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, November 1, 2008

War News for Saturday, November 01, 2008

Oct. 30 airpower summary:

Sri Lanka says 17 rebels killed in sea clash:

Turkey Blasts US Policy for Isolating Iran as Misguided Strategy:

Armored vehicle maker unveils new prototype:

CNN: 1 million flee Congo fighting, U.N. says:

Minister: Iran to cut oil production by 199,000 bpd:

Gates believes NATO won't send more troops:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb was discovered and later safely defused by the bomb squad in al-Bataween neighbourhood, central Baghdad at noon, Saturday.

#2: Also Saturday, unknown assailants gunned down a policeman on a foot patrol along Palestine Street in Shiite eastern Baghdad, police said.

#1: One civilian was killed and his brother was wounded in an armed attack that occurred in western Kut city, a police source said on Saturday. “This morning, unknown gunmen opened fire on two brothers in al-Nasr neighborhood, western Kut, killing one and wounding the other,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: Gunmen killed one policeman on Friday near his home just west of Kut, 150 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: One child was killed and another was wounded when a landmine exploded in western Basra, the media office of the local police said. “On Friday evening, a landmine exploded in al-Shuayba square, western Basra, while children were playing in the place, killing one of them and wounding another,” the office told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A shepherd accidentally set off an unexploded mortar shell in al-Tarqiyah village, to the west of Kirkuk city, Friday. He was injured and taken for treatment.

#1: Two Iraqi servicemen were killed in an armed attack on an army checkpoint in northern Mosul city, according to the Multi-National Force (MNF). “Last night, unidentified gunmen launched an armed attack on a checkpoint set by the Iraqi army in al-Sukkar neighborhood, northern Mosul, killing two Iraqi soldiers,” read an MNF statement received by Aswat al-Iraq.
The statement did not provide further details.

#2: A source from Ninewa police said that an improvised explosive device (IED) went off on Friday near an Iraqi army patrol in al-Quds neighborhood, eastern Mosul, leaving three Iraqi soldiers and a civilian woman near the blast site wounded.

#3: Two civilians were killed when a U.S. warplane opened fire at their vehicle west of Mosul city on Saturday, a military source in Ninewa province said. “The U.S. aircraft targeted a civilian vehicle in northern Zammar district, (60 km) west of Mosul, killing two civilians on board,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Dohuk Prv:
#1: Turkish artillery heavily bombarded villages in Amidi district, to the northeast of Dohuk city, Friday spreading fear amongst the residents without causing any casualties.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Iraq sent police reinforcements Saturday to the Syrian border after last weekend's U.S. raid against an alleged al-Qaeda hideout in Syria raised tension between the two countries, officials said. Police Col. Jubair Rashid Naief said a police quick reaction force for Anbar province moved to the border town of Qaim, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, to prevent al-Qaeda from moving into the area from Syria. Al-Arabiya television quoted witnesses as saying scores of armored vehicles were seen moving from the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi to Qaim, which had been a major al-Qaeda stronghold until Anbar's Sunni tribes turned against al-Qaeda.

#1: Two soldiers from the US-trained Afghan national army were killed when a remote-controlled bomb blew up their vehicle in the southern province of Helmand, the Afghan defence ministry said in a statement. It blamed the attack, which wounded two other Afghan soldiers, on Taliban fighters. Six Taliban militants were killed in the same province a day earlier, the statement said.

#2: The US-led force announced separately that its soldiers had killed 19 militants in operations against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Haqqani networks in Kunar and Khost provinces, both in the east. The operation in rugged Kunar was aimed at a "known Al-Qaeda leader," it said in a statement. Troops were fired at immediately as they began searching a compound and returned fire, killing two militants. As they continued, they were attacked again. "Coalition forces returned fire, killing five armed militants, one of whom was an armed female," the statement said.

#3: A second operation took place in the province of Khost, further south, and aimed at a militant with ties to Taliban and Haqqani networks. Two militants were killed in a vehicle as they reached for weapons, it said. The vehicle was found to contain explosives and destroyed.

#4: The US-led force also said in a statement that "Coalition forces killed 10 armed militants and detained two suspected militants during an operation directed at a known Haqqani IED (improved explosive device) and suicide bomber facilitator."

#5: Eight people, including four policemen, were killed Friday in a suicide bomb attack in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, Dawn news TV channel reported.The blast occurred near the office of deputy inspector general of police (DIG) of Mardan district, according to the report. Eight people, including four policemen, were killed in the blast, it said.

#6: Suspected U.S. missiles slammed into two villages close to the Afghan border yesterday, killing 27 people including an Arab al-Qaida operative and other foreign militants, intelligence officials said. He was among 20 people killed when two missiles hit a house and a car in Mir Ali village in North Waziristan after drones had been flying overhead for several hours, the officials said, citing reports from agents and informers in the area.

#7: Around two hours later, a second set of missiles hit a village in South Waziristan, killing seven people.

#8: Pakistani authorities have freed 21 Taliban fighters in exchange for an equal number of security personnel and civilians kidnapped by the militants following months of secret negotiations brokered by tribal elders.

Casualty Reports:

British Senior Aircraftman Craig Richardson, 21, was on a routine patrol with two others in Kandahar when their vehicle, a military Wmik Land Rover was blown up by either a land mine or roadside bomb. The two other airmen, who have not been named, were also injured and have been flown back to a military hospital the UK. SAC Richardson, a member of RAF Honington's 1 Squadron, which is on a sixth-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, had been due back to his Dereham home next week for a week's leave. he flew back to Birmingham Selly Oak Military Hospital where he is in intensive care and undergoing major surgery.

Marine Cpl. Mark Smith, 23, was wounded in Iraq about two years ago. Members of his unit from the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., were taking sniper fire from a tower in Ramadi, a city about 70 miles west of Baghdad. An explosive device blew up a sewer line, which prompted Smith to motion his unit to spread out. “When he took the next step, he stepped on a land mine,” his mother said. “It exploded and he went up 20 feet in the air.”
Water from the sewer line explosion probably cushioned his fall, but Smith lost his leg from the mid-thigh down, said his mother, a teacher at St. Andrews Montessori School in Macon.

Sgt. David Battle on his second tour of duty in Iraq last December with a tank unit, stepped on a mine. He lost both legs and an arm, but he didn't lose hope. Within days he was at Walter Reed Army Hospital where he has since been working hard on his recovery