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 29, 2008

War News for Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nov. 26 airpower summary:

Nov. 27 airpower summary:

Number of Iraqi refugees admitted to U.S. up sharply: 150 U.S. officials have been deployed to the Middle East to interview 23,000 Iraqi refugee applicants. The approval rate averages 70% to 80%, said Lori Scialabba, the services' associate director for refugee, asylum and international operations.

Press And "Psy Ops" to Merge At NATO Afghan HQ: Sources:

NY Times: pictorials from Mumbai India:

Downturn Drives Military Rolls Up:

Here's a typical propaganda article designed to mislead the public by the misrepresentation of facts. If you have the stomach to swallow this crap here's the link.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A rocket struck near a UN compound in the heavily fortified Green Zone today, killing three foreigners and wounding 15 other people, according to UN and military officials. The victims were working for a catering company that provides services for the United Nations but their nationalities were not being released pending notification of relatives, a UN official said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for providing the information ahead of a formal announcement, earlier said three foreigners were killed but later corrected the number to two.

#2: Tech Sergeant Chris Stagner, a US military spokesman, said explosives ordnance teams had determined Iranian-made rockets were used in the Green Zone attack as well as another strike late yesterday against Camp Victory, the main military headquarters on the western outskirts of the Iraqi capital.

#3: Four members of the Iraqi police on Saturday were wounded in an explosion that ripped through western the capital Baghdad, according to a security source. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a police patrol vehicle in al-Ghazaliya area near Badr al-Kobra School, wounding four patrolmen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#4: Three civilians were injured by an adhesive bomb stuck to a car of an employee in the ministry of interior affairs in Atifiyah neighborhood around 6 p.m.

#5: A civilian was killed and three others were injured by a bomb in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 7 p.m.

#6: Police found one unidentified body in Amin neighborhood.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A mass grave containing the remains of dozens of bodies was found in the northeast of Baaquba city, a local security source said on Saturday. “During the early hours of this morning, police forces found a mass grave in Albo Tema village, al-Salam district (15 km northeast of Baaquba), containing 30 decayed bodies belonging to civilians, including women and children,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A rocket attack killed a child and wounded two women from the same family in the al-Zahraa residential area of central Kut, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: U.S. forces killed four suspected al-Qaeda militants and arrested seven in an operation in Tuz Khurmato,170 km (105 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday and Saturday, a U.S. military statement said.

#1: Turkish F-16s waged an air raid Saturday at several Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq, according to local media. Zaman online newspaper quoted a security source as saying the military planes shelled a number of locations used by the PKK in the mountainous region of northern Iraq.Moreover, land forces stationed at the borders fired rockets at the PKK positions.

#1: Gunmen killed two goldsmiths when they attacked their store in downtown Mosul city on Saturday afternoon. After the attack, the gunmen planted two bombs in the store. The bombs detonated when police and people gathered killing a policeman and injuring 18 others (11 policemen and 7 civilians)

#1: Meanwhile, Afghan and coalition forces killed 33 militants when their patrol came under attack in southern Helmand province Friday, a military statement said. The troops responded to the attack with gunfire and air support, it said.

#2: In Kandahar province, meanwhile, a three-day NATO-Afghan operation in Zhari district killed 12 militants, said police Chief Matiullah Khan. No police were killed in the operation, which finished on Friday, he said.

#3: Police in western Farah province said they killed four insurgents setting up a makeshift base in a village, apparently aiming to launch strikes on Farah city. Residents of Raj, about two miles (three kilometers) north of Farah city, tipped off officials that a convoy of enemy fighters had arrived in the village, provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Ghafar Watandar said. Afghan army and police attacked the nine-vehicle convoy, killing four insurgents and wounding another three as other insurgents fled, Watandar said. An Afghan police officer was also killed in the gunbattle, he said.

#4: Intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed at least two people in northwestern Pakistan. The officials say Saturday's missile attack destroyed the house of a local resident near Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border. The officials say some people were also injured in the attack. They would not say whether any foreign or local militants were among the dead or injured.

#5: update More than 300 militants attacked the Afghan forces' convoy, which was transporting 47 vehicles for their units in the Bala Murghab district of Badghis province late Thursday, said Naeem Khan, a border police official. Sixteen other Afghan troops were captured by the militants, who also took most of the 47 vehicles being transported in the convoy, said Abdul Ghani Sabri, the deputy provincial governor. Seven Taliban fighters were also killed, Sabri said.

#6: Canadian troops pushed for the first time into a major Taliban stronghold during a multi-nation air- and land-assault that killed 21 insurgents but angered villagers. Hundreds of Canadian and allied soldiers stormed a series of compounds in the volatile Zhari district, shooting dead 15 militants and killing six more by explosion, in Operation Southern Vulture 2, a four-day manoeuvre that ended Friday. The NATO assault kicked off Tuesday morning, with a Canadian armoured convoy rolling out from a fortified base into the sandy bed of the drought-shrunk Arghandab River west of Kandahar City.

At dawn Wednesday, helicopters dropped a Canadian reconnaissance team and British Royal Marine commandos into separate locations north of the Arghandab. Canadian bulldozer tanks cleared a road north from the river through mud walls, grape fields, and marijuana plantations, followed by armoured vehicles full of infantry troops.

Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Mark Meunier, 35, survived a double explosion and is dealing with injuries that have aged him decades. a National Guardsman who served in the Marine Corps. "I have a lot of fractures, injuries to my right knee, a torn ACL, injured shoulder." The double explosion — two roadside bombs detonated almost simultaneously — in Iraq in 2005 also left him with a traumatic brain injury and a level of rheumatoid arthritis that a doctor told him he had never seen in anyone under age 80. Meunier used to get 30 cluster headaches a day; collagen shots to his head have reduced those to about three a day. "I've had three knee surgeries," he said. "I need a replacement, but they say I'm too young. "They cut off my heel, moved it over and reattached it with screws. I have 6 feet of cadaver tendons in my leg and some in my right shoulder, with a nylon cord reattaching my bicep."