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, October 6, 2008

War News for Monday, October 06, 2008

Oct. 3 airpower summary:

Oct. 4 airpower summary:

Sources: Taliban split with al Qaeda, seek peace: (?)

Taliban, Afghan officials meet in Saudi Arabia, but deny peace talks held:

Iraq reports more than 400 cholera cases:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Unidentified gunmen on Monday detonated the house of a displaced family in al-Jamea neighborhood, western Baghdad, leaving no casualties, Iraqi security sources said. "Iraqi army forces had occupied the house but when they left it, the armed men detonated it," a police source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: An improvised explosive device went off near a Turkish truck in northern Mosul on Monday, leaving no casualties, an official source in the Iraqi army said. "The IED targeted a Turkish truck in al-Rashidiya area, northern Mosul city, causing severe damage to the vehicle but leaving no casualties," the source told Aswat al-Iraq.Mosul, the capital city of Ninewa, lies 405 km north of Baghdad.

#2: A merchant was killed inside his store by unidentified gunmen in western Mosul city on Monday, a police source in Ninewa said. "The gunmen stormed the shop in the area of al-Bursa, western Mosul, shot down the owner and escaped to an unknown place," the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#3: A policeman was killed and another wounded in an armed attack by an unidentified group on a security patrol in western Mosul city on Monday, a police source in the province said. "Unidentified gunmen in a vehicle opened fire today at a police patrol in the western Baghdad area of al-Zanjili, killing one policeman and injuring another," the source told Aswat al-Iraq. "After the incident, other policemen fired back at the gunmen who managed to escape to an unknown place," the source added.

Northern Iraq:
#1: The Turkish military says its warplanes have bombed a Kurdish rebel hideout in northern Iraq. The military says the warplanes bombed Avasin Basyan region of northern Iraq on Monday. It was the second such aerial attack on rebel bases in northern Iraq since the rebels killed 15 Turkish soldiers in an attack on Friday. The military says in a statement that all warplanes returned safely to their bases.

#1: Suspected militants fired rockets at the home of the top provincial official in northwestern Pakistan, the latest in a surge of attacks that have rocked the lawless region bordering Afghanistan.

#2: Security forces killed six Islamic militants in an overnight operation in north-western Pakistan officials said on Monday. Troops killed the six insurgents on Sunday during a raid on a house in the Khazana area of the troubled Bajaur tribal district near the Afghan border, Major Murad Khan, a military spokesman, said. The militants were disguised as personnel of the Frontier Corps (FC) paramilitary force which has been leading a major offensive against al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Bajaur since early August.

#3: A suicide bomber killed 12 people and wounded a Pakistani opposition politician on Monday in the latest attack to underscore the threat posed by Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. The attacker blew himself up in a crowd of people at the house of Rashid Akbar Nowani, an MP from the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in the town of Bhakkar in Punjab province, police and hospital officials said. The MP was among at least 53 injured people brought to the local hospital, some of them in serious condition, doctor Chaudhry Ahsan-ul-haq said.

Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Luis Rosa-Valentin lost both of his legs and his left arm are gone. The 25-year-old soldier needs a hearing aid for his left ear, and a cochlear implant will soon be placed in his right. He has no sense of smell. Luis' right arm, his only remaining limb, is also a symbol of loss. The bomb went off on April 21, 2008, two days before Luis turned 25. Besides the damage to his limbs, the concussion of the bomb broke every bone in his face. After being taken to the base, he was pumped with 26 units of blood, about two times what is needed in the human body. When they ran out, anyone with O-positive blood was ordered to go to the clinic, and the new samples were taken and put in so fast that they were still warm when they flowed into the IV. He went into a two-week coma, and had a constant 105-degree fever and infections. It wasn't just the steel that presented a problem _ the streets, filled with blood, urine, feces, and rotting food, turned the shrapnel that pierced his body into a petri dish.

Cpl. Michael Farrah, 23 suffered head injuries when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in southern Afghanistan. Farrah suffered a fracture to the right side of his skull, his sister said. Farrah was on a routine mission in the district of Maiwand, about 45 kilometres west of Kandahar City.