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 9, 2009

War News for Saturday, May 09, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Spc. Shawn D. Sykes died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Thursday, May 7th. as of result from an undisclosed accident at Combat Outpost Crazy Horse, in the Rustamiyah neighborhood in central Baghdad on Monday, May 5th.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a U.S. Soldier from a non-combat related vehicle accident in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Saturday, May 9th.

May 6 airpower summary:

Pakistan Pounds Taliban, Swelling the Tide of Refugees:

#1: A woman and her child on Saturday were injured when two Katyusha rockets landed in a residential area of Amara city, according to a local security source. “During an early hour this morning, two Katyusha rockets hit al-Qadissiya neighborhood, eastern Amara city, wounding a woman and her child,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An Iraqi police general was assassinated on the street near the oil hub of Basra on Saturday, police said, in a rare instance of violence in the country’s third largest city. A gunman shot dead Hakeem Jassim as he stood in front of his son’s shop in the district of Zubair, south of the city centre, a police official told AFP. No further details were immediately available.

#1: Iraqi army forces on Saturday found a body belonging to a young man near Makhmour district, northern Iraq, according to an army source. “On Saturday morning, army forces found an unknown body belonging to a man in his mid-twenties near Diyowazenti village (23 km west of Makhmour district),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Policemen defused a car bomb without incident in central Mosul city on Friday, a police source in Ninewa province said. “The car was prepared for explosion on al-Kornich street, central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency said.

#2: One policeman on Saturday was killed and three civilians were wounded in an armed attack in central Mosul city, according to a local security source.“Unknown gunmen opened fire on a policeman in the overcrowded Bab al-Saray market, downtown Mosul, killing him on the spot and wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

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

#4: A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol wounded one civilian in eastern Mosul, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned Aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan May 8 in the early afternoon hours. The crash was not due to hostile fire, and there were no injuries or damage to property as a result of the crash. The aircraft is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft.

A pilotless reconnaissance plane crashed in Ghazni province of southern Afghanistan Friday night, provincial police chief said Saturday. "The drone crashed in Qara Bagh district Friday evening with no loss of live," Khial Baz Shirza told Xinhua. He put technical problems on the incident.

#2: The Pakistani army says its troops have killed as many as 55 more Taliban fighters in its offensive to retake a valley in the northwest from militants. An army statement says helicopter gunships attacked militant hideouts in Mingora, the main town in the Swat Valley, and killed 15 enemy fighters.

#3: A suspected U.S. missile strike killed nine people, mostly foreigners, in another militant stronghold near the Afghan border, officials said. The identities of the victims not immediately unclear.

#4: A roadside bomb struck an Afghan National Army (ANA) vehicle early Saturday in the southern province of Zabul, the defence ministry told AFP. "Two ANA were martyred and four were wounded," it said.

#5: Another bomb hit an Afghan police vehicle in the same district (Zabul) on Friday, killing two policemen and wounding four, the interior ministry said in a statement.

#6: A military operation that included air strikes by international war planes was meanwhile launched in the eastern province of Paktia after the Taliban attacked a government district headquarters early Saturday, a government spokesman said. Police fought back in the Ahmad Khel district and four were wounded, provincial government spokesman Rohullah Samoon told AFP. The Afghan forces asked their international military counterparts for help and they sent aircraft to bomb the area, he said. Nine bodies had been recovered and one wounded militant arrested, "confessing" he was a member of the Taliban from Pakistan, Samoon said.

#7: Clash between Taliban and Afghan police left nine insurgents dead and another held captive in Paktia province of east Afghanistan, a provincial administration spokesman said Saturday. The clash erupted late Friday evening when the rebels targeted police checkpoint in Ahmad Khil district and police returned fire, killing nine rebels, said Rohullah Samon, the spokesman. He also added that another militant had been captured during the firefight. Four policemen were injured during the clash, which lasted for a while.

#8: Moreover, Afghan Defense Ministry said in a press release Saturday that the army killed two rebels in Musa Qala district of the southern Helmand province on Thursday.