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, May 4, 2009

War News for Monday, May 04, 2009

April 30 airpower summary:

War zone contracting termed huge 'failure'

U.S. Options in Pakistan Limited:

No extension of USpullback date:

Report: Senators seek answers on KBR overcharges:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Two persons on Monday were killed and five others were wounded in two blasts that hit the Iraqi capital, according to a police source. “The two explosions, which occurred before noon at an Iraqi oil ministry parking lot in eastern Baghdad, killed two individuals and injured five others according to an initial count,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. A ministry spokesperson said that one of the blasts appeared to have been caused by a car bomb.

Four people were killed and seven were wounded on Monday when twin bombs went off outside the Iraqi Oil Ministry in central Baghdad, police said. The bombs were planted on vehicles at a ministry parking lot, across the street from the building, which is protected by Oil Ministry guards. Two of those who were wounded were police.

#2: Around 10 a.m. a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Baladiyat neighborhood in eastern Baghdad on Sunday. No casualties reported.

#3: Around 8 p.m. a magnetic bomb attached to a Sahwa member's car detonated in Adhamiyah neighborhood in northern Baghdad on Sunday. Three people were wounded included the Sahwa member.

#1: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Monday targeted a U.S. patrol vehicle in northern Basra city, causing no casualties or damage, according to a local security source. “The explosion occurred near the old theme park,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A traffic policeman on Monday was wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in downtown Mosul city, according to a local police source. “This morning, an explosive charge targeted an emergency police patrol vehicle in Share al-Kornish area, downtown Mosul, wounding a traffic policeman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen killed a policeman in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police said gunmen wounded a local official with the Sunni Arab Islamic Party in the town of Khaldiya, 83 km (50 miles) west of Baghdad, as he was leaving a mosque after morning prayers.

#2: Clashes between gunmen and Iraqi soldiers guarding a checkpoint killed one soldier and one suspected insurgent west of Ramadi, which is 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. Two soldiers and one suspected insurgent were wounded.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: In the bloodiest incident on Monday, 12 civilians -- four women, two children and six men -- were killed by a roadside bomb that struck as they drove in a tractor in the Shamolzai district of southern Zabul province, said Mohammad Wazir, district chief of Shamolzai. "This was a mine newly planted by the Taliban," he told Reuters.

#2: A while later, Taliban guerrillas ambushed a convoy of a security firm in another area of Zabul, killing six Afghan security guards in the convoy and two civilians nearby, Ghulam Jailani, a senior provincial police official, said.

#3: Earlier on Monday, a provincial mayor was among seven people killed by a teenage suicide bomber who blew himself up at the gate of a municipal administration building in the eastern province of Laghman, the Interior Ministry said. Three body guards and three civilians were killed along with the province's mayor, Mohammad Rahim, the Interior Ministry said. A spokesman for the provincial governor's office, Sayed Ahmad Sopai, said 10 people were also wounded, including three women. He said the suicide bomber was identified as a 14-year-old boy from Paktika province further south.

#4: NATO-led troops shot and killed a 12-year-old girl and wounded two other civilians in western Afghanistan after they opened fire at a vehicle close to a convoy, police said on Sunday.

#5: Pakistani forces battled Taliban fighters on Monday as the militants denounced the army and government as U.S. stooges and said a peace pact would end unless the government halted its offensive. In the Buner valley, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of the Pakistani capital, security forces backed by helicopter gunships and artillery attacked militants in three hamlets on Monday, residents and security officials said. "There's been heavy firing going on since morning. It's very scary. Troops are using heavy artillery and gunships," resident Nasir Khan told Reuters by telephone. A military spokesman said seven militants, including a commander, were killed. One soldier was killed and three wounded.

Casualty Reports:

Donald Woodard Jr. ,26, survival from a November 2007 bomb blast outside Baghdad. the bomb detonated under the Humvee he was driving — flipping it onto its side and setting it on fire. Though on fire himself, he regained consciousness and managed to pull himself out of the wreckage and run for help. After a medically induced coma lasting nearly two weeks, Woodard underwent an intensive 19 months of therapy at Brooke Army Medical Center. Woodard had to relearn how to walk, feed himself, drive, and handle the basics of daily life. With burns over 83 percent of his body — 60 percent of them third-degree — he endured countless skin grafts and a traumatic brain injury. Physicians used cartilage from one of his ears and tissue from his forehead to rebuild the right side of his nose, which was missing. A special brace stabilizes Woodard’s ankle so that his foot stays upright. The nerves in his right leg from the knee down are dead, so he needs the brace to walk. Woodard also lost part of the vision in his right eye and has partial hearing in his right ear.