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

Friday, October 24, 2008

War News for Friday, October 24, 2008

Oct. 22 airpower summary:

Surge in Iraqi immigration expected:

Yorkshire regiment soldier dies after training for Iraq:

General Sees More Troop Cuts in Anbar:

Gunmen kidnap up to 15 in Russia's Ingushetia:

U.S. to target Taliban drug traffic:

Mideast weather roundup:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The Quick Reaction Force (QRF) on Friday killed a gunman and arrested another one, both holding the Iranian nationality, during clashes in south of Kut, the commander of the 2nd brigade of the QRF said. “The forces killed and detained the two Iranians during clashes that broke out in Sheikh Saad district in south of Kut,” Major Aziz Latief told Aswat al-Iraq.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: One Iraqi soldier was killed and two others were wounded when gunmen attacked a checkpoint near Tuz Khurmato, 170 km (105 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Three suspected militants were also killed.

#1: update Turkey's military said Friday that its air strikes in northern Iraq last week killed 25 Kurdish rebels and wounded many more. Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Metin Gurak cited intelligence reports for the casualty figures from the Oct. 17 attacks on Qandil Mountain รข€” an area where Kurdish rebels are said to train and where their leadership is believed to be in hiding. There was no immediate comment from the rebels, and the figures could not be verified independently.

#1: The U.S.-led coalition says its troops have killed three insurgents and detained four others during a raid in eastern Afghanistan. The coalition says in a statement they killed the insurgents after a firefight in Paktika province on Thursday.

#2: Five children were killed and two injured when they set off a mortar round in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal district close to the Afghan border, media reports said on Friday. The children, all aged between 8 and 11, found the munition in a field on Thursday and brought it to their home in the district's Azam Warsak area, the English-language Dawn newspaper reported.

#3: Armed tribesmen on Thursday torched two trucks which were carrying smuggled flour into Afghanistan via South Waziristan. According to sources, two trucks carrying flour came under attack by armed men near Angoor Adaa. They seized the flour and distributed it among the tribesmen. Later, trucks were set on fire.

#4: update (?) Missiles fired by the US have killed at least 11 students of a religious seminary in North Waziristan, witnesses say. The school, in North Waziristan, is close to the residence of Taliban leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, witnesses told the BBC Urdu Service. At least two missiles, reportedly fired by pilotless US drones, hit the school early on Thursday. ISPR spokesman Maj. Gen Athar Abbas has confirmed the incident however he said the number of casualties could not be ascertained as yet. The US has made no comment.

For the first time since U.S. pilotless planes began attacking Pakistani territories from across the border with Afghanistan a hail of surface-to-surface missiles were used to hit a suspected target on Thursday early morning. Earlier reports suggested that UAVs had fired rockets village of Dande Darpakhel on a suspected site where American believed that Mullah Jallaluddin Haqqani and son Sirajuddin Haqqani were hiding. However defence experts now believe that the attack was carried out by surface-to-surface missiles which landed nearby the original targets. At least three missiles were fired into a Pakistani village near the Afghan border early Thursday morning at around 1.16 am. One missile hit a room of a nearby madrassa where young students were sleeping.

#5: Bodies of two men were found in North Waziristan, a militant sanctuary on the Afghan border to the southwest of Bajaur. Residents said the two were killed after militants accused them of spying for the United States.

Once again it's a very slow news day out of Iraq. I'm not sure if it's because it's the Sabbath of of the blowing sand reported through the Mideast weather roundup. I'll update the list later if needed. -- whisker