Police killed four Taliban insurgents in a clash in Uruzgan, southwest of Kabul, the interior ministry said.

Increased Taliban attacks on trucks carrying diesel and jet fuel to NATO bases across Afghanistan are choking vital supplies for the coalition forces, says a report in the ‘Financial Times’. It said in June, Taliban set upon a convoy of more than 50 tankers, setting fire to them about 64 kilometres south of Kabul. The eastern provinces of Zabul and Ghazni have been particularly badly hit by attacks on bridges, with local officials saying they have lost four bridges and around 30 culverts in the past three months. Matthew Leeming, a Kabul-based fuel trader, told the newspaper that it had become increasingly difficult to get convoys of essential goods through to more distant bases. “The Taliban’s new tactics of blowing bridges between Kabul and Kandahar, forcing convoys to slow down and become softer targets, is causing severe problems to companies trying to supply Kandahar from Kabul,” he said. NATO spokespeople say that the attacks on the alliance’s supply lines have not affected its operations, but this year it sought to open alternative routes from -central Asia, rather than rely on equipment coming in through Pakistan.

Nogovitsyn said the conflict had killed 74 Russian troops, wounded 171 and left 19 missing in action.

Georgia's Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili said Wednesday that 175 Georgians had died in five days of air and ground attacks that left homes in smoldering ruins. He said many died Tuesday in a Russian raid of Gori just hours before Medvedev declared fighting halted.

Among the returning Israelis was wounded journalist Tzadok Yehezkeli, who remains in serious but stable condition after suffering shrapnel wounds in a Russian attack that killed a Dutch journalist. Yehezkeli, who was covering the war between Russia and Georgia over Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, was hit by flying shrapnel when an artillery shell hit a convoy of reporters’ cars in the center of the city of Gori. Several other reporters were wounded in the attack.

Russian tanks have moved into the central Georgian city of Gori in apparent violation of a new ceasefire agreement, according to Georgian officials and eyewitnesses who reported black smoke rising over the town. Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili charged that as many as 50 tanks had rolled into town and were "attacking Gori." Russian military officials denied any fresh incursion. Eyewitnesses, including western journalists, said they saw at least 10 Russian tanks in the city. It was not clear what they were targeting, but smoke was rising from the general vicinity of a recently built military base. Constructed to NATO standards, the base had been abandoned by Georgian troops on Monday when they pulled back to Tbilisi to bolster defenses around the capital.

Georgian officials and U.S. officials said Tuesday night that Ossetian paramilitary forces were killing remaining civilians in Georgian villages near the South Ossetian-Georgian frontier and that Russian forces were failing to stop them despite entreaties from the authorities in Tbilisi. "It's bloodcurdling," one Western diplomat said.

Georgian positions in Abhkazia also came under attack Tuesday afternoon, and civilians and 600 Georgian police officers were driven out of the area.

Casualty Reports:

Army specialist David Mayer, 30, a military police officer was serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. He lost both legs in March when his patrol came under enemy attack.