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

Monday, June 22, 2009

War News for Monday, June 22, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Corps - Iraq soldier in a a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Friday, June 19th.

The DoD is reporting the death of a Sailor who was supporting OEF, Command Master Chief Jeffrey J. Garber died from a non-hostile causes aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the North Arabian Sea, on Saturday, June 20th.

The DoD is reporting the deaths of two soldiers previously unreported by the military. Sgt. Paul G. Smith and Staff Sgt. Joshua A. Melton were killed in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Friday, June 19th.

Minnesota Public Radio is reporting the death of Rev. Major Tim Vakoc at a nursing home in New Hope Minnesota, on Saturday, June 20th. Major Vakoc was originally injured on Saturday. May 29 2004 from an IED attack in Mosul Iraq when a piece of shrapnel entered through his eye and caused massive brain injuries. This has been one of my pet cases for the past five years and will be closed very soon. My he finally rest in peace.

June 18 airpower summary:

Two British hostages killed in Iraq are named:

PM criticised after two hostages die in Iraq:

Major's death takes rate of losses in Afghanistan past Iraq:

Agents say DEA is forcing them illegally to work in AfghanistanRead more:

Intruder military plane awaits permission to leave India: The Indian Air Force forced an An-124 plane, en route from the U.S. military base in Diego Garcia to Afghanistan's Kandahar, to land on suspicions that it was a military plane flying on a civilian flight code. The aircraft owned by a private Russian airline, Volga-Dnepr, was carrying U.S. military goods, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.

A mini-series explores Britain’s involvement in Iraq:

Leader of Russian Region Is Attacked:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb killed three people and wounded 30 in a market in north Baghdad's Shaab district.

#2: Another roadside bomb tore through a minibus carrying high school students in Sadr City in the east of the capital, killing three and wounding 12, police said.

Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a vehicle in al-Hamza square, al-Hubaibiya area of eastern Baghdad, killing three persons and wounding 12 others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: In the deadliest bombing, police said at least five people were killed and 20 were wounded by a car bomb in the Karradah district of the Iraqi capital, on the east side of the Tigris River. It took place on a road leading to a checkpoint that controls access to a bridge into the Green Zone.

#4: Another roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in a commercial area of eastern Baghdad's Ur district, killing three and wounding 25.

#5: Another bomb exploded Sunday evening in a cafe in a Shiite enclave in a mainly Sunni area of southern Baghdad, killing at least two civilians and wounding 13, police said.

#6: Three civilians on Monday were injured in an explosive charge blast in Baghdad, the second to hit the capital in a couple of hours. “A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) planted by unknown men detonated in al-Hubaibiya area, eastern Baghdad, wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb killed three soldiers near the town of Khanaqin, 140 km (100 miles) northeast of Baghdad, the army said.

On Monday morning, a bomb detonated in Khan Nafet area northeast of Baquba city killing three security members working for the ministry of oil.

#1: And in Khalees, also in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, a former Al-Qaeda member who had recently been released from the US prison facility at Camp Bucca was assassinated, the official added.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: In the fourth attack, a man wearing an explosive vest blew himself up at a checkpoint leading to the mayor's offices in Abu Ghraib, a predominantly Sunni district west of Baghdad. The suicide bombing killed two people and wounded another five, police said. The police officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

#1: One Sahwa fighter was killed and two others were wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire on a Sahwa checkpoint in Kirkuk, a source from the province’s combined coordination center said Monday. “The incident took place when a Sahwa checkpoint came under gunmen’s fire at Talal-Eid village of al-Riyadh district, 45 km southwest of Kirkuk city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency “Sahwa fighters returned fire, and while they were tracking down the gunmen, a roadside bomb went off targeting them,” he said. “The checkpoint’s fighters succeeded in killing one of the gunmen, Nimir Salman Ahmen, while two other armed men were injured,” he added.

#1: A woman on Monday was killed by an unknown gunman who broke into her house in Mosul city, according to a local security source. “Today, an unidentified gunman broke into a house in al-Farouq al-Qadima area, central Mosul, and shot down a 31-year-old housewife,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen killed two Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint in east Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: Gunmen opened fire on policemen in central Mosul, killing two, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Four policemen on Monday were wounded when two explosive devices detonated in Falluja city, according to a local security source. “Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded near a police patrol vehicle in Ameriyet al-Falluja district, southern Falluja, injuring four patrolmen,” Maj. Yasseen Ismail told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast caused damage to the vehicle,” the source noted.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Five civilians were killed Monday and more than 30 others wounded in a suicide bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan, officials said, in the second such attack in one day. The bomber detonated explosives on a motorbike in front of a government building in the city of Khost, killing five civilians who were passing by, said deputy provincial police chief Yaqoub, who uses one name only. More than 30 others, including several children, were wounded in the blast, which came after a similar suicide motorcycle blast in the southern province of Kandahar killed three soldiers earlier Monday.

#2: In southern Kandahar province, meanwhile, another suicide bomber killed three Afghan soldiers in an attack on a convoy of troops inspecting a highway bridge for explosives. The attacker drove a car into the convoy and it exploded, said Zadi district Police Chief Niaz Mohammad Serhadi. Serhadi said two civilians were also wounded in the blast, along with five other soldiers.

#3: In eastern Nangarhar province, an explosion at a weapons cache killed a 6-year-old boy and wounded 20 others, police said. It was unclear what sparked the chain reaction of explosions in caves used to store weapons and other material collected from insurgents on the outskirts of Jalalabad city, said Nangarhar province police spokesman Ghafor Khan. "We are still investigating the incident. It is possible that the explosives ignited on their own," Khan said. The caves where the weapons were stored were about 100 yards (meters) away from a village, and the blast shot some shells or other items into the residential area, Khan said. Two soldiers who guarded the cache were among the wounded.

#4: Pakistan's army offensive in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan heated up Monday, with militants attacking three security force bases and military jets responding with airstrikes that killed at least 21 people, intelligence officials said. The overnight and early morning clashes follow artillery attacks Sunday on suspected militant hide-outs in two towns in the northwest that killed 27 fighters, officials said. Elsewhere in the volatile region, a citizens' militia killed seven suspected militants.

Militants used mortars, rockets, gunfire and even an anti-aircraft gun to attack three military bases overnight in South and North Waziristan, five intelligence officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk with media. Their reports could not be confirmed because of a lack of media access to the conflict zones, and official military spokesmen could not be reached for comment. No government casualties were reported, but the intelligence officials said security forces responded with artillery and airstrikes on at least six villages against militant targets, including a suspected training camp where eight people were killed. While most of the dead appeared to be militants, three women and three children died when the house of a local tribal leader was hit in the Razmak area, one official said.

Jet aircraft pounded suspected Taliban positions in Pakistan’s troubled north-western region on the Afghan border through the night, killing 15 militants and six civilians, officials said on Monday. Jets hit Taliban targets in at least six villages of the two districts, including the key towns of Razmak and Sararogha, he said. “Preliminary reports reveal that at least 15 militants were killed,” the official said, adding that “considering the firepower used, the death toll could be much higher.” However, a Taliban spokesman denied suffering “massive casualties.”
“Most of those killed were civilians,” Qari Hussain, a militant leader and deputy of Mehsud told German Press Agency dpa by telephone from an undisclosed location. “The government is tailoring figures to show as if it was winning (against Taliban) but all this is just propaganda.”

#5: Separately, a forest department official was killed and another wounded when troops opened fire on their vehicle after they ignored warnings to keep distance from a military convoy moving between the north-western towns of Dera Ismail Khan and Tank.

#6: NATO troops shot dead an Afghan civilian in a car in Khost province in the southeast after the car failed to stop following a warning, the alliance said.

#7: Four Afghan guards of a Western security firm were wounded on Monday in an ambush by Taliban guerrillas on a road in southeastern Khost province, officials said.

#8: A roadside bomb hit a vehicle of NATO-led forces on the southern outskirts of Kabul on Monday, wounding three soldiers of the alliance, an official for the force said. The Taliban said they were behind the blast.

#9: A roadside bomb hit a passenger bus and injured three civilians in Helmand province in the south of the country, the Interior Ministry said.

#10: Eight drivers including six nationals of Kazakhstan were killed and injured as a tanker caught fire in the border town of Hairtan in north Afghanistan on Monday, a press release of Afghan Interior Ministry said. "The incident occurred when the drivers were busy in downloading oil tanker during which an Afghan driver was killed and seven others, including an Afghan and six Kazakh national, sustained injures," the press release added. Two tankers were damaged in the incident, it further said. The press release termed carelessness of the drivers for the incident, adding the fire was extinguished by fire fighters and thus more damage has been avoided.