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 20, 2008

War News for Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The DPA is reporting the death of a U.S.-led coalition soldier in a small arms attack in a western Province of Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 21st. No other details were released.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A civilian was killed and two more were wounded on Wednesday in a bomb explosion in northeastern Baghdad, said a police source."An improvised explosive device, planted by unknown gunmen on the main road in al-Suleikh region in northeastern Baghdad, was detonated, killing a civilian and injuring two others," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq on condition of anonymity.

#2: Around 2:30 p.m. gunmen attacked an Iraqi army vehicle in Ghazaliyah neighborhood injuring two soldiers.

#3: Two people were killed and four others wounded by a roadside bomb in northern Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Police patrols found on Wednesday three unidentified bodies in northeast of Baaquba, an official security source said."Police forces found three unknown decayed corpses during a security raid in a garden inside Sinsel village in Muqdadiya, northeast of Baaquba," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#1: Police found two bodies, including a woman, bearing signs of torture and bullet wounds south of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: "Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a man who is working as an engineer in Domiez neighborhood in southern Kirkuk, killing him instantly," Brigadier Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#1: Turkish troops fired a salvo of shells at Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq early on Wednesday, but it was unclear if there were any casualties, an Iraqi border guard said. Major-General Omar Sharif, head of operations for the border guards of Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdistan region, said the shelling started at 4.30 a.m. (0130 GMT). It targeted three areas on Iraq's mountainous border with Turkey, lasting about half an hour. There was no immediate comment from the Turkish military.

#1: Nine Taliban insurgents were killed on Wednesday in air strikes by international forces in eastern Afghanistan's Khost province, a provincial police spokesman said. "A group of insurgents attempted to target the employees of a road construction company in Alishir district this morning. The police identified the militants and contacted international troops that carried out air raids killing nine rebels on the spot," he said.

#2: At least 21 people were killed and 35 injured in tribal clashes in northwest Pakistan's Kurram tribal agency Wednesday. The clashes between Bangash and Turi tribesmen entered the 14th day Wednesday and both sides used artillery, mortar and automatic weapons against each other, Geo TV channel reported.

#3: Foreign troops killed 10 Taliban insurgents in an air raid in neighbouring Paktia, a provincial official said on Wednesday.

#4: A soldier from the U.S.-led coalition force was killed on Wednesday by small arms fire while on combat patrol in western Afghanistan, the military said separately.

#5: The body of a local driver for the French aid group ACTED who was kidnapped and then murdered on Tuesday was found in the northern province of Kunduz, the agency said on its Web site.

#6: A blast hit a convoy of Canadian soldiers from the NATO-led force in southern Kandahar on Wednesday, but it was not immediately clear if there were any casualties, an official said.

#7: The French army refused to comment Tuesday on a report that French soldiers were hit by North Atlantic Treaty Organization planes that had come to help them escape a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan which left 10 of their men dead. "Each thing in its proper time...there is a time for compassion, for solidarity...we will learn the lessons of this event," said army chief of staff General Elrick Irastorza. He was responding to a report in France's Le Monde newspaper that quoted French soldiers who had survived the ambush Monday near Kabul. The soldiers said that once they had fallen into the ambush they had to wait for four hours before any backup was sent. "We had no more ammunition for our other weapons and we were left only with our Famas (assault rifles)," one soldier, who wasn't named, was quoted as saying. When NATO planes finally arrived to help them they sometimes missed their target and hit French troops, the paper quotes the soldiers as saying.

#8: Two Finnish soldiers were injured in a road accident in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The Finnish Defence Forces said one of the soldiers was in intensive care with serious injuries whereas the other had sustained lighter injuries. An interpreter and the driver of the 4X4 also sustained injuries when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

#9: Pakistani officials say missiles have struck a suspected militant hideout near the Afghan border. Three intelligence officials told The Associated Press that the missiles destroyed a compound near Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal region, on Wednesday evening. Two of the officials said initial reports indicated that several people were killed. The third official said foreign militants were known to frequent the compound.

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Army Spc. James Nakamoto, was suddenly fired at by about seven insurgents, who had a superior position 75 yards away, hunkered behind the rubble of a ruined house that sat on a small rise. .It was during the 15-minute firefight — which Nakamoto said seemed like an hour — that the two were hit. “I took a round straight to the kneecap,” he said. According to medics, the round bounced off his tibia, hit his femur and severed his femoral artery. His friend, in the meantime, tried to pull Nakamoto to safety, but was also hit in the leg. Both were shot in the leg a second time.

Brett Hightower was injured Saturday in Afghanistan while deployed with the Kentucky National Guard.Hightower, a sergeant in the guard, was wounded in a small arms and rocket-propelled grenade attack at a forward operating base in Afghanistan, said Col. Phil Miller, spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs.“First Sgt. Hightower suffered a fractured jaw, abrasions and puncture injuries,” Miller said.