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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

War News for Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nov. 24 airpower summary:

Iraq Lawmakers To Vote On U.S. Troop Pact:

Iraq Shiites, Kurds meet Sunni demand on US pact:

Lost in translation: US-Iraqi security pact: US officials say key parts of status of forces agreement could be lost in translation.

Iraqi parliament delays vote on US pact:

Definition of combat-related injury narrows:

Karzai calls for timeline to end Afghanistan war:

Huffington Post: Why Bush Made Me Sick Yesterday:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Two civilians were killed and ten others wounded when a roadside bomb struck a sport utility vehicle (SUV), carrying employees from Baghdad provincial council, near the Firdus Square,in Karrada district, in central the capital" the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Four of the employees were among the wounded people, the source said, adding the blast destroyed the vehicle and also caused damages to several nearby civilian cars.

#2: In a separate incident, four policemen were injured by another roadside bomb explosion occurred near their vehicle in the Andulus Square in the same district, the source said.

#3: Also in Karrada, two more civilians were injured in the day by another roadside bomb explosion in the Nithal Street in Karrada, he said.

#4: Meanwhile, two police commando members were wounded when a third roadside bomb went off near their patrol in Baghdad northeastern district of Shaab, he added.

#5: Tuesday Police found one unidentified body in south Baghdad.

#6: A roadside bomb wounded five policemen when it struck their patrol in eastern Baghdad, police said.

#7: Russia is accusing U.S. troops of running a car carrying Russian diplomats off the road in Baghdad. The Foreign Ministry tells ITAR-Tass and Interfax that three diplomats and some of their guards suffered bruises. The ministry says a group of U.S. armored personnel carriers overtook a convoy of three Russian embassy cars headed to the airport, according to Interfax. The ministry says one APC deliberately swerved into the lead Russian car, trying to push it off the road, the agencies reported. It says the car was severely damaged and almost overturned.

Diyala Prv:
#1: The U.S. military says a mass grave containing 23 bodies has been found in Iraq. The military says the bodies were found Wednesday in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad.
It says the bodies in the grave appear to have been dead for 1 1/2 years. At that time, violence in the area was intense.

#1: One Sahwa fighter was injured on Wednesday in a bomb explosion in central Baaquba, a police source said. “A roadside bomb went off targeting the headquarters of the National Dialogue bloc in central Baaquba, injuring one Sahwa fighter,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: One civilian was wounded when he came under gunmen’s fire in southern Kut, a source from Wassit province’s police said on Wednesday. “The attack took place in front of the victim’s house,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: In a separate discovery, Iraq's Rapid Intervention Force said they found the bodies of six recently killed people just southeast of the northern city of Samarra, the commander of the force for Samarra, Captain Muthana Shakir, told Reuters.

#1: Police forces defused two roadside bombs and seized combat materials in al-Dhiloaiya, a source from the suburb’s police said on Wednesday. “One of the roadside bombs was planted at the entry-way of a judge’s house, while the other was found in the eastern side of the city,” Major Ali Hussein Abdullah told Aswat al-Iraq. “Police forces defused the two roadside bombs, and detonated the combat materials in a safe place,” he said, without adding further details.

#1: Four elements of a security company were killed on Wednesday in a bomb blast near their convoy near Tikrit, a security source said. “A roadside bomb, planted on the road between Baiji and al-Sainiya, north of Tikrit, went off targeting a convoy of a security company, which is working with U.S. security forces, killing four elements and injuring another one,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The blast set one of the convoy’s vehicles ablaze,” he added. “A U.S. military chopper landed on the area and evacuated the victims,” he also said. No word was immediately available from the U.S. army on the incident.

#1: The number of attacks involving International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Helmand province, which is led by British troops, has reached record levels in the past three months, according to the latest official figures. In a written parliamentary reply, published Tuesday, Defense Secretary John Hutton said that the number of attacks reached 277 in August, 247 in September and 219 in October. In the previous nine months, direct engagement with insurgents averaged 137 per month, fluctuating between 92 and 207. Between October 2006 and August 2007, British soldiers in Afghanistan come under an average of 125 attacks per month.

#2: Fifteen were killed in a raid early Wednesday in the southern province of Kandahar against a known "command and control" centre for bomb-makers, it said in a statement. Troops on the raid came under fire at the compound in the district of Zhari just west of Kandahar city, the statement said. "Coalition forces returned fire with small arms weapons killing 15 insurgents and detained six," it said.

#3: Another operation on Tuesday targeted a senior Taliban commander in the eastern province of Paktya who was believed to liaise between Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, another statement said. Five militants were killed in a clash at the site, it said, without making clear if the commander was among the dead.

#4: Five more were killed and four arrested in another raid Tuesday in the adjoining province of Paktika that targeted the radical Haqqani network, which is linked to Al-Qaeda.

#5: Five policemen were killed by their colleagues suspected having links with Taliban militants on Wednesday in southern Afghan province of Helmand, an official said. Dawud Ahmadi, spokesman for provincial government said that it occurred at around 05:00 a.m. local time (0030 GMT) in Nad Ali district when a number of policemen suddenly opened fire at their colleagues in the squad killing five on the spot. "After first investigation, we found five policemen in that squad missing whom were suspected of spies of Taliban infiltrating into police forces," Ahmadi said.

Casualty Reports:

British Captain Kate Philp had her left leg amputated below the knee after the Warrior mini-tank she was commanding ran over a 50kg bomb in Afghanistan. The blast killed Gurkha Colour Sergeant Krishna Dura, 36, injured two other soldiers and left Capt Philp with a shattered leg.

Army Spc. Kevin G. Moore was patrolling a rugged stretch of Afghanistan this time last year. On patrol two weeks later, insurgents shot a rocket-propelled grenade through his Humvee. Zipping across his lap and exploding into the engine compartment, the RPG laced hundreds of pieces of shrapnel into the Manchester native. Less than a year after nearly losing his legs, Moore plans to walk into his parents' house tonight. Her son did not almost just lose his legs in that ambush on Dec. 11, 2007 -- he was almost killed. And four months before that, he suffered a back injury when his Humvee hit an improvised explosive device.

Marine Cpl. James Dixon was wounded twice in Iraq - by a roadside bomb and a land mine. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip and hearing loss. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Army Sgt. Lori Meshell shattered a hip and crushed her back and knees while diving for cover during a mortar attack in . She has undergone a hip replacement and knee reconstruction and needs at least three more surgeries.

Mark Olson, 19, a local Mar-ine serving in Iraq, re-ceived major head and neck injuries in a recent attack by a suicide bomber, and is presently at Bethesda Naval Hos-pital in Baltimore, Md.

Specialist Alex Lozano, 21, on November 13, Lozano was shot in the back by a drive by shooter. His military police unit was setting up a security check point with Iraqi police. "He's doing good. He's starting to walk. He can talk," Greg said.