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

Saturday, September 20, 2008

War News for Saturday, September 20, 2008

The DPA is reporting the death of a U.S. led coalition soldier in a roadside bomb attack in a southern province of Afghanistan on Saturday, September 20th. Two Afghani civilians were also killed in the attack. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Lt. Col. James L. Wiley died in a in a non-combat related incident at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on Thursday, September 18th. No other details were released.

The AFP is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing attack in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Saturday, September 20th. No other details were released.


Reported Security incidents:

Construction of Southern Iraqi Crude Pipeline to Iran at Standstill Amid Pipe Shortages:

'US seeks secret bases in Iraq':

US drones continue flights over Pak tribal areas despite warning:

Turkey to continue Iraq incursions:

Satellite images show Iraq ethnic clean-out:

Iraq reports up to 171 cholera cases:

A Modernized Taliban Thrives in Afghanistan:


Baghdad:
#1: A bomb blast outside Iraq's national journalists' union in central Baghdad wounded the union's head and three others on Saturday, an eyewitness said. The explosion apparently targeting Muaid al-Lami, head of the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate, caused no deaths. "Some vehicles outside caught fire and it shattered all the glass in the building," union member Hassan al-Aboudi, who was in the building at the time, told Reuters. Police said six people had been wounded in the blast. Aboudi said the bomb went off as the Lami was saying goodbye to guests at the entrance to the union. He was evacuated for treatment along with one guest and two of his body guards.


Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: Local police said a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol in the village of Imam Mansur near Balad Druz, killing a colonel and a captain.

#2: In Balad Ruz itself, one policeman was killed and four others were wounded when a mortar round exploded as they were filling up at a local petrol station, police said.


Basra:
#1: Iraqi officials say gunmen have killed a cleric loyal to U.S. foe Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra. Police say Sheik Oday Ali Abbas al-Ajrish was killed Friday evening near his home. A Basra police officer and a medic from the city's morgue confirmed the killing. They requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.


Mosul:
#1: The policeman was killed in skirmishes erupted on Saturday morning between his unit and an armed group in the al-Farouq Street in central Mosul, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Gunmen killed two policemen when they attacked their checkpoint in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Earlier, an Iraqi soldier was wounded when unknown gunmen showered with bullets his checkpoint in the al-Karaamah neighborhood in eastern Mosul, the source said.

#3: Separately, a roadside bomb detonated overnight near a convoy of trucks, carrying fuel and supplies for the U.S. army, while traveling in the al-Arabi neighborhood in northern Mosul, setting a fuel tanker ablaze and wounding its driver, he said.


Tal Afar:
#1: Police found two decomposed bodies in the town of Tal Afar, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.


Al Anbar Prv:
Haditha:
#1: "An improvised explosive device went off today near an Iraqi police patrol very close to the H3 refinery west of Haditha city, (250 km) west of Baghdad, killing one policeman and injuring three others," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq on customary condition of anonymity out of security concerns.

Hit:
#1: Meanwhile, the same source said that a hand grenade today targeted a police patrol in al-Debes area, central Hit city, wounding four men, including an officer in the city police.



Afghanistan:
#1: At least six people, including three soldiers, were killed Saturday when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into their convoy in Pakistan's restive tribal region along the Afghan border, an army spokesman said, dpa reported. "A suicide attack on army convoy at around 11:30 PST (05:300 GMT) at Eisha post while it was moving from Mir Ali area to Miranshah in tribal district of North Waziristan," Major Murad Khan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "Three soldiers and three civilians died in the attacks while five soldiers were injured," he added. However, a local security official claim the death toll was as high as 10.
Four army vehicles were destroyed and several other damaged in the blast.

#2: A patrol of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Saturday "reluctantly" shot and killed a civilian who failed to yield to warnings to stop in Sangin district of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, said an alliance statement. "The incident began when a civilian approached an ISAF foot patrol while the patrol gave verbal warnings asking for the civilian to stop," the statement said. "The patrol fired two warning shots after the ill-fated civilian ignoring the verbal warning," it said, "but the civilian still failed to stop."

#3: Five suspected Taliban insurgents were killed as they came in contact with Afghan government troops in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, the Afghan national defense ministry said here Saturday. "The battle occurred on Friday during which five rebels were killed and six others made captive," a press release of the ministry said.


Casualty Reports:

Chief Hospital Corpsman Robert J. White, 42, claims that on July 25, 2005, he took shrapnel in his hand during a massive mortar attack on his Marine company with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, a Reserve unit, in Hit, Iraq. He is a full-time support sailor, according to Navy records.

#2: Army Sgt. Michael C. Henning, 41, is recovering from wounds suffered during two of three tours of duty in Iraq, including a traumatic brain injury and nerve damage to his right shoulder. He spends his days undergoing rehabilitation and physical and occupational therapy at his home base of Ft. Stewart, Ga., while he waits to be awarded a Purple Heart. In December 2003, one day after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was captured, he was patrolling Baghdad. Members of Hussein's Baath Party shot at the Americans, wounding some civilians. Henning and his men were bandaging the wounded when they were struck by a grenade. Henning injured his right ankle and lost some of his hearing. In June (2007), his Humvee drove past a van when it exploded. "When we drove by, it turned orange real quick," he said. "Every single person that witnessed it thought we were dead." Miraculously, no one was injured, he said. Henning didn't realize how seriously he was injured at first, he said. He broke a rib but never knew it until several months later when it had already healed on its own. His shoulder and head hurt but he shrugged it off.

Kevin McCloskey, 21, ended up losing both of his legs because of an improvised explosive device. the months he spent in Afghanistan changed his life forever, both emotionally and physically.

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