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 26, 2009

War News for Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of three people in a roadside bombing an undisclosed location near Fallujah, Iraq on Monday, May 25th. Two additional people were wounded in the attack. Because the military is releasing the names of the dead we will count these people in our casualty data base. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that one of the dead is a state department official Terry Branch, a former Illinois Commerce Commission chairman and chief counsel to former Gov. Jim Thompson. The AFP is reporting that the dead includes a soldier a civilian employee of the State Department and a Defence Department worker.

NATO is reporting the deaths of three ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, May 26th. Numerous news articles state that a suicide bomber attacked the NATO convoy in Kapisa province which also left three Afghani civilians dead. We will assume these to be American soldiers.

May 23 airpower summary:

Turkish soldier killed in PKK clash in eastern province:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Monday Around 4 p.m. a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in New Baghdad neighborhood in eastern Baghdad on Monday. No casualties reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Police forces on Monday found a mass grave of victims executed by al-Qaeda gunmen in the west of Baaquba, a media source said. “A mass grave of eight corpses was found in al-Katoun neighborhood in west of Baaquba on Monday (May 25),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The eight decayed bodies bore signs of gunshot wounds,” he noted.

#1: “During an early hour on Tuesday morning, unknown gunmen shot down a taxi driver in front of his house in al-Orouba neighborhood, southern Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Meanwhile, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a vehicle belonging to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense near a cotton gin on a main road in southern Kirkuk, wounding three army personnel, including two officers and one soldier,” Col. Ghazi Ali, a police chief in al-Muqdad police, said.

#3: Gunmen killed three members of a family during a raid on their house in a village southwest of Kirkuk, north of Baghdad on Monday, police said

#1: “One civilian was killed on Monday (May 25) by gunmen in Mosul al-Jadieda region in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “An explosive charge went off on Monday targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol in Tal al-Rouman region in western Mosul, wounding a passing civilian,” the same source said.

#3: An Iraqi soldier was killed by a sniper in Tahrir neighborhood in eastern Mosul on Monday afternoon.

#4: Monday A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in tal Al-Ruman in western Mosul in the afternoon. One Iraqi civilian was wounded with no casualties on the American side.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A two month old infant was killed, and his while his parents and older brother were wounded, in the Julan neighborhood of Falluja on Saturday night. A grenade was thrown on the roof of that family’s house. The family was sleeping on the roof at the time.

#2: Around noon gunmen attacked a civilian car in the Awisat area (about 17 miles east of Falluja) on Monday. A man and his wife were killed.

#3: Around 4 p.m. a roadside bomb targeted a police commando’s patrol on the high of southern Falluja on Monday. One vehicle was totally damaged, but no further information released of the number of casaulties as the area was blocked by police till the having this report.

#4: Police forces on Tuesday discovered a mass grave of seven unknown corpses in a border region in western Anbar, according to a security source. “A detained man unveiled the presence of a mass grave of seven unidentified bodies killed by armed groups more than two years ago in western Anbar,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: One roadside bomb targeted a police van patrolling in Tank district, near the tribal area of South Waziristan, a rugged frontier terrain on the border with Afghanistan believed to be a hub of Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants. "At least two policemen were wounded when their vehicle was hit by a remote controlled device planted along the roadside in northwestern Tank town on Tuesday," a local police official said.

#2: In the nearby region of Dera Ismail Khan, a hand grenade was lobbed into the home of a Shiite family, killing one man and wounding three others, a police official in the region said.

#3: On Monday, gunmen shot dead three Shiite labourers in an attack local officials said could have been motivated by sectarian tensions.

#4: A Dutch military vehicle has hit an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Afghan province of Uruzgan. One soldier was slightly injured in the blast. The explosion occurred near Deh Rawod, which is home to a small Dutch base.

#5: Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked Taliban positions in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing six militants, intelligence officials and residents said. The army sent in its helicopters shortly after militants fired rockets at a paramilitary force base in Siblatoi town, 60 km east of Waziristan's main town of Wana. ‘The helicopter gunships are still attacking and so far six militants have been killed and 14 wounded,’ said an intelligence agency official in the area said, adding that ground troops had secured the nearby village of Chakmali.

#6: Eight Taliban fighters are dead after battling US coalition troops in southern Afghanistan.
The coalition says two of its troops and three Afghan policemen were also wounded during Monday’s clash in the southern province of Uruzgan. They were undergoing medical treatment and were in stable condition. The troops were on patrol when Taliban fighters attacked them with small arms fire and heavy machine-guns.