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 30, 2009

War News for Saturday, May 30, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Coalition forces Soldier in a grenade attack in an undisclosed location in Ninewa Province on Friday, May 29th.

May 27 airpower summary:

UK admits use of controversial weapons in Afghanistan:

Gunmen target Ahmadinejad election office:

Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
#1: An Iraqi soldier was killed and three others wounded on Saturday when a bomb exploded as they were on patrol in Diyala province, one of Iraq's most dangerous areas, a military official said. The improvised device blew up to the south of the provincial capital of Baquba, the local official told AFP.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Pakistani troops have retaken the largest town in the Swat Valley from the Taliban as the army presses its offensive against militants in the country's northwest, the army spokesman said Saturday. Government forces had full control of Mingora, though they were still meeting pockets of resistance from fighters on the outskirts of the town, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told The Associated Press.

#2: Four civilians were killed and a provincial governor wounded in two separate bomb blasts in Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said. The civilians, including a child and a woman, were killed when a roadside bomb, similar to those used by Taliban insurgents, struck their vehicle in the southern province of Kandahar, police said. "Four civilians, one of them a five-year-old child were killed when a bomb hit their car in Khakriz district," police official Afzal Khan said.

#3: A provincial governor and his driver were wounded in a similar attack in northeast Afghanistan which was blamed on the Taliban, an intelligence official said. Kunduz governor Mohammad Omar was returning from neighbouring Takhar province when a remote-controlled bomb struck his vehicle, said local intelligence chief Abdul Majeed Azimi. "Along the road a remote-control mine struck his vehicle, injuring him and his driver slightly," Azimi said, adding the two men were hospitalised with "slight injuries".

#3: Three paratroopers of the "Folgore" brigade, 183th "Nembo" regiment of the Italian army, were injured this morning near Bala Murgab, in Afghanistan, during a joint operation with the Afghan army. The three men are not in life danger. Regional Command West issued a note from Herat base: "The rebels attacked Afghan army patrols and later opened fire also against the Italian military". During the operation three Afghan soldiers were killed and four more were injured. 25 rebels were killed too.

Three Italian paratroopers were injured in western Afghanistan on Friday in a violent firefight which left 25 insurgents dead, defense ministry sources said. The battle started when a joint Italian-Afghan army patrol came under attack in the area of Bala Morgab. None of the soldiers from the Folgore Brigade suffered serious injury. One was said to have hurt his foot jumping from his vehicle, another received some shrapnel wounds, while the third suffered a concussion when an anti-tank grenade exploded near him. Three Afghan soldiers were also killed, while four others were injured and four insurgents captured.

#4: Yesterday two Italian Navy AB-212 helicopters had been attacked that took off from Bala Murgab base had been attacked with light weapons".

Friday's attack was not far from where an Italian military helicopter, carrying General Rosario Castellano, the commander of allied forces in western Afghanistan, came under machine-gun fire on Thursday.

#5: Afghan policemen identified and shot dead two suicide bombers who were trying to enter the Guzara district of western Helmand province overnight, the Interior Ministry said.

#6: Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan and the U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, attacked a supplying convoy in the southern Zabul province, killing four drivers and set on fire 10 trucks, provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said Friday. "A group of Taliban militants attacked a convoy of trucks in Shinkai district Thursday evening, killing four truckers and burning 10 trucks," Sarjang told Xinhua. All the victims were Afghans, he said.