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

Saturday, May 2, 2009

War News for Saturday, May 02, 2009

Photo: Chet Borowski's Coalition Memorial displaying the 15th, 16th, and 17th wall. Click for larger view.

NATO is reporting the deaths of four ISAF and one USFOR - A soldiers in a small arms and RPG fire attack in an undisclosed location of eastern Afghanistan on Friday, May 1st. The Latvian MOD is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in Kunar Province, Afghanistan which attack also killed three U.S. and three ANA soldiers, three ANA soldiers were injured. Two additional Latvian soldiers were also wounded in the attack. The U.S. military has not yet released statements on their dead.

Turkey's trade in Iraq amounted to 6 billion USD in 2008:

At least 15 journalists killed in Pakistan past year:

Barack Obama Is Lying About Pakistan:

Pakistan Says It Killed 50 Taliban in a Clash, but Residents Say Civilians Died:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Gunmen opened fire on a government-backed Sunni Arab militia checkpoint in Yusufiya, 20 km (12 miles) south of Baghdad, wounding one fighter, early on Saturday, police said.

#1: The decomposed body of a young man was found inside his house in central al-Kut city on Friday, a security source said. “Wassit policemen found today afternoon (May 1) the decomposed body of a young man on the roof of his house in al-Haidariya area, central Kut, upon reports from neighbors,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body showed signs of having been shot. It decayed after remaining for a long time on the roof,” he added.

#1: Iraqi police say a roadside bomb has killed at least three people near the northern city of Kirkuk. The victims are civilians who were traveling about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the ethnically mixed city. Police Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir says the blast hit a car and cement mixer.
It's not known whether the vehicles were the intended targets of the blast.

Three construction workers were killed and two injured in a bomb blast in Iraq's northern province of Kirkuk Saturday, police said. 'A bomb struck a car carrying builders on a road in Taz-Touz Khormato district,' senior police officer Fekrat Rachid told the German Press Agency dpa.

#1: Iranian helicopters attacked three Iraqi Kurdish villages in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday, a senior border guard official said, the first time Iran has used aircraft against Kurdish rebels. There were no immediate reports of casualties."At 4 am (0100 GMT) they attacked with artillery the villages of Kani Saif, Jomarasi and Kara Sozi, that belong to the Panjwin district," a senior Iraqi border guard official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "After the attacks at 9 am three Iranian helicopters attacked these areas again," he said. "This is the first time they have used helicopters."

#1: Five civilians were killed and six others wounded in a suicide blast inside a casino in northern Mosul city on Friday, police said. “A suicide bomber with an explosive belt attacked the al-Shiraa casino in the tourist area of Sadd al-Mosul, (40 km) northern Mosul, killing five civilians and wounding six others,” a security source from Ninewa police told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The US military announced that its forces working with Afghan troops had killed five militants on Friday in the southern province of Helmand, a stronghold of the Al-Qaeda linked Taliban militia. The troops had come under attack while on a routine security patrol and "returned fire with small-arms and heavy weapons, killing five militants," it said in a statement.

#2: Six to seven more militants were killed overnight in the adjoining province of Kandahar, provincial police intelligence chief Abdullah Khan said. They had been travelling in a pick-up vehicle and were targeted by an air strike, he said.

#3: The defence ministry said separately that its men had killed one "terrorist" on Friday in the eastern province of Paktika.

#4: The interior ministry reported meanwhile that the police chief of Farsi district in the western province of Herat was killed, along with a bodyguard, early Saturday when a bomb blew up their vehicle. It blamed the attack, in which six policemen were also wounded, on insurgents.

#5: Pakistani troops and helicopter gunships Saturday shelled militant hideouts in northwestern Buner district where a military offensive has displaced thousands of people, officials said. Helicopters and artillery continued to pound Taliban hideouts in the towns of Ambela, Pir Baba and Sultanwas which are considered militant strongholds, a senior military official said. "We have besieged a Taliban compound in Ambela where militants had been holding a meeting," said the official, who requested anonymity. The military says around 200 militants have been killed in the Lower Dir and Buner assaults. The military put its own toll at about a dozen dead.
Independent confirmation of the casualties was not immediately possible.

#6: Militants attacked a Pakistani security post near the Afghan border on Saturday, triggering a battle that left 13 assailants and two troops dead, an official said. The incident early Saturday in the Mohmand tribal region - where Pakistan's army recently declared victory over militants who had begun to threaten the nearby city of Peshawar - also injured three troops, said Syed Ahmad Jan, a senior administrator in Mohmand. "Our security forces returned fire after coming under attack this morning, and when the insurgents escaped they left the bodies of 13 of their comrades," Jan said.

#7: A roadside bomb blasted in Afghan Northern Province of Kunduz Friday evening, damaging a police vehicle, provincial police chief said Saturday. "The incident took place in Sehdara district, but fortunately no police were killed or wounded in the explosion," Abdul Rahman Haqtash told Xinhua. He also denied Taliban's claim that six policemen were killed in the incident.

#8: At least three people were killed and 12 others, including four women, were injured in a rocket attack Saturday in a market in Pakistan's Bajaur agency bordering Afghanistan, according to local TV reports.

Casualty Reports:

Cpl. Adam Schuster is recovering at the Walter Reed Medical Center after he was shot in Iraq. He was in a dismounted patrol in Ramadi, Iraq, when he was shot in the neck and jaw with a small-caliber gun by an insurgent. Schuster underwent surgery on Wednesday and is expected to undergo several more operations before he fully recovers.

Norberto Lara -- Nearly five years after platoon sergeant Lara and his lieutenant, Dawn Halfaker, lost their arms to the same rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq, however, both veterans remain works in progress. Lara's last surgery hurt like hell, for a long time. Nightmares still dog him. He's returned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center four times in the past six months. June 18, 2004. It happened early in the morning. Lara was in the right front seat of an armored Humvee. Halfaker sat behind him. The members of the 3rd Infantry Division's 293rd Military Police Company were patrolling the town of Baqubah, 30 miles northeast of Baghdad. A rocket-propelled grenade punched through the Humvee. Hurtling at roughly 965 feet per second, it sliced Lara's arm off at the shoulder, flew on and then exploded near Halfaker.