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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

War News for Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of three American soldiers in a "blast" at the Assyrian market in Doura, Baghdad on Thursday, May 21st. Nine additional soldiers were wounded and four Iraqis were killed in the attack.

May 18 airpower summary:

CNN video: A military attorney who represents a freed Guantanamo detainee says the U.S. used torture. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

U.S. Pullout a Condition in Afghan Peace Talks:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The bloodshed came a day after a car bomb exploded near a crowded ice cream parlor in a Shiite neighborhood of northern Baghdad, killing at least 34 people, wounding 72 and marking an end to a period of relative calm.

The blasts come hours after a car bomb killed 40 civilians and wounded 82 others in Baghdad's poor, mostly Shi'ite district of Shula late on Wednesday, police said.

The death toll of a parked car bomb in northwest Baghdad's largely Shi'ite district of Shula on Wednesday rose to 40 people killed and 82 wounded, police said, revising earlier figures higher.

#2: At least two policemen were killed and 20 persons, including a number of policemen, were wounded in a bomb explosion inside a police station in western Baghdad on Thursday. “Two policemen were killed on Thursday (May 21) and 20 others, including a number of policemen were wounded in an explosive charge planted in the al-Maamoun police station in western Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Three civilians and two policemen were wounded on Thursday in a roadside bomb explosion in southeastern Baghdad, a police source said. “A roadside bomb, planted on the road, exploded on Thursday (May 21) targeting a police vehicle patrol in al-Zaafaraniya region in southeastern Baghdad, injuring three civilians and two policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Massayab:
#1: Four policemen were wounded on Thursday in a bomb blast in the north of Babel province, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday (May 21) targeting a police vehicle patrol in al-Massieb region in the north of Babel, injuring four policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Roadside bombs wounded four Iraqi soldiers and three policemen when they arrived at the scene of a car accident that killed nine people and wounded seven others, police said.

#2: Four policemen were wounded on Wednesday when a Katyusha rocket landed near a police patrol in the town of Mussayab, around 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A gunman opened fire at a mourning ceremony, killing two men on Wednesday in an area near Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber killed at least eight members of a Sunni paramilitary group in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, as the group members were waiting outside an army station to get paid. It is the second time in recent weeks that individuals in the groups, known as Sons of Iraq, have been targeted by explosives as they waited for their salaries.

A roadside bomb targeted the motorcade of Kirkuk Chief of Police, Brigadier Burhan Tayib in Korneesh Street, central Kirkuk injuring one of the security personnel and dcausing damages to one of the cars.

#1: Two brothers were wounded in an armed attack in central Mosul city, a medical source from Ninewa province said on Thursday. “Unknown gunmen on Thursday noon opened fire on two brothers at the Babil-tob bus station, central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Seven militants died Wednesday after a firefight and airstrikes in the central Ghazni province, the statement said. The joint force was after a Taliban subcommander involved in attacks in eastern Afghanistan. The wanted man, who was not identified, was detained.

#2: Another two militants were killed and six others detained after a clash in the southern Helmand province Thursday, another statement said.

#3: 4 members of 108th injured in Afghanistan. Four Charlie Troop soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan were injured on Sunday after their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). None of the injuries are considered life-threatening, said Lt. Col. Ken Baldowski, a public affairs officer with the Georgia Army National Guard.

#4: Pakistan said Thursday five soldiers and a number of militants were killed during fighting in a northwest valley where fighter jets and ground troops have pressed an offensive against the Taliban. "In the last 24 hours, a number of miscreants-terrorists including important miscreant commander Abu Tariq were killed and seven miscreants were apprehended, " the military said in a statement. "Five soldiers embraced shahadat and seven soldiers, including an officer were injured, in various areas of Swat," it added, referring to maytrdom. The military reported fighting in Peochar, a key Taliban bastion in northern Swat, the town of Kanju and around a Taliban supply line in Takhta Bund.