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 23, 2009

War News for Saturday, May 23, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from small arms-fire / gunshot wound near Sangin in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Friday, May 22nd.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of an American DoD civilian in a rocket mortar attack on the international green zone in Baghdad, Iraq on Friday, May 22nd.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a second American civilian who was apparently killed and left in a car in the international green zone in Baghdad on Friday, May 22nd. No other details were released. -- CNN American found blindfolded, stabbed in Baghdad.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Corps - Iraq soldier in a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in Baghdad on Friday, May 22nd.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in a non-hostile helicopter crash near Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on Friday, May 22nd. We assume this to be an American soldier.

May 20 airpower summary:

S.A. man is killed in Afghanistan blast:

Daily Kos: Afghanistan - the myth they attacked us, some consequences:

Pakistan Claims More Gains Against Taliban:

Four PKK rebels killed in SE Turkey: military:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A mortar round hit the Green Zone at 9 a.m. Saturday. No casualties were reported.
A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Husseiniyah neighbourhood, northeastern

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Husseiniyah neighbourhood, northeastern Baghdad at noon Saturday. The explosion caused material damages to a Hummer vehicle said Iraqi Police. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Police forces on Saturday found the body of the son of a Sahwa council leader two days after he was kidnapped in southern Baaquba city, according to a local police source. “The body was found in Abbara Bahraz area, nearly 5 km south of Baaquba,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two rockets on Saturday fell near the archeological city of Ur, Nassiriya province, but no casualties were reported, according to a statement released by the Multi-National Force (MNF).
“On Saturday morning, two rockets were launched from Albo Fayyad area (10 km south of Nassiriya city) near the archeological temple in Ur city,” read the statement that was received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two unidentified bodies were found in Ishaqi district Saturday. There was evidence of torture and several gun fire wounds in the heads and in other parts of the bodies.

#1: An Iraqi civilians was shot down by U.S. soldiers after opening fire at a U.S. patrol on Friday, an Iraqi police source in Tikrit said. “An Iraqi civilian man opened fire from his Kalashnikov assault rifle he took out from his vehicle while a U.S. patrol of several Humvee vehicles were passing by in al-Qadissiya neighborhood, northern Tikrit,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The man opened fire at the patrolmen who fired back, killing him instantly,” he added.

#1: A police officer on Saturday was wounded in an explosive device blast in southern Mosul city, according to a local security source. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in front of the house of Lt. Col. Taha Mohammed in a Shura district village, southern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded three policemen in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Pakistani security forces have entered the main town in a northwestern valley where Taliban fighters are holed up, engaging the militants in fierce street fights, the army's top spokesman said Saturday. Capturing the town of Mingora is critical to Pakistani efforts to regain the Swat Valley and prevent it from being a safe haven for insurgents increasingly threatening the Muslim nation's stability. It could prove a major test for a military more geared toward conventional warfare on plains than bloody urban battles. Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas also told reporters Saturday that at least 17 alleged militants had been killed over the previous 24 hours in the offensive. "Street fights have begun," Abbas said. "It is a difficult operation because we have to make a house-to-house search. We have cleared some of the area in the city."

#2: Troops killed 60 militants and seized their largest-ever drugs haul, in a just-ended operation in a Taliban stronghold and opium-production center in southern Afghanistan, the US military said Saturday. The operation in the southern province of Helmand ended overnight when troops used air strikes to destroy their massive haul of 92 tonnes of drugs, heroin-processing chemicals and bomb-making materials, it said in a statement.

#3: Two Italian military helicopters came to the aid of a convoy of Afghan soldiers who were under Taliban attack on Friday in Bala Murgab in Bagdhis province. Baghdis borders the province of Herat, where international troops in the NATO-led force are under Italian command. Taliban militants on Thursday opened fire on a patrol of Italian soldiers and a 23-year-old paratrooper, Alessandro Iosca, was lightly wounded in one arm.

#4: A Polish soldier has been wounded in Afghanistan after a military vehicle ran over a land mine. The explosion, seriously wounding the driver of the MRAP Cougar vehicle, took place during a convoy from the Polish base in Ghazni province, south east Afghanistan. The incident occurred several kilometres from the Polish base at Qarabagh. A medical helicopter transported the soldier to a hospital in Bagram. Doctors describe his condition as serious and the soldier is to be transferred to a hospital at the German base in Rammstein.