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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

War News for Thursday, September 25, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier in a suicide bombing in Diyala Province on Wednesday, September 24th. No other details were released.

Sept. 23 airpower summary:

Iran to launch satellite carrier rocket to space:

House approves $612B defense bill with military pay raise:

Violence up in Baghdad: Iraqi army:

Iraq hunts for al-Qaeda gunmen: (article on yesterdays Baquba ambush)

Iraq’s Health Ministry is reporting a total of 327 confirmed cholera cases in central and southern Iraq since an outbreak of the disease last month.

Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations:

COLUMN-Socialism U.S.-style and Ronald Reagan: Bernd Debusmann:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb wounded six people, including one soldier, in the Zaafaraniya district of southeast Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed a civil servant in a drive-by shooting in southeast Baghdad, police said.

Gunmen shot an employee in the Ministry of Municipalities and Works on the main road of al-Rashid Camp at 8 a.m. Thursday.

#3: A roadside bomb near a police patrol wounded at least three civilians in eastern Baghdad, police said.

A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol near al-Shaab Stadium in east Baghdad wounding three civilians.

#4: The U.S. army in Iraq denied on Thursday that its forces wounded Iraqi civilians by random fire in eastern Baghdad. “The U.S. forces did not randomly shoot any civilians in al-Fadieliya region in eastern Baghdad,” Abdellatif Rayan, the U.S. army's media adviser, told Aswat al-Iraq, describing such news as bare of truth. A police source had said yesterday that seven civilians were wounded by U.S. random fire when an explosive charge went off targeting the forces in eastern Baghdad.

#5: An IED placed in a dumpster near Maysaloon Square, east Baghdad exploded at noon Thursday wounding three civilians.

#6: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in al-Rabae Street the thoroughfare in al-Jamia neighbourhood, western Baghdad injuring four people including one policeman.

#7: A roadside bomb targeted civilians near al-Samarrai Mosque in Amil, southeast Baghdad at six p.m. Thursday killing two, including one child, injuring five, also including one child.

#8: Three unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police; one in Karrada, one in Palestine Street and one in Doura.

Diyala Prv:
#1: update Iraqi police on Thursday raised the death toll in an ambush against Iraqi forces raiding a Sunni village northeast of Baghdad to 35, most of whom were police commandos sent to the area as part of a U.S.-backed military crackdown. A police officer in the provincial military operation center said 27 policemen were killed, raising the total to 35. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted civilians in al-Kharab village, 4 km to the south of Baquba at 5.30 p.m. killing three people including one female, all from one family.

#1: Policemen found unknown civilian body in the wee small hours of Thursday morning in northern Wassit, a security source said. “A police force found the body in al-Dabouni district in north of Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.“The blind-folded body bore signs of torture and was sent to the forensic medicine department in al-Zahraa hospital in Kut,” he added.

#1: The Iraqi army killed three gunmen in the district of Sinjar on Thursday, 390 km (240 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Brigadier-General Khalid Abdul Sattar, the spokesman for Iraqi military operations in Nineveh province said.

#1: One civilian was killed and three others wounded when gunmen attacked a police patrol with rocket-propelled grenades in western Mosul 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Four civilians were killed or wounded in a missile attack in western Mosul city, a security source said on Thursday. "An RPG attack launched by gunmen from alleys in Bab Sinjar area, western Mosul, on a police patrol vehicle left one civilian killed and three others wounded, who were close to the scene," the source told Aswat al-Iraq. "None of the patrolmen was injured," the source noted, adding that one of the civilians was seriously wounded and another had his leg cut off.

#2: Three insurgents from the al Qaeda-linked group the Islamic State of Iraq killed themselves when police raided their house in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, Defence Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said. They included an Iraqi man, Malik Mohammed al-Jabouri, who Askari said was a senior commander of the group in Mosul. They died when a Saudi Arabian fighter amongst the three detonated his suicide vest.

#1: Helicopter gunships Thursday pounded militant positions in northwest Pakistan along the Afghan border, leaving 14 Taliban rebels dead. “According to preliminary reports, at least 14 miscreants were killed and numerous injured in today’s shelling,” a security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, using the term Pakistani officials employ to refer to militants.

#2: On Wednesday, intense fighting in Bajaur resulted in the death of seven troops and 25 militants, military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said. Dozens of fighters attacked the troops stationed at a government school building in the Rashakai area. The two sides exchanged rocket and mortar fire during the hours-long fighting, after which military helicopters and jets bombarded the militants.

#3: In one attack, a remote-controlled bomb blew up a police vehicle near the southern border town of Spin Boldak late Wednesday, killing two border policemen, Kandahar province police chief Mutiullah Khan told AFP.

#4: Another remote-controlled bomb blew up early Thursday in the nearby city of Kandahar and killed a civilian man who was crossing a road, a policeman at the scene said. The explosives, fixed to a bicycle, were detonated as a minibus carrying police trainers to work was passing, said the policeman, Gul Mohammad. The vehicle was only slightly damaged.

#5: NATO says Pakistani troops fired at their helicopters patrolling eastern Afghanistan, but no damage is reported. In a statement, NATO says its helicopters did not cross into Pakistan's airspace when they came under fire near Tanai district of Khost province.

Casualty Reports:

staff sergeant Chuck Isaacson, 29, was paralyzed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. For Isaacson, a flight engineer on a Chinook helicopter, Feb. 18, 2007, was a regular day transporting service members from one spot to another in southern Afghanistan. But the aircraft suffered a mechanical failure during a snowstorm and the Chinook crashed, killing eight of the 22 people aboard. Isaacson woke up hanging outside the wreckage by his harness and realized he couldn't move his legs. Lying in 10 inches of snow, he waited several hours for help to arrive. He was the only flight crew member to survive. Isaacson's lungs collapsed, and his injuries included a broken leg, broken ribs, broken neck and three fractures in his back. Doctors fused his spine from near the top of his neck to his lower back. Months of rehabilitation followed. Now Isaacson, who is paralyzed from the waist down.

Cpl Joshua Hoffman, USMC 1st BN 24th Marine Regiment-Michigan was hit by sniper fire in Iraq in 2007 on his 3rd tour of duty. The sniper’s bullet severed his spinal cord at the base of his neck and left him a quadriplegic. After over a year in the hospital Josh still faces months, if not years, of physical rehabilitation and therapy as he strives to regain movement in his upper body and develop his language skills.