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 18, 2009

War News for Monday, May 18, 2009

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a direct-fire / small arms fire attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, May 15th. No other details were released. We believe these to be American soldiers.

May 13 airpower summary:

May 14 airpower summary:

May 15 airpower summary:

May 16 airpower summary:

Afghanistan govt confirms 140 civilian deaths in airstrikes:

Iraq's fledgeling navy takes possession of its first naval patrol boat:

Iraq says building oil pipeline for Jordan not feasible:

Iraq's once-envied health care system lost to war, corruption:

Cheney said in 2004 Gitmo detainees revealed Iraq-al Qaida link:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Two civilians on Monday were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in central Baghdad, according to an official security source. “This morning, an explosive device detonated on St. 6 of Allawi area, downtown Baghdad, injuring two civilians and causing damage to two civilian cars,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Meanwhile, three civilians were killed and 10 others were wounded when an IED exploded last night near a café in Abu Tasheer area, southern Baghdad, according to the same source.

#3: Around 9:10 p.m. a roadside bomb detonated near a coffee shop in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad on Sunday. Five people were wounded.

#4: Around 9:30 p.m. two roadside bombs detonated in sequence in Ghadeer of the New Baghdad neighborhood in eastern Baghdad on Sunday. No casualties reported.

#5: A roadside bomb wounded two people in central Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Iraqi Police found four unidentified bodies in Muqdadiyah, 30 km to the northeast of Baquba Sunday morning.

#1: A police officer on Monday was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast near his house in central Basra city, according to a local security source. “A lieutenant colonel was killed when an explosive device detonated near his house on 14 Tammuz St., downtown Basra,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion wounded the officer’s son and one of his companions,” the source added.

#2: Sunday A roadside bomb wounded an Iraqi soldier near an Iraqi base in northern Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iraqi police found a body in the Tigris River in Hwaish area around 7 km to the north of the city of Samarra Sunday afternoon. It was the body of a man in his thirties, the police said. His hands were bound and he had been shot several times in the head and chest.

#1: A combined Iraqi-U.S. force detonated one rocket and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) without incident in Kirkuk on Sunday, a source from the city’s Joint Coordination Center said. “A patrol of al-Huweija police station found a rocket of unidentified type and two IEDs near al-Hai al-Sinaie neighborhood, al-Huweija district, (65 km) southwest of Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An Iraqi policeman was killed and three civilians were wounded when a suicide bomber targeted the home of the governor of a northern Iraqi province, according to news reports Monday. Citing local police, it said a man detonated explosives packed into his car 150 metres away from the home of Athil al-Najifi, governor of Iraq's northern Nineveh province, in downtown Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad. The governor was apparently unharmed, Baghdad's Buratha news agency reported.

#2: Late Sunday night, police told DPA that militants had fatally shot a police officer in downtown Mosul.

#3: In a separate incident Sunday evening, "unknown gunmen" fatally shot a civil servant in the Hay al-Zuhur district of eastern Mosul. A bystander was also injured in that incident, police said.

#4: Also Sunday evening, a car bomb targeting an Iraqi military patrol east of Mosul injured two Iraqi soldiers and four civilians bystanders, police told DPA.

#5: That attack followed an attack on an Iraqi police patrol in the western Mosul district of Den-Den, police said. Four people, including one policeman, were killed in that car-bomb attack.

#6: Police in eastern Mosul also said they had found five unidentified bodies in the Tahrir neighbourhood earlier that day.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Gunmen fired rockets and machine guns at a motorcade carrying the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday in an apparent assassination attempt, the brother said. A bodyguard was killed. Ahmad Wali Karzai said his convoy was on the way to Kabul from eastern Nangarhar province when gunmen attacked them in Surobi, a mountainous area about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capital. He was not harmed. Rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire rained down on the cars after they had entered the Surobi pass, said Abdul Jalal Shamal, the Surobi district police chief.

#2: Fighting in southern Afghanistan killed 6 Afghan police Sunday. The clash in Helmand province started when insurgents attacked a police checkpoint in Nahri Saraj district in the early morning, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Police arrested one of the attackers and sent search teams out to chase others, it said.

#3: Meanwhile, a roadside bomb in Zabul province killed one Afghan army soldier and wounded three others, the Defense Ministry said.

#4: In nearby Uruzgan province on Saturday, Afghan and international forces killed six insurgents in Dihrawud district, the Interior Ministry said.

#5: At least five NATO-led troops have been injured in a roadside bomb explosion in the eastern Afghan province of Kapisa, local officials say. The blast occurred Sunday after their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Tagab district of the province. Three of the injured are said to be in critical conditions, a Press TV correspondent reported Monday. The NATO force in Afghanistan, however, has declined to comment on the report.

#6: Three civilians were killed and another one wounded on May 18 after troops from Afghan's National Army (ANA) opened fire in a market in east Afghanistan, a local police chief said. The shooting occurred in Jalalabad, the capital of the Nangarhar Province, Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said. He added that three soldiers who opened fire had been arrested.

#7: Hours later, five other policemen were killed in another attack by Taliban insurgents on a post in the southwestern province of Nimroz, provincial governor Ghulam Dastgir Azad told AFP.

#8: In other violence, six militants, including a “foreign national”, were killed in a clash with troops on Saturday in Uruzgan, another flashpoint of the Taliban insurgency also on the border with Helmand, the interior ministry said.