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, April 1, 2009

War News for Wednesday, April 01, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier in a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in Salah ad Din province, Iraq on Tuesday, March 31st.

March 29 airpower summary:

Blast reduces Russian gas supplies to Balkans:

Monthly death toll shows 252 Iraqis killed in March violence:

Source: Firm to take over Blackwater/Xe's Iraq contract:

Militants Show New Boldness in Cities of Iraq:

US opens another prison for Iraqis:

Iraq's unions under attack: (How shocking something like this could happen after six years of being under a Republican dictatorship -- whisker)

In a Desolate Iraqi Village, War Is Far From Over:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi Police reported finding 11 unidentified bodies in various neighbourhoods of Baghdad during March, 2009.

#2: Tariq al Hashimi, Iraqi Vice President was attacked from a distance by gunmen carrying fire arms while he was visiting al Sadr General Hospital Wednesday morning. The Iraqi army returned fire and no casualties were reported. The gunman got away.

#1: The U.S. army imposed a curfew on Dalouiya in Salah el-Din after clashes with gunmen, during which a military vehicle was damaged, a security source said on Wednesday. “Unknown gunmen on Tuesday night (March 31) attacked a U.S. patrol in al-Jubur neighborhood in central Dalouiya and damaged a U.S. vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The U.S. forces raided nearby houses and arrested three suspected young men and imposed a curfew for several hours,” he added. “The forces which were accompanied by police vehicles responded randomly on the attack, damaging two police vehicles and a civilian car,” he also said. No word was immediately available from the U.S. army on the incident.

#1: A car bomb went off in a public market, in northern Kirkuk city, leaving two injuries among civilians, said a source from the province’s police. “The incident took place in al-Shorja market, northern Kirkuk,” Colonel Beston Mohammed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Ten people were wounded in a car bomb explosion in central Mosul, a security source said on Wednesday. “A car crammed with explosives went off on Wednesday (April 1) targeting a police vehicle patrol in Qasr al-Mutran region in central Mosul, injuring ten people, including a policeman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen in a moving car shot dead a primary school teacher in northern Mosul, police said.

#3: Gunmen threw a hand grenade at a U.S. military convoy in al Saa neighbourhood, central Mosul, Tuesday evening injuring three civilians.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in al Andulus neighbourhood, northern Mosul, Tuesday evening seriously injuring four policemen.

#5: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday shot down a teacher in Mosul city, according to a police source. “The teacher was shot down by three gunmen driving a vehicle on a street in al-Masaref neighborhood, northern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A group of suicide bombers raided a provincial council building in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar on Wednesday and killed 11 people, the Interior Ministry said. One bomber blew himself up at the gate of the building, killing the guard, while three more suicide attackers managed to get inside the building and started firing at people, the Interior Ministry said in a statement issued in Kabul. Police swiftly moved into the compound and shot dead two of the would-be bombers, but a third succeeded in blowing up the explosives attached to his body, the statement added. "As a result of this blast, seven civilians and three police were martyred," the Interior Ministry said. Kandahar’s education chief and the province’s deputy head of the health department were among the dead, Ahmad Wali Karzai, the council head and a brother of President Hamid Karzai, told reporters in Kandahar. The attackers were dressed in Afghan army uniforms, witnesses said. Sixteen people, including members of the council, were wounded, officials added.

#2: Missiles fired from a suspected American drone struck a militant training camp in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people in an attack apparently aimed at one of the area’s most important Taliban leaders, Hakimullah Mehsud, according to news reports, militants and an intelligence official. Mr. Mehsud escaped unhurt, the intelligence official said, speaking in return for anonymity. The attack was the first of its kind in the Orakzai region, which lies southwest of Peshawar and close to the border with Afghanistan, residents said.

#3: A man strapped explosive device in his body targeted police checkpoint in Nimroz province west of Afghanistan on Wednesday, provincial police chief Abdul Jabbar Purduli said. "The bomber was attempting to enter police checkpoint in Kang district at 3:00 p.m. local time (1030GMT) when he detonated himself before being stopped by police," Purduli told Xinhua. "Fortunately, the blast only killed the attacker himself and there were no casualties on police," he added.

#4: Pakistan's Taliban militants on Wednesday attacked house of a former minister in northwestern Swatvalley. A group of 60 to 70 armed local Taliban carried out attack on and occupied the house of Ameer Muqam, a member of opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and former federal minister, reports said. Muqam, who was in northwestern city of Peshawar, escaped from the attack. The militants blew up the house after their occupation, private Dawn TV channel said.

Casualty Reports:

Commander Kim LeBel was wounded Friday in Afghanistan after an insurgent posing as an Afghan National Army soldier opened fire on U.S. military personnel at Camp Shaheen in Mazar-E-Sharif. The attack also left two people dead, according to a Department of Defense release. she sustained a gunshot wound to her arm and had to be airlifted out of the country for treatment, according to her mother, Burah Wilbourn, and sister, Kay Daniels. LeBel was the first to go down. She had been hit in her left forearm, Wilbourn said. LeBel underwent her first surgery Sunday. She was then flown to Landstuhl, Germany, where she received further treatment, her mother said. She will be airlifted to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland some time this week, her family believes. There, Wilbourn said, she’ll likely have another surgery. “She’s on morphine and in a lot of pain,” Wilbourn said.

Canadian Warrant Officer Tim Aleman of Orillia was wounded in the explosion west of Kandahar City around 6:45 a. m. Kandahar time. "As a result of the explosion, Warrant Officer Aleman suffered relatively minor injuries to his face, neck and arms," Lt.-Col. Joe Parkinson, commanding officer of the Hasty Ps, said Tuesday in a statement. "He continues to recover and will undergo medical assessment at a hospital in Kingston with family by his side," Parkinson said. The bombing was one of two fatal IED attacks that day. Later that morning, three soldiers were injured and two more killed when another IED exploded outside a vehicle northeast of the city.