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 11, 2009

War News for Monday, May 11, 2009

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of five U.S. - led soldiers from a small arms fire incident at Camp Liberty, Baghdad on Monday, May 11th. No other details were released.

May 7 airpower summary:

Officials release Kandahar C-17 accident investigation report:

Suspected Iranian shells fall in southeastern Turkey - official:

Probe into burns suffered in Afghan battle:

USAID to launch own airforce in Afghanistan:

Shaky Pakistan Is Seen as a Target of Plots by Al Qaeda:

Terrorist Traffic Via Syria Again Inching Up:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi police say a high-ranking traffic police officer has been fatally shot in central Baghdad.
Police say Brig. Gen. Abdul-Hussein al-Kadhoumi was driving a civilian car through al-Andalus square early Monday when he was cut off by two cars and sprayed with bullets. Police say the officer was on his way from his home in western Baghdad to the downtown traffic headquarters when he was killed.

#2: On Sunday, the convoy of the traffic department's director general was attacked with a roadside bomb. Maj. Gen. Jaafar Toma escaped that attack unharmed.

#1: A U.S. military vehicle was damaged in a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) blast in southern Basra on Monday, according to the province’s police information office. “An IED went off near a U.S. patrol in the area of al-Siba, (50 km) southern Basra, causing damage to one of the vehicles but no casualties were reported,” the office told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. This is the fourth time in two weeks a U.S. patrol comes under IED attacks.

#1: Iraqi police found the bodies of four people, including a traffic police officer, in and to the north of Baghdad. A police source told KUNA that the bodies of three citizens kidnapped a few days back were found this morning in Tarmiya district of Saladin Province, northern Baghdad.

#1: Police forces found the corpse of a Christian child who was abducted 10 days ago in eastern al-Shekhan, a source from the suburb’s police said on Monday. “Corpse of the Christian child Tony Edward Shiol (5 years) was found,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The child’s family lives in central al-Shekhan suburb, 40 km east of Mosul city,” he said.

#2: Gunmen shot dead an off-duty policeman and wounded another policeman at a market in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A group of Hungarian soldiers serving in the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in northern Afghanistan was attacked by local gunmen on Saturday but no injuries were reported, the Defence Ministry told MTI. The Hungarian soldiers were patrolling when an armed group attacked them from ambush 40 kms north of Pol-e-Khomri at around 0930 CET, the ministry said in a statement.

#2: Pakistani planes have bombed suspected militant positions in a stronghold close to the capital today, pressing ahead with a fierce offensive the government claimed had killed 700 insurgents and had the Taliban on the run. Islamabad's tough military response has earned praise from the U.S., which wants al-Qaida and Taliban militants rooted out from havens where they can plan attacks on American and NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as destabilize nuclear-armed Pakistan.

In the last 24 hours 52 miscreants have been killed and five others wounded during the exchange of fire as operation against miscreants by security forces is making headway successfully, a statement released by Pakistan army said on Monday.

#3: Elsewhere in Pakistan's northwest, police say a suicide bomber exploded his vehicle at a checkpoint, killing six civilians and two members of the Frontier Constabulary security force.

#4: Meanwhile, suicide bombers killed at least seven people when they attacked a police convoy in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand, the interior ministry said. Two suicide bombers riding on motorcyles blew themselves up near a group of police, who had just parked their vehicles in the Girishk district of Helmand, said provincial police chief Assadullah Sherzad. The Interior Ministry told Reuters that seven people including two police, two soldiers and three civilians had been killed. Another 20 people, 10 of them civilians had been wounded, it said.

#5: In one attack, a bomb destroyed a construction company vehicle in a remote eastern district on the border with Pakistan, killing eight workers, the Interior Ministry said. Police in Nangarhar province had said earlier that seven had died in the attack in Haska Mina district. “They were Afghan civilians working as road workers, engineers and supervisors for a company doing various construction work in the district,” provincial police spokesman Abdul Ghafoor told AFP.

#6: Another bomb exploded in the southern province of Zabul, killing three more construction workers, the interior ministry said in a separate statement. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the blasts.