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

Monday, April 27, 2009

War News for Monday, April 27, 2009

April 24 airpower summary:

Iran plans to construct 5 oil refineries in Iraq:

Most families allow media to cover fallen soldiers:

Iraqi oil recovery still a mirage:

Brown visits Afghanistan troops:

Taliban call peace pact with Pakistan 'worthless' as army operation kills 20 militants:

Obama govt. asks for change in law on Hamas: report: (off topic article but it's a step in the right direction for peace in the region--whisker.)

Iraq says US raid violated pact:

Security problems uncovered at US bases in Iraq:

Biden says he worries about son in Iraq: (I normally wouldn't post a piece like this, however this caught my eye in a different light. Here we have a VP's son in the military service in Iraq. What a contrast from the previous administration which was made up of cowardly chicken hawks.--whisker)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Sunday A roadside bomb targeted a national police patrol in Dora neighborhood in southern Baghdad around 9:30 p.m. One policeman was killed and another one was wounded.

#2: The director general of Basra’s police department on Monday survived an assassination attempt when an explosive device targeted his vehicle in Baghdad, according to a media chief. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted Basra’s police chief, Staff Maj. Gen. Adel Kamel Raham, in Jaraf al-Nadaf area, southeastern Baghdad,” Col. Abdulkareem al-Zaydi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The explosion caused damage to the official’s vehicle, but no casualties were reported, Zaydi added.

#3: Gunmen threw a grenade on a police patrol beneath the Jadiriyah Bridge in downtown Baghdad around 9 p.m. Two policemen were wounded with their car damaged.

#1: Seven suspected al Qaeda insurgents were killed in clashes with U.S. forces in a largely Sunni Arab province of Iraq, the U.S. military said Monday. Iraqi police in the area said Iraqi forces allied with the Americans were involved and that clashes continued throughout Sunday in the town of Dhuluiya, 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad. They put the death toll of the gunmen at nine. Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Jassim, a police official in Dhuluiya, said the fighting began early Sunday and resulted in the arrest of 17 suspected militants, four of them non-Iraqi Arabs. Four suspected insurgents were wounded.

Salman Pek:
#1: Major General Adel Dahaam, police chief of the southern city of Basra, was unharmed in a roadside bomb attack in Salman Pak, 30 km (20 miles) southeast of Baghdad. Police said Dahaam was off-duty at the time.

#1: A shepherd was wounded on Monday when an explosive charge went off south of Arbil, said a police source from the province. “The incident took place at Bashtappa village of Qosh-tappa district, 45 km south of Arbil city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Unknown gunmen stormed a house on Sunday night and shot dead two Christian women in the Domiz neighborhood in southern Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, Brigadier Burhan Tayib, the city police chief told Xinhua.

#2: Separately, unidentified armed men stormed another house also on Sunday night in the June 1st neighborhood of southern Kirkuk, killing a man and wounding his father and brother, Tayib said.

#1: Sunday A policeman was killed after insurgents broke in his house in alKhadraa area in east Mosul on Sunday morning.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded two Iraqi soldiers and one civilian in nothern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: Police said they found the body of a man who had been shot in the head and chest in western Mosul.

#4: U.S. forces on Monday injured a woman in eastern Mosul, a security source said, adding that police found a civilian body in the western section of the city. “A woman was wounded on Monday in a random shootout by U.S. forces in al-Faisaliya region in eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An unmanned aerial vehicle crashed shortly after take-off today in Paktika province.
The drone experienced mechanical difficulties shortly after it was launched in the Orgun-E District. The site of the crash was located and secured immediately by the Afghan National Police. There were no reports of enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash and a recovery team is working to collect the equipment.

#2: US-led and Afghan troops killed five suspected militants during "complex operations" targeting rebels in southern Afghanistan, according to US forces. The rebels were shot dead as soldiers searched compounds in the province of Kandahar where troops found and "protected" 150 civilians, including 50 children, the US-led force said in a statement. The militants were killed after refusing orders to evacuate buildings in the Taliban flashpoint of Zhari district.

#3: A roadside bomb Sunday struck a vehicle of Counter- Narcotics police in southern Afghan province of Kandahar, killing five police and two civilians, said a statement of the Interior Ministry received here on Monday. "The explosion took place in Lakokhil area of Jalai district Sunday noon leaving five Afghan National Police and two civilians dead and two more police wounded," the statement said.

#4: Paramilitary troops killed 20 suspected militants Monday, and a total of 46 had died since the operation began, an army statement said. Troops were combing the Maidan area of the district, it said.Some terrified residents have fled the area clutching no more than their children and a few belongings. At least one soldier was killed Sunday.A spokesman for the Taliban in their Swat Valley stronghold denounced the operation as a violation of the pact and said their fighters were on alert and waiting to see if a hard-line cleric who mediated the deal pronounced it dead.

#5: Two more policemen and two civilians were also wounded when one of police vehicles was blown up in the district’s Lakokhel area, the statement said.

#6: A group of Taliban militants attacked a district office in relatively peaceful northern Afghanistan Monday, killing one policeman and taking nine others hostage, officials said. In the rare attack, dozens of insurgents with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades stormed the Borka district headquarters in Baghlan province early Monday and killed an officer, provincial police spokesman Jawed Basharat said. The militants fled the area after torching the administration and police buildings, and destroying a police vehicle, he said. The Interior Ministry confirmed in that nine policemen including four officers were missing, while Basharat, speaking from Borka, told the German Press Agency dpa that police launched an operation in the area to track down the attackers.

#7: Afghan border police force seized a large amount of explosives hidden in a truck by militants for attacks, the Interior Ministry said on Monday. The overnight seizure in eastern Nangarhar province included 3,720 bags of explosives and 220 guns, it added.

Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Darron Mikeworth, 32, had just come out of a drug-induced coma - his mind was still in a fog and he was so weak he could barely stand. Three weeks before, in Iraq, near Baghdad on April 29, 2005, a suicide bomber had raced up to the right side of his Humvee, igniting a barrel of explosives that tore into the machine gunner's face. He nearly died. His head was one giant purple bruise, his eyelids were nearly swollen shut. His left eye had been removed (he'd given his OK from his hospital bed.) His eyelashes and most of his eyebrows were singed off; so, too, was his hair halfway back on his scalp. His nose was mostly gone, just a sliver of cartilage remaining; skeletal-like bones revealed his sinuses. His top right lip was curled into a snarl, making it impossible to close his mouth. His right jaw was torn. His bottom teeth, loosened by the blast, were wired together. His face - every bone has been shattered - was splattered with pinkish third-degree burns.