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, November 3, 2008

War News for Monday, November 03, 2008

Photo: Syrian protesters gather at Youssef al-Azmi square during a demonstration against the U.S. raid on a village near the Syrian-Iraqi border last Monday, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday Oct. 30, 2008. Hundreds of Syrian riot police ringed the shuttered and closed U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Thursday, as tens of thousands of Syrians converged on a central square for a government-orchestrated protest to denounce a deadly U.S. raid near the Iraqi border.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

CJTF - 101 is reporting the death of a U.S. coalition soldier in a small arms fire attack in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Monday, November 3rd. No other details were released.

Army revamps procedure to screen injured soldiers:

Pakistan warns Petraeus against missile strikes:

Petraeus visits Pakistan as it fights "for survival"

US embassy in Damascus closes as Syrians demonstrate:

Another success? Iraqi mayor Bush once hailed flees to U.S.: (A story about the mayor of Tal Afar)

US still the villain in Iraq's former rebel bastion:

Official: 9 separatist rebels killed in S Philippines clash:

Sri Lanka war flares with air, sea battles:

Iraqi Kurd says US can have bases in northern Iraq: report:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The six people died when two bombs, one of them hidden in a trash can exploded in Tahariyat square in central Baghdad during the morning rush hour. Police said 21 people were wounded, including 10 policemen and two women. The explosions caused extensive damage to shops lining the square in the predominantly Shiite eastern side of Baghdad.

#2: Also Monday, Abdul-Sahib Salman Qutub, one of three senior undersecretaries in the Oil Ministry, suffered minor injuries when a bomb went off at his house as he left for work, ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said. Jihad said Qutub's driver was seriously injured in the attack.

#3: Another bomb exploded around noon near a police patrol in west Baghdad, injuring one policeman and a civilian, police said.

#4: “A sticky IED placed inside a civilian vehicle went off on al-Qanah street, eastern Baghdad, leaving two civilians wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#5: “Another sticky charge went off shortly after the first one inside another civilian vehicle on Palastine street, also eastern Baghdad, wounding three people,” the source added.

#6: A bomb attached to a car wounded the driver and one passer by in Zayouna district in eastern Baghdad, police said.

#7: A gunman opened fire using a silencer on a man, killing him instantly in Zafaraniyah neighborhood (east Baghdad).

#8: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Raghiba Khatoon neighborhood (north Baghdad). Six people were wounded including three policemen.

#9: Police found one dead body in Habibiyah neighborhood in Risfa bank in Baghdad today.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In Baqouba, some 35 miles northeast of the capital, a car bomb exploded in a parking lot across the street from the Diyala provincial council headquarters, killing one policeman, authorities said. Eight people — five of them policemen — were wounded in the blast, which occurred as a conference on protecting Iraqi journalists took place inside the building. None of the meeting's participants were injured in the attack.

#1: Three women of the same family were killed by an armed group suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda network northeast of Baaquba on Monday, a police source in Diala said. “A group of suspected members of al-Qaeda raided a house in al-Saadiya district, Khanaqin, (155 km) northeast of Baaquba, and killed three women of the same family,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, not giving any details about the motives.

#1: A roadside bomb killed one member of U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol and five of his family, including two women and three children, when it struck their vehicle on Sunday in Buhriz, 60 km (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police found the bodies of two women who had been kidnapped from their house earlier on Monday in Saadiya, 110 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: The U.S. military base in western Kut was attacked by unidentified gunmen using Katyusha rockets on Monday, with no reports of casualties, a police source said.“Four rockets hit the U.S. Delta base in western Kut this evening,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Policemen on Monday defused two bombs in central Amara city, a senior police officer said. “An anti-bomb squad managed to defuse the two bombs in central Amara,” Colonel Sadeq Islam told Aswat al-Iraq. “The bombs are a cannonball (130mm) and a mortar shell (120 mm),” he noted.

#1: “The forces also defused a bomb, planted near the main road in al-Uyoon village in al-Abbassi district, south of al-Howaiyja,” he added.

Ninewa Prv:
#1: Iraqi soldiers found two bodies with gunshot wounds in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed a tribal sheikh, spraying his car with bullets in western Mosul, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in the 17th of July neighborhood in Mosul city. Two people were injured.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in the Intisar neighborhood downtown Mosul city. Two soldiers were killed and two others were wounded.

#1: A civilian man and his wife of Yazidi faith were strangled to death by unidentified persons west of Mosul, a security source from the Ninewa police department said on Monday. “A Yazidi coule were killed last night inside their home in al-Jazeera compound in al-Bijaaj district, west of Mosul, by unknown persons who strangled them to death,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police found four bodies with gunshot wounds on Sunday in a desert area near the town of Rutba, 360 km (225 miles) west of Bagdad, police said.

#1: Three assailants in a red Corolla tried to kidnap two French citizens riding in a small van in Kabul, but after a scuffle they got away with only one, said Mohammad Daud Amin, a police commander in the neighborhood where the abduction took place. "A resident tried to prevent this kidnapping. A kidnapper opened fire and killed him. They were able to kidnap one Frenchman," Amin told The Associated Press. The Interior Ministry identified the resident as the driver for the intelligence chief of Panjshir province. Etienne Gille, president of AFRANE, a French aid group focusing on education, said the kidnapping took place as a member of its staff and a man from a second French aid group were being driven from a residence rented by ARFANE to its offices.

#2: Four Islamic militants were killed by Pakistani troops Monday as the new commander of US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, General David Petraeus, held talks with the Pakistani leadership, officials said. The militants were killed when security forces started pounding insurgent positions Sunday night in the Mamoond and Chahrmang areas of the Bajaur tribal district bordering Afghanistan with artillery fire and the operation continued until Monday morning. "According to information gathered from local sources, at least four Taliban militants were killed and numerous injured," a security official said.

#3: Meanwhile, gunmen seized an Afghan national, Akhtar Kohistani, Sunday in the North-West Frontier Province's Darosh district, 80 kilometres south of Chitral, the region's main town. Local police officials said the captive was associated with the United Nations Development Programme in Afghanistan. Darosh police chief Sher Akbar said a group of armed men seized Kohistani at his father-in-law's house. There was no official confirmation from UN officials in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

#4: An unmanned US drone crashed in southern Afghanistan on Sunday. The cause of the crash of the MQ-1 Predator drone was not known, a US military statement said. "The aircraft is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft. The MQ-1's primary mission is conducting armed reconnaissance," the statement said, adding that the military would investigate the incident.

Casualty Reports:

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch--the rocket-propelled grenade that, 12 months later, nearly killed Popaditch during a fight in Fallouja. He lost his right eye and 92% of the vision in his left. He has had several operations to remove shrapnel from his head, nose and eye, although he had to wage a months-long battle against military bureaucracy to get proper benefits. There is video on the Internet of the moment of his injury -- of a bloody and semiconscious Popaditch being pulled from his burning tank just after shards from the insurgent-fired RPG punctured his helmet and gouged out his eye. he had hopes of regaining full sight in his left eye. Now he is resigned to the notion that it will never improve beyond the 8%.

Canadian Cpl. Mark Fuchko, 24, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. It's been a long road back from Kandahar for Fuchko. On March 29, his vehicle rolled over an improvised explosive device. "I initially broke my legs so badly they had to amputate them. I ended up losing them in Germany," Fuchko said.

British Sgt Albert Thompson of the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch was hit in the leg in Iraq in 2003. He was forced to have his leg amputated below the knee and was awarded more than £1million in compensation. Initially the MoD blamed Cpt Tam Henderson, the gunner, and convicted him of negligence. He was later cleared on appeal. But an internal report - a Board of Inquiry - found that the "undemanded firing" of the gun had occurred at least six times between 1999 and 2004. It concluded that the gun "is unpopular with many service users primarily due to a perception of reliability issues". A Ministry of Defence investigation into the 7.62mm weapon, fitted to 800 vehicles, found that its perceived reliability was so bad that troops were fearful of using it.

British Andrew Allen, 19, who sustained multiple serious injuries in July when a Taliban booby-trap bomb exploded, is in England recovering from his wounds. The Royal Irish soldier who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Butler was wounded in a 2005 attack in Iraq, suffering injuries to his arm, legs and abdomen from a roadside bomb.

British Lance Corporal Martin Edwards, 26, was on his third tour of Iraq when he was wounded in October 2006, as his Warrior armoured vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Basra. The sniper-trained Light Infantry soldier was hit in the head by a piece of shrapnel which pierced his forehead and came out the other side, damaging his brain and leaving him disabled in his left arm and leg and with memory problems.