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 15, 2008

War News for Saturday, November 15, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi National Force – West Marine from an IED attack in Al Anbar province on Friday, November 14th. No other details were released.

Nov. 13 airpower summary:

Three Russians killed in Iraq plane crash: foreign ministry: "Six crew members and a passenger were killed, including three Russian nationals. A Belarussian, two Ukrainians and one Indian were also among the crew members killed," it added.

Iraq: Counting the dead gets complex:

Key clerics warn Iraq against U. S. pact:

Improvised bomb kills 2 Philippine soldiers:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb struck a police patrol while passing near the Buratha Bank in central Baghdad neighborhood of Etiefiyah, injuring three policemen and four bystanders, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The blast also destroyed a police vehicle, the source added.

#2: In a separate incident, an explosive-charge stuck in an unloaded fuel tanker detonated as the tanker was parking near a restaurant in the Mashtal neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad, wounding three civilians, he said. The blast set the tanker on fire and caused damages to the restaurant and several nearby civilian cars, he added.

#3: Five people were killed, and 20 others were wounded when a car bomb went off near the National Theater in al-Karada neighborhood – Baghdad, a source from the Iraqi police said on Saturday.

Nineveh Prv:
#1: Gunmen killed a man in a drive-by shooting on Thursday in northern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded a child and his mother in their car in eastern Mosul on Friday, police said.

#3: A U.S. military helicopter had a hard landing in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Saturday after hitting overhead cables, a military spokesman said. "There has been a helicopter incident in Mosul. They're classifying it now as a hard landing when it came in contact with wires," Captain Charles Calio said. He said he had no immediate information about casualties in the incident. The helicopter involved was an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, a small scout helicopter fitted with weapons.

Tel Afar:
#1: Six civilians were killed and 17 others wounded when a car bomb ripped through Talafar district, west of Mosul city, on Saturday, a police source in Ninewa province said.

A car bomb killed 10 people and wounded 31 others when it exploded outside a car dealership in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar, Iraqi police and the U.S. military said on Saturday.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Three policemen were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off east of Falluja city on Saturday, a police source in Anbar province said. “A roadside IED went off near a police patrol in al-Haswa district, (20 km) east of Falluja, today, leaving three patrolmen injured and causing severe damage to the patrol vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A strike by coalition troops against a bomb-making cell in eastern Afghanistan killed 10 militants, the U.S. military said Saturday. The troops were targeting several key figures in a network run by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a militant leader believed to operate out of Pakistan, the military said in a statement. Several groups of armed militants fired on the coalition troops during the operation Friday, according to the statement. The coalition forces returned fire, killing their attackers and destroying a weapons cache.

#2: Separately, Afghan police said two national intelligence agents and one police officer were killed late Friday in a bomb attack on their vehicle south of Kabul. The three were killed while responding to an earlier bomb attack that injured three police officers, said Regional Police Commander Gen. Zalmai Oryakhail.

#3: Police thwarted a suicide attack in the eastern city of Khost on Saturday, officials said. Officers surrounded a suspect, who was on foot, and the man detonated the explosives on his body. The would-be attacker died but no one else was injured, said health department director Gull Mohammedan Mohammadi.

Casualty Reports:

Army 1st Lt. Brian Brennan The 2006 Citadel grad was in charge of a convoy when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in May. Three of his buddies were killed and Brennan lost both his legs in the explosion.

Spc. Reas Axtell, a Lubbock-area native who lost his legs last August in a rocket blast in Iraq.

Lance Cpl. Marc Olson, who was seriously injured last Saturday during a suicide bomb attack in Iraq.Olson, 20, of Coal City, was flown Tuesday from Germany to the National Na-val Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., with major head, neck, and eye injuries. Published reports note that two suicide bombers, one possibly in a vehicle, attacked a police headquarters in Ramadi, in Al Anbar Province, on Nov. 8. Eight people were killed in the attack, and seven others were injured. “Marc is doing well, considering the extent of his injuries,” said his uncle. “They have not yet removed the shrapnel from his head. It's one step at a time. They have a patch over his eye, the one they're mainly concerned about right now. ”So far, no brain damage has been detected, said Olson.

Steven Bullock was wounded when a man dressed in an Iraqi soldier uniform shot automatic weapons fire at a group of American troops waiting outside a military camp in Mosul, killing two and wounding six of the American soldiers. According to Bullock's mother, Becky Treon, a bullet from the Iraqi soldier's fire went into Bullock's calf and then exited cleanly, without hitting bone or a major artery. Treon stated that Bullock is already out of the military hospital where he was treated and will remain overseas until his tour of duty ends sometime after Jan. 1, 2009.