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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

War News for Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Russian Sees U.S. Caught in Afghan Deja Vu:

What Americans aren't saying about Iraq:

Attack on Iran Off the Table?

A New Breed Grabs Reins in Anbar:

Taliban orders mobile shutdown in Afghan province:

Iraqi Shi'ite says Maliki wary of U.S. pact:

Kazakhstan withdraws soldiers from Iraq:

Cleaning Up Iraqi Nuclear Facilities, Radioactive Waste: (here's a very good article)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Three electricity workers and an Iraqi soldier were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. “An IED blast targeted a vehicle of electricity workers and another of the Iraqi army on Falastine street, near al-Mustansiriya square, wounding three of the workers and one Iraqi soldier,” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: In a sign of the continuing threat, a bomb targeting a police patrol exploded Tuesday in eastern Baghdad, wounding two civilians, Iraqi police said.

#3: A salvo of seven mortars struck Saidiya neighbourhood of southern Baghdad, wounding five people, police said.

#4: One dead body was discovered in Baghdad, police said.

#1: Nine decomposed bodies were found on Monday in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. The victims had been buried for more than a year.

Jurf Al Sakhar:
#1: Fifteen people were killed and 40 others injured in fierce clashes which erupted overnight and continued sporadically till noon in an area southwest of Iraq, an Interior Ministry source said Tuesday. The deadly clashes occurred when people from the city of Ramadi, capital of western Anbar province, attacked people from Babel province near the Jurf al-Sakhar area, some 60 km southwest of Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity. The battle, which erupted due to a disaccord between the two sides over rural lands, also resulted in the damaging of several houses and civilian cars, the source said.

#1: Unidentified gunmen blew up a drinking water station east of the district of al-Dalouiya, a source from Salah al-Din police said on Tuesday. “The gunmen planted several explosive charges around the Kbeiba water station east of Dalouiya, (90 km) north of Baghdad, last night destroying it completely,” Maj. Ali Hussein al-Juburi told Aswat al-Iraq. “The station was in its final stages of constructions and was planned to provide 200 cubic meters of potable water for four villages that lie 15 km from the River Tigris, east of Dalouiya,” Juburi said. “After destroying the station, the gunmen emplaced four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the road near the project. One of them went off near a civilian vehicle, wounding the driver and destroying his vehicle,” he said.

#1: Armed clashes erupted on Tuesday between gunmen and army soldiers in al-Siddiq neighborhood, eastern Mosul. The clashes resulted in the injury and arrest of a gunman, who turned out to be an amir (leader) of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq group,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: Police said they found one unidentified dead body with gunshot wounds to the head and chest in the northern city of Mosul.

Tal Afar:
#1: Iraqi security forces on Tuesday seized a car bomb and arrested the bomber in Talafar district, a military source said. “Iraqi security forces seized a car rigged with explosives in northern Talafar, west of Mosul, and arrested a bomber inside it,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. He did not provide further details.

#1: A U.S. navy patrol plane was destroyed Tuesday when it overshot the runway while landing at a base north of the Afghan capital, but none of the crew was seriously hurt, the U.S. military said. "A Navy P-3 Orion airplane overshot the runway surface while landing at Bagram Air Field. The airplane sustained serious structural and fire damage," a military statement said. One crew member suffered a broken ankle. The incident was under investigation, it said.

#2: Two journalists were injured when a bomb went off in southwestern Pakistan on Monday, according to official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP). The bomb was planted with a gas geyser outside the offices of local newspapers in Universal Complex in Quetta, capital city of Balochistan province. An editor called Abdul Qayyum and photographer Jamal Tarakai of daily Awwam suffered minor injuries as a result of the blast. Windows of nearby buildings, shops and a medical complex were smashed as a result of the blast.

#3: The lack of Afghan soldiers forces Danish troops to pull back from Taleban areas The commander of the Danish forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Keld R. J. Rasmussen, said the soldiers have been forced to retreat from large parts of the... The government-backed Afghan National Army (ANA) is lacking so many troops in the Taleban stronghold of Helmand province that both the ANA and the international forces have retreated and focused their efforts on the large cities in the area.

It's a slow news day so I'll update this later when and if it's necessary to do so. --whisker