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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

War News for Thursday, November 13, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from a non-combat related cause in Baghdad on Thursday, November 13th. No other details were released.

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two Royal Marines in an Explosion in the Garmsir District of southern Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 12th. No other details were released. Here's the ISAF statement.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a U.S. soldier in a suicide car bombing in the Bati Kot district outside Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan on Thursday, November 13th. At least twenty civilians were killed and seventy four others wounded in the attack.

Nov. 10 airpower summary:

Nov. 11 airpower summary:

Mideast weather roundup:

Exclusive: Biden son headed to Iraq: (Well, we know who isn't a chicken-hawk!)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An explosive charge stuck in a KIA minibus carrying passengers detonated in the morning in a Baghdad highway, killing a passenger and wounding seven others aboard, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

A civilian was killed and six others were wounded on Thursday in a bomb blast in southeastern Baghdad, a police source said. “The bomb went off inside a small bus on Mohamed al-Qassem street in southeastern Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring six,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: In a separate incident, a roadside bomb went off near a police patrol in the Nidhal Street in Karrada district, wounding four policemen and two civilians, he said. A police vehicle was also damaged by the blast, he added.

#3: Police forces on Thursday found unknown body on the main road west of Mosul, a police source said. “An unknown body of a young man was found in the main road between Koweer district, west of Mosul, and Arbil,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The body bore signs of gunshot wounds,” he added.

#4: Elsewhere in Baghdad unknown gunmen killed a police captain, according to medics and a security official.

Diyala Prv:
#1: North of Baghdad in the volatile Diyala province another policeman was killed by a sniper as he stood at a checkpoint. The mixed Sunni-Shiite province remains one of the most dangerous regions in the country.

#1: A roadside bomb killed a civilian and wounded two others when it struck a main road near Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two civilians were wounded on Thursday in a bomb explosion in Makhmour district in northern Iraq, an Iraqi army source said. “The bomb exploded near a civilian car on the road between Makhmour and al-Gayara, injuring two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: At least 17 persons were wounded on Thursday in a car bomb explosion in east of Mosul, a police source said. “A car rigged with explosives went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol on the road between al-Hamdaniya district and al-Namroud region in east of Mosul, injuring 17, including five soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. He did not add more details.

A car bomb explosion struck an Iraqi army patrol in a town in the volatile province of Nineveh on Thursday, killing a civilian and wounding 15 people, a provincial police source said. The explosion occurred in the afternoon when a booby-trapped car hit the military patrol near a popular marketplace in the town of al-Hamdaniya, some 30 km northeast of the provincial capital Mosul, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Six soldiers were among the wounded people by the blast that also damaged a patrol vehicle, several nearby shops, stalls and civilian cars, the source said.

#3: Two gunmen on Thursday were killed when they were attempting to carry out a suicide attack, western Ninewa, said a security source from the province. “The two armed men were attempting to break into the court house of Rabeaa district (80 km west of Mosul city), to conduct a suicide attack,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “They were killed when the explosive they were carrying in their car went off,” he said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: The U.S. military says a civilian cargo aircraft has crashed south of Fallujah, a city in western Iraq. The military says four to six crew members were on board but their fate is unknown. The military says it does not know the nationality of the aircraft, which reported a malfunction Thursday while traveling from al-Asad air base to Baghdad International Airport. Iraqi police in Fallujah say the aircraft crashed in the desert. There were no reports of shooting at the time when the aircraft crashed.

A civilian cargo aircraft with seven people on board crashed shortly after take-off in western Iraq on Thursday, the U.S. military said, adding that there was little hope of any survivors.
The ex-Soviet built AN-12 airplane, operated by a German firm, crashed shortly after take off, army Captain Charles Calio said. It had just left an air base near the western city of Falluja.
Earlier reports had described it as a U.S. civilian cargo plane. Calio said no American citizens or soldiers were on board. A damage assessment was being done, but it was unlikely that any of the six crew and one baggage handler had survived.

#1: A suicide car bomber killed four people including two policemen when he struck a police patrol in western Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles), west of Baghdad, Captain Ahmed al-Dulaimi of the Ramadi police force said.

#2: One police officer was killed on Thursday and one policeman was wounded when a car bomb that police forces were trying to defuse went off, said a source from al-Anbar police. “The incident took place in al-Taamem district, western Ramadai,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Gunmen abducted an Iranian diplomat in Peshawar Thursday. The Iranian consulate in Peshawar confirmed that commercial attache Heshmatollah Atharzadeh had been kidnapped. A policeman assigned to guard him was shot and killed trying to resist the assailants, police said.
"On hearing guns shots, I rushed out of my home and saw the body of the guard lying there," Abid Hussain, a neighbor of the diplomat, told Reuters. The Iranian diplomat was on his way to the consulate from his home when his car was ambushed in Hayatabad, a neighborhood bordering the Khyber tribal region.

#2: A suicide bomber targeting a passing U.S. military convoy blew up his car near a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, killing at least 21 people, including an American soldier, officials said. The explosion also wounded 74 people near the livestock market where people were trading sheep cows, goats and other animals in the Bati Kot district outside Jalalabad, Afghan police and health officials said.Charred and twisted remain of cars that were destroyed in the blast smoldered for hours after the attack on Afghanistan's main road to the nearby Pakistani. A U.S. military vehicle was among the wreckage.

#3: Four police officers and two civilians were killed and three other police injured on Thursday in two explosions in south Afghanistan's Helmand province, local officials said. The incident occurred in the province's capital of Lashkar Gah where officers were carrying out an operation to detain drug couriers and destroy a drug storehouse. A police car was caught in a landmine explosion and then attacked by a suicide bomber, who was killed at the scene. The three injured police officers were taken to a hospital.

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brian Brennan, 24, of Howell, was critically injured May 8 while on a mission in Afghanistan. He was wounded following two improvised explosive attacks, suffering a brain injury and losing part of both his legs.

Lance Corporal Marc Olson was one of 14 individuals wounded Saturday when suicide bombers attacked the post he was working at in Ramadi, Iraq.Olson, of Coal City, sustained major head, neck and eye injuries. Initially treated in Iraq, Olson was transferred to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany before being flown to Maryland on Tuesday for further treatment at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Lance Cpl. Matthew Ryan Bradford, who lost his eyesight and both legs in an explosion in Haditha, Iraq, on Jan. 18, 2007. The 22-year-old spent months in military and Veterans Affairs hospitals, undergoing surgeries, being fitted for prosthetic eyes and learning to walk on prosthetic legs.

Matt Keil, in January 2007. Six weeks later, Staff Sgt. Keil was shot in the neck while on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq, and rendered a quadriplegic. Because her husband, now 27, could no longer take care of himself, not even to get a drink of water.

Josh Cooley in July 2005 suffered burns and severe head injuries while on patrol in Iraq's Anbar province. Josh was on board an assault vehicle when a roadside bomb detonated. His injuries included having a credit card-sized piece of shrapnel puncture his skull and lodge in his head. He was treated in Iraq and then sent to Germany. He was taken to Bethesda, Md., where he woke up from a three-month drug-induced coma. Doctors said he would not be able to walk or talk. Josh has surpassed all expectations.

Army Specialist Tim Boots was trapped in a fiercely burning Humvee after an Iraqi suicide bomber blew up his convoy. Tim's left foot was broken, ribs fractured, a punctured liver and spleen, and he lost his right leg below the knee. At Walter Reed Army Hospital he was put on the traumatic brain injury floor because the amputee ward was full. It gave his loss perspective. "I've got my mind - I can get past these physical impairments."