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

Sunday, May 24, 2009

War News for Sunday, May 24, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in a roadside bombing near Sangin, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Saturday, May 23rd.

Airpower Summary for May 21, 2009:

Official: Swine flu-infected U.S. troops leave Kuwait:

Former Iraqi insurgent contemplates returning to war:

Pakistan and Taliban Battling for Key City:

Guantánamo Closing Hands Republicans a Wedge Issue:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: One policeman and two civilians were wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) in northern Baghdad on Sunday, police said. “An IED planted by unidentified persons on the main road in al-Dalal Square, al-Aadhamiya area, northern Baghdad, went off near an Iraqi army patrol, wounding one policeman and two civilians,” a security source in Baghdad told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb detonated in Khurnabat village (about 4 miles north of Baquba) while insurgents were about to plant it. Two of them were killed.

#1: Gunmen killed a 6 year old son of Sahwa leader in Abu Khamees (south of Buhriz about 3 miles south of Baquba) around 10 a.m.

#1: Two civilians were killed and three others wounded when they came under unidentified gunmen fire in the district of Jalawlaa, Diala province, on Saturday, a local security source said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire today (May 23) on a group of civilians in Tabaj area, Jalawlaa, (30 km) southwest of Khanaqin district, leaving two killed and three others wounded, two of them in a critical condition,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Gunmen opened fire on a government-backed Sunni militia checkpoint on Saturday night, wounding one fighter in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A suicide car bombing which targeted a U.S. military patrol in a busy shopping street of Iraq's troubled northern city of Mosul Sunday wounded 34 people, some of them critically, officials said. "A suicide bombing aimed at a U.S. army patrol in Al-Dawasa district resulted in 34 wounded," a local police official told AFP. There were no immediate reports of Iraqi or U.S. military casualties in the powerful blast which struck a busy downtown city street full of shops.

#2: Policemen in Ninewa defused four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in two separate operations in Mosul city on Saturday, a security source in the province said.

#3: Gunmen stormed a family home and shot dead a woman and her daughter in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#4: Gunmen shot dead a Kurdish woman in her home in eastern Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A senior officer survived an attempt on his life with an improvised explosive device (IED) that targeted him in a village of the Karmat al-Falluja district on Saturday, an official security source said. “An IED target Lt. Colonel Abad Sallam Khawaf, who was returning to the al-Shahid police station in the village of al-Qanater, Karmat al-Falluja district, eastern Falluja city, but escaped the attempt,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “No casualties were reported in the blast,” he added, not giving more information.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan government stormed a district in Takhar province northeast Afghanistan in the wee hours of Sunday, police said. "It was around 1:00 a.m. this morning that Taliban rebels attacked Baharak district but police encountered forcing them to flee," provincial police chief Ziaudin Mahmoudi told Xinhua. He also added that police inflicted casualties on Taliban insurgents but did not give exact figure. Meantime, a Taliban purported spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid from unknown location told media that four police were killed in the firefight lasting for a while. This is the first time that Taliban insurgents carried out attack against a district in the northern part of Afghanistan.

#2: Pakistani troops battling the Taliban have captured several points in the Swat Valley's main town, the army said Sunday, including a spot nicknamed "bloody intersection" because militants routinely dumped the mutilated bodies of their victims there.

#3: Elsewhere in the northwest, helicopter gunships pounded alleged militant hide-outs in a tribal region, killing at least 18 people, while police said they had captured an important militant commander and six other Taliban fighters.

#4: An Afghan civilian died of wounds from a U.S.-led airstrike, which was supporting NATO-led forces in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the alliance said in a statement. The civilian was suspected of planting an explosive device but an investigation later determined he was not an insurgent, the statement added.

#5: An explosion rocked Kandahar city the former stronghold of Taliban in south Afghanistan, killing at least two police on Sunday. "It was at 12 a.m. local time (0730 GMT) when a remote-controlled bomb aimed at targeting police van in Dorahi area of Kandahar city killing two police and injuring two others," eye witnesses at the site of blast told Xinhua. Meantime, a statement of Interior Ministry released here said that one civilian was killed and four others including a police were injured.