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, October 11, 2008

War News for Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oct. 8 airpower summary: (update)

25 killed in Sri Lankan fighting:

Four Kurdish rebels killed in Iran: report

Hawaii Guard soldier's death investigated The Army is investigating the death of a Hawaii Army National Guard soldier who died Thursday night after completing a six-mile run at a North Fort Hood training range in Texas.

Western Journalists Pulling Out Of Iraq:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: update The U.S. military says clashes have occurred overnight in the Shiite district of Sadr City and one American soldier has been wounded. A U.S. spokesman says fighting began at 11:10 p.m. Thursday when Shiite militants fired small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at U.S. and Iraqi forces in the northeast Baghdad area. Maj. Mark Cheadle says air support was called in as the Iraqi soldiers cleared homes and pursued the attackers. He says Iraqi forces suffered no casualties but one American soldier was wounded and is in stable condition.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Baladiyat, east Baghdad at noon, Saturday. One military vehicle was destroyed, according to Iraqi police. No comment was available from the U.S. military at time of publication.

Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: A roadside bomb targeted a group of workers in the brick plant in Beledruz, 45 km to the east of Baquba at 7.30 a.m. Saturday injuring four workers.

#1: One civilian was killed and another injured during a police raid in an orchard 4 km to the west of Baquba at around 12.45 p.m.

#1: “Armed clashes occurred between police personnel and members of family of the wanted person in Kut’s western neighborhood of al-Jihad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Gunmen shot a police officer at a checkpoint south of Hilla, some 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Al Jillam:
#1: Iraqi security forces killed two gunmen in a raid in al-Jillam, near Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iraqi security forces killed three suspected insurgents and detained 13 others in northern Iraq between Oct. 7 and Oct. 9, the U.S. military said in a statement.

#1: A Kurdish journalist was gunned down in the northern city of Kirkuk, Iraqi police said. A New York-based journalists' group said Saturday it was the 136th killing of a reporter since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq five years ago. Col. Taha al-Din of Kirkuk police said Diyar Abbas Ahmed, a journalist with Iraq Eye media, was assassinated Friday in the city center. Iraq Eye says on its Web site that it provides news, market research, public relations and other services.
Lateef Fatih Faraj, head of Kirkuk's journalist union, said Ahmed was 28 and unmarried. He said Ahmed worked with several media stations including Iraqiya TV and a television station sponsored by a Kurdish political party. Ahmed was leaving an art center in Kirkuk with a friend when three gunmen stopped them, Faraj said. The friend was not harmed.

#2: A local official on Saturday was wounded in an explosive charge attack that ripped through western Kirkuk, a police chief said. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a vehicle carrying the deputy director of Kirkuk’s Waqf (Endowments) department Mulla Mohammed Azad Khorshid in the western neighborhood of Tabba, wounding him, his wife and an escort,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A civilian and a gunman were killed while another civilian and a policeman were wounded in random firing in central Mosul city, a security source in Ninewa province said on Saturday. “Armed men opened random fire in the area of Souk al-Shaarin in central Mosul. A civilian and a gunman were killed while a policeman and a civilian were wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: An official in the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) survived an assassination attempt when two unidentified gunmen targeted his motorcade north of Mosul city on Saturday, a Ninewa police source said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire today at the convoy of Yahya Abad Mahjoub, an IIP member of the Ninewa provincial council, while heading for the IIP office in al-Sahel al-Aysar, al-Shurta neighborhood, north of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The attack left no casualties but severely damaged a convoy vehicle,” the source added.

Yahya Mahjoub, a member of the Nineveh provincial council, was uninjured in a roadside bomb attack in northern Mosul, police said. Iraqi police killed one suspect in the attack.

#3: Gunmen killed two Christians in al-Wahda neighbourhood and two in al-Mithaq neighbourhood, Friday evening.

#4: Gunmen attacked an off-duty policeman in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, wounding the policeman and killing a bystander. Another person was wounded, police said.

#1: Turkish war planes and artillery have pounded bases of the Kurdish separatist group PKK in a big operation in northern Iraq, the military said on Saturday. An army statement said Turkish planes and artillery attacked 31 PKK targets in northern Iraq's Hakurk region at about midnight on Friday. The operation was a success, it said. A PKK spokesman said the PKK suffered no casualties. Ahmed Danees, spokesman for the PKK in Iraq, said that new shelling had taken place in mountainous areas inside Iraq for about an hour on Saturday.

#1: An ISAF patrol was traveling to a base in Kabul city October 10 when a machine gun on one of the vehicles accidently discharged, slightly wounding three civilians. The first vehicle in the convoy was moving slowly and tried to overtake a civilian vehicle. The maneuver was not possible, and as the vehicle suddenly slowed down, the gunner was thrown forward onto his weapon, causing the accidental discharge in which the civilians were lightly injured.

#2: Afghanistan's intelligence service said Saturday it broke up a Taliban plot to attack the country's most notorious prison with a wave of suicide bombers. The thwarted attack on the Policharki prison on the outskirts of the capital, Kabul, was meant to free Taliban and criminal prisoners, the Afghan intelligence service said in a statement.

#3: In the latest fighting, U.S.led coalition troops killed four militants including two al Qaeda and Taliban commanders in Ghazni province on Friday, about 200 km (125) miles southwest of Kabul. Two other suspects were detained.

#4: Five Taliban insurgents were killed in an operation in the southern province of Kandahar, the U.S. military said in another statement.

#5: A suicide bombing targeting one vehicle of Afghan National Army (ANA) wounded at least six people including one soldier Saturday in Uruzgan province of southern Afghanistan, said a provincial police official. Juma Gul Humat, the provincial police chief told Xinhua that it occurred at around 12:30 a.m. (0800 GMT) when a suicide bomber with explosive materials strapped under clothes came by foot and blew himself near the ANA vehicle in Dihrawud district. "One ANA soldier and five other civilians were wounded on the spot," Humat said, "there is no report of death so far."

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Army Sgt. James T. Hackemer was critically injured in Iraq. On March 14, during his second tour in Iraq, Sgt. Hackemer's vehicle was caught in a roadside bombing. He and two other soldiers were severely injured in the blast, with Sgt. Hackemer ultimately losing both of his legs and suffering brain damage due to massive blood loss. His survival and recovery have been deemed highly remarkable by doctors and largely attributed to the quick actions of fellow soldiers at the scene. The other two injured soldiers also survived.

Bart Gutke was sent home from the Iraq in 2006, a 21-year-old with traumatic brain injury. He was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps a year later. Two years ago, he was traveling through darkness in a military vehicle in western Iraq at 50 mph when the driver attempted to cross a bridge he thought was still standing.They military vehicle fell 30 feet. There were broken bones, basic cuts and bruises, an Iraqi translator's ear was ripped off his face. Gutke was knocked unconscious. "I never in a million years thought that was the way I would get hurt," said Gutke, who was treated at a hospital in Germany before the military sent him back to the United States.