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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

War News for Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The DoD is reporting what appears to be a new death previously unreported by the military. Spc. David A. Schaefer Jr. died in a roadside bomb attack in an undisclosed location in Baghdad on Sunday, May 16th.

Pakistani army commander in talks with NATO:

Iraq Arrests 2 Sunni Leaders, Raising Fears of Violence:

Blog: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: US is training PJAK

Reported Security incidents:

#1: In a separate incident, a mortar round landed on the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, which houses most of the Iraqi government offices and foreign embassies, the source said without giving further details.

Jarf Al Sakha:
#1: A local Sahwa chief was also wounded by a roadside bomb attack on his car in Jarf Sakha, south of the capital.

#1: Two Iraqi civilians were killed and five others were wounded by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. The blast appeared to target their car in Taji, 30 kilometres (19 miles north of Baghdad.

Two civilians were killed and five others injured in a bomb explosion near Baghdad on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said. The attack took place after midday when a roadside bomb struck a minibus carrying passengers in Taji area, some 20 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#1: An unknown body belonging to a woman was found by Iraqi army forces west of Makhmour suburb, according to an army source. “The woman is in her thirties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The corpse was found near Aqarat village, 25 km west of Makhmor,” he said. “Signs of gunshot wounds were found on the body,” he added.

#1: One gunman was killed and two others were wounded, while attempting to plant a bomb in central Huwaiyja on Monday, a police source said. “A gunman was killed when the bomb he was attempting to plant on the road near the industrial neighborhood in central Huwaiyja, southwest of Kirkuk, went off, while two others gunmen were wounded, one of them remains in a critical condition,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: The US military says its forces have killed an Iraqi civilian who failed to heed warnings and stop his car at a checkpoint in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. "Coalition forces signaled for the vehicle to stop. The vehicle continued its approach, forcing coalition forces to fire at it, killing the driver," it said in a statement.

Tal Afar:
#1: Two civilians on Tuesday were seriously wounded in an explosive device blast in Ninewa’s Talafar district, according to a local police chief. “A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) went off in al-Salam neighborhood, Talafar district (60 km west of Mosul), seriously injuring two civilians,” Col. Ali Hadi Ebeid told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Pakistani soldiers battled Taliban militants in towns in Swat on Tuesday as authorities scrambled to get food to thousands of civilians trapped by the fighting. Soldiers are advancing on the valley's towns from different directions after they finished the first part of the campaign aimed at Taliban strongholds and supply depots in the mountains, the military said. Soldiers conducting cordon and search operations in Matta town clashed with militants and an officer and a soldier were killed while seven soldiers were wounded, the military said. Troops were also in, or advancing on, the towns of Kanju and Takhtaband, it said. "Fierce clashes are taking place at both places," the military said in a statement, adding that 14 militants and two soldiers were killed in those clashes. The government says more than 1,000 militants have been killed in the offensive, while the military says more than 50 soldiers have been killed.