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, September 15, 2008

War News for Monday, September 15, 2008

The Telegraph is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an explosion near Kajaki, in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Saturday, September 13th. Here's the official MoD release.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a second Multi-National Division - Center soldier in of non-combat related causes in an undisclosed location in Iraq Sunday, September 14th. No other details were released.

Sept. 13 airpower summary:

Sept. 14 airpower summary:

Pakistan troop fire turns back U.S. helicopters: (see below)

Gates foresees narrower US combat role in Iraq:

Georgian defeat tarnishes Israel, spells trouble ahead:

With White House Push, U.S. Arms Sales Jump:

Row over Kurdish fighters in Iraq escalates:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi police and hospital officials say car bombs have killed five civilians in a central commercial district of Baghdad. The officials say two cars packed with explosives also wounded 15 others Monday in the capital's Karradah neighborhood. They say that one of the bombs went off at a restaurant near the Karradah courthouse and the other near a passport office. The hospital official says that five women were among the injured.

Two car bombs killed 12 people and wounded 34 others in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Monday, police said. The bombs detonated in quick succession in the district of Karrada in central Baghdad, police said.

The attacks took place near a courthouse in the Karrada district at around 11.45am local time.

#2: satellite TV station al-Arabiya reported that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad in an unexpected visit, coming the day before General David Petraeus, head of coalition forces in Iraq, is set to leave his post.

#3: Two bodies were found bearing gunshot wounds in Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb wounded two policemen and one civilian on Sunday in Mansour district, western Baghdad, police said.

#5: Police found three dead bodies, one in Sadr, one in Adel, one in Shuala.

Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: At least 20 people were killed in a suicide bombing in a home northeast of Baghdad on Monday, a senior Iraqi commander said. Many of the dead were police. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim al-Rubaie, the military commander of operations in Diyala province, said that 20 people died and 30 were wounded in the evening attack in Balad Ruz, 45 miles (70 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad. A police officer said the attacker was a woman. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Another security official said the bomber targeted the house of a former police commissioner who had been detained in Camp Bucca, a US-run prison, for one year and was released earlier on Monday. At the time of the explosion, the detainee was hosting relatives and friends at a banquet.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two militants accidentally blew themselves up while trying to plant a roadside bomb in Rutba, 360 km (225 miles) west of Baghdad, local district chief Qassim al-Kubaisi said.

#1: Firing by Pakistani troops forced U.S. military helicopters to turn back to Afghanistan after they crossed into Pakistani territory early on Monday, Pakistani security officials said.
The incident took place near Angor Adda, a village in the tribal region of South Waziristan where U.S. commandos in helicopters raided a suspected al Qaeda and Taliban camp earlier this month. "The U.S. choppers came into Pakistan by just 100 to 150 meters at Angor Adda. Even then our troops did not spare them, opened fire on them and they turned away," said one security official. The U.S. and Pakistani military both denied that account, but Angor Adda villagers and officials supported it. Another security official said on Monday that U.S. armored vehicles were also seen moving on the Afghan side of the border, while U.S. warplanes were seen overhead. He said Pakistani soldiers sounded a bugle call and fired in the air, forcing the helicopters to return to Afghan territory. Military spokesman Major Murad Khan confirmed that there had been shooting. But he said the American helicopters had not crossed into Pakistani airspace and Pakistani troops were not responsible for the firing. "The U.S. choppers were there at the border, but they did not violate our airspace," Khan said. "We confirm that there was a firing incident at the time when the helicopters were there, but our forces were not involved."

#2: Security forces struck suspected militant hideouts in northwest Pakistan, killing 32 people, including three women, an official said Monday. The attack Sunday came in the latest round of a bloody military offensive that has reportedly killed hundreds of people in recent weeks in the Bajur tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

#3: The bodies of three officers of USPI security company of US, kidnapped by the Talibs on 12 September near city of Balaboyuk of Farah province of Afghanistan have been found on 14 September morning.

#4: A roadside bomb killed two people in western Afghanistan on Monday in the same province where insurgents also attacked two Americans training the police force, officials said. The target of the attack was the chief of Shindand district of the western Herat province, said Rauf Ahmadi, the region's police spokesman. The bomb was placed on a motorbike and missed the district chief but killed two people, including his son, who was ridding in a separate vehicle. Ahmadi said. Seven other people were wounded.

#5: Separately, gunmen fired on a vehicle carrying two Americans involved in training Afghan police, as they traveled from Islam Qala, the border point between Afghanistan and Iran also in Herat province, said the provincial border police chief Rahmatullah Safi. The American's were not harmed in the Monday attack, but their bulletproof vehicle was damaged, Safi said.

#6: Taliban in Pakistan freed 25 security personnel from their prison in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, the News Network International (NNI) news agency reported. The NNI quoted a Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan as saying that the security men had been freed as a goodwill gesture to the negotiation between elders and the government officials to end fighting in the area.