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, October 30, 2008

War News for Thursday, October 30, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Coalition force Soldier in a non-combat incident in south of Mosul on Wednesday, October 29th. No other details were released.

Oct. 28 airpower summary:

Auditors: Private security in Iraq cost over $6B:

Analysis: Bush foreign-policy goals largely unmet: (wow, but who would have ever imagined)

Exxon Mobil breaks profit record, earns $14.8 billion (how shocking)

BBC: In pictures: Kabul blast:

Nowhere to hide in the marshes of Iraq:

Thunder of battle in Afghanistan creates hidden army of casualties: British regiments serving in the mixed desert and fertile terrain of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan have fired millions of rounds of ammunition during hundreds of clashes with the Taleban in the past two years. The statistics of the war in Helmand already make grim reading: 121 members of the Armed Forces have died, 94 of them killed in action. About 500 have been injured in battle, 150 of them categorised as “very seriously” or “seriously” wounded, and 34 have suffered amputations, mostly as a result of roadside bombs and landmine explosions. The Times has unearthed startling statistics on hearing problems through a series of Freedom of Information requests....

Remains of ND native killed in Iraq recovered:

NY Times: Funeral of Sand and Fog: (Iraq from the inside)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi police have raised the death toll from a bombing in eastern Baghdad to six, with another 17 people wounded. The blast occurred Wednesday evening when a roadside bomb planted near a stall selling ice cream exploded near a police patrol on Palestine Street in the Iraqi capital. First reports said two people were killed but police are now raising the death toll to six, all of them civilians.

#2: In a separate incident, two policemen and three civilians were injured by a roadside bomb explosion near a police patrol in Baghdad southeastern neighborhood of Fdhiliyah. The blast also damaged one of the police patrol vehicle and several nearby civilian cars, he added.

#3: A car bomb exploded Thursday near a market in north Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five, police said. U.S. and Iraqi troops sealed off the area near the Tobchi market shortly after the blast, which occurred about 11 a.m.

#1: A Kurdish policeman on Thursday was injured in a car bomb explosion that occurred in the east of Tikrit city, Iraqi police said. “Today, a car rigged with explosives targeted a number of oil tankers belonging to the Kurdish security forces in Albo Ajeil village (15 km east of Tikrit), wounding a Kurdish policeman,” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq. The explosion caused damage to three of the trucks, which were heading to northern Iraq, the source added.

#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up inside the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture on Thursday, killing at least three people, officials and witnesses said. The Taliban claimed responsibility. The bomber shot two police officers outside the ministry building in the center of Kabul before entering the large hall inside, where he blew himself up, said Abdul Jabar, a security guard near the ministry building. It was unclear whether the officers died of their injuries. Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said three militants stormed the building by throwing hand grenades at the guards at the main gate. One carried out the suicide attack and the other two fled, he told The Associated Press. It was impossible to immediately verify the details of Mujahid's claim. At least three people were killed in the attack, said Ali Shah Ahmadzai, Kabul's deputy police chief. Another 12 people were wounded in the explosion, said Abdul Fahim, the spokesman for the health ministry.

Five people were killed in the attack, according to a statement from President Hamid Karzai's office. Another 21 were wounded in the explosion, said Abdul Fahim, the spokesman for the Health Ministry, which supervises the hospitals where the injured were taken.

#2: A 21-year-old Danish soldier has been shot and wounded while patrolling in Afghanistan, the country's military has confirmed. On Thursday, Denmark's Army Operational Command (HOK) said in a statement that a unit patrolling the Green Zone in southern Helmand province had come under fire, AFP reported. The patrol engaged in a gunfight, as a result of which the soldier was shot and injured. Based on the report the soldier was then moved to the Camp Bastion military hospital by helicopter.

#3: In another incident, four Afghan police were killed and one was wounded Thursday when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in the Dand district of the southern province of Kandahar, Matiullah Qaneh, the provincial police chief, said.

#4: An air strike by foreign troops killed seven Taliban insurgents on Wednesday in Ghazni province which lies to the southwest of Kabul, an official from the area said.

#5: Local tribesmen in northwestern Pakistan's tribal region on Thursday opened fire at the suspected U.S. drones, and forced them return back to Afghanistan, local television reported. The U.S. drones made flights in different parts of North Waziristan tribal agency, and the tribesmen targeted drones with heavy and automatic weapons and forced them to go back Afghanistan, local Geo TV said.