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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

War News for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 22 airpower summary:

Iraq's oil strategy on track, says minister:

Iraq to mark U.S. pullback with holiday:

Retired D.C. Guard commander died in Metro crash:

US to keep using Kyrgyz air base:

Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse:

Shiite lawmakers complain about Iraq army action:

GAO: Osprey may not meet challenges of Afghanistan:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Two civilians were wounded in a bomb explosion on Wednesday in eastern Baghdad, a security source said. “An explosive charge, planted by unknown gunmen on the road near al-Habibiya hospital in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad, went off, injuring two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy behind the general hospital in Habibiyah neighbourhood, northeastern Baghdad at 8.30 a.m. Wednesday, injuring two civilians and causing damages to a U.S. military vehicle. No casualties were reported by the U.S. military.

#2: A guard in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in central Baghdad, was targeted by sniper fire at 2.30 p.m. Wednesday. He was injured and taken for treatment.

#3: A bomb hidden in a cart of vegetables ripped through a crowded market in Baghdad's Sadr City on Wednesday, killing at least 56 people, Iraqi officials said, just days after the U.S. military closed its main base in the Shiite district. The 7 p.m. blast appeared to be timed to maximize casualties by striking shoppers buying food for their evening meal. The explosives were loaded on a motorized pushcart and shrapnel was blown more than 600 yards away, a police officer said. Police and hospital officials said more than 100 people also were wounded. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Meanwhile, a security source in Diala province said that another explosive charge detonated inside the shrine of Imam Ibrahim in Qara Tapa district (155 km northeast of Baaquba). “The blast has completely destroyed the shrine, but caused no casualties,” the source added.

#1: A Sahwa fighter on Wednesday was wounded in an explosive charge blast in Diala province, according to a local police chief. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a checkpoint set up by Sahwa fighters in Abu Karma area, al-Muqdadiya (45 km northeast of Baaquba),” Maj. Gen. Abdulhussein al-Shamri told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A civilian was killed and another injured when their motorcycle stalled and was struck by a Coalition force vehicle near Camp Bucca, Basra at approximately 7:15 a.m. on June 23.

#1: Six civilians were wounded Wednesday by an improvised explosive device in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. “An explosive charge went off Wednesday (June 24) targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol at the southern inlet of al-Huwaiyja district, southwest of Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An Iraqi army soldier was killed by unknown gunmen in southern Kirkuk, a source from the joint coordination center in Kirkuk said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi army soldier in front of his house on Tuesday afternoon (June 23), killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Three municipality workers were wounded Wednesday in a bomb explosion in southwestern Kirkuk, according to the local police chief . “An improvised explosive device went off Wednesday morning (June 24) in Baghdad road region in southwestern Kirkuk, injuring three workers,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb wounded three street cleaners as they emptied a garbage container in central Kirkuk, police said.

A roadside bomb targeted street cleaners in downtown Kirkuk seriously injuring four, one of whom is in critical condition.

#3: A gunman was killed on Wednesday while attempting to plan a bomb in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. “A gunman, Yassin Salam Joumaa, was killed when the bomb he was trying to plant near Zagheeton bridge, southwest of Kirkuk, went off,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: One Iraqi policeman was killed and another was wounded when a roadside bomb went off targeting their patrol in central Mosul, a source from the Ninewa province’s police said Wednesday. “The blast took place at the tunnel under the fifth bridge in al-Faroq neighborhood, central Mosul, late Tuesday (June 23),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Seven civilians were wounded when an armed man hurled a hand grenade at a U.S. military patrol in a market in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: A car bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol wounded one soldier in central Mosul, police said.

#4: Police in Mosul retrieved the body of a woman from the River Tigris on Wednesday with gunshot wounds to her head, police said.

#5: Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman on Wednesday during a drive-by shooting in southern Mosul, police said.

#6: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in Denadan neighbourhood, central Mosul at 9 a.m. Wednesday killing one soldier and injuring three soldiers and two civilians.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A Sahwa leader on Wednesday morning survived an attempt on his life by bomb blast in eastern Falluja, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device went off at 9:00am on Wednesday (June 24) targeting the motorcade of the leader of the Sahwa fighters in Falluja, Colonel Saad Abbas, killing two policemen and injuring six,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The colonel survived the attack,” he added.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The head of Pakistan's Taliban attended a funeral shortly before a suspected U.S. missile strike that killed about 55 people, two intelligence officials said Wednesday, but a top Taliban aide denied that the leader had a close call. Baitullah Mehsud is the target of a looming offensive by Pakistan's military in the South Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan. Two intelligence officials said Wednesday that although Mehsud had visited the village where the funeral took place, he left before the drone-fired missiles killed 55 people - reportedly including several senior Taliban leaders - and wounded dozens more.

#2: Clashes continued Wednesday in the volatile northwest, with a rocket attack at a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar killing three officers, local police chief Yasin Khan said. Three rockets were fired at a military base in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, triggering a shootout but no known casualties.

#3: Twenty-three suspected Taliban insurgents have been killed in clashes with Afghan and coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, an army officer said Wednesday. Authorities recovered the bodies and the insurgents' weapons after the fighting Tuesday near Tirin Kot, the capital of southern Uruzgan province, said Afghan army officer Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai. Zazai said that Mullah Ismail, a known Taliban commander in the region, was killed during the clashes.

#4: The militants also fired at U.S. drones flying over the remote, mountainous region. "Militants fired with machineguns at two drones in Makeen and Laddah, forcing them to fly back," said another resident, referring to two areas under Mehsud's control.

#5: A New Zealand peacekeeping patrol has come under fire for the first time in Afghanistan after assisting national police to investigate recent bomb attacks. The attack on the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team took place in the town of Do Abe in Bamyan province. Members of the New Zealand team exchanged fire with insurgents during a 15-minute battle about 8pm local time on Tuesday. No one was injured. He says an estimated six to eight unidentified insurgents were involved, using rocket-fired grenades and small arms. The attack only ended when the New Zealand soldiers called for air support. Two aircraft flew over the insurgents, and they subsequently withdrew.

#6: Armed with rockets, militants today attacked Pakistani troops at three places in the restive South Waziristan tribal agency, where the army is preparing to launch an offensive against Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and his training centres and schools for suicide bombers. The troops were attacked by militants at Inzar China, Zalai and a security forces' camp in South Waziristan, a day after fighter jets carried out strikes against the Taliban in the tribal belt. In a statement, the military said that "no loss" was reported due to the attacks.

#7: Taliban militants gunned down a detective and his police bodyguard in the provincial capital, Qalat, the provincial governor, Mohammad Ashraq Nasiri, said.

#8: Four Taliban insurgents were killed after ambushing an Afghan army patrol in the southern Arghandab district, Nasiri said.

#9: Unknown armed men set on fire a vehicle of Afghan Red Crescent in Balkh province north of Afghanistan Wednesday, a local official said. "Some staff of Red Crescent came to Charbolak district to survey needy people. They parked their car and went to a village, suddenly two persons riding motorbikes set the car on fire and made their good escape," Director of Red Crescent department in the province Asif Khirkhah told Xinhua. He also said there were no loss of life as the driver of the car ran away and the staff was out.