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

Friday, July 24, 2009

War News for Friday, July 24, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier of non-combat related injuries in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Friday, July 24th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location of southern Afghanistan on Thursday, July 23rd. News reports state this to be an American soldier.

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of two American ISAF soldiers in a bomb attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, July 24th.

July 22 airpower summary:

July 21 airpower summary:

CNPC to Take Majority Of Iraq Field:

U.S. Shifts Afghan Narcotics Strategy:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A sticky bomb planted onto a window-type air conditioner in a house in Ghazaliyah, western Baghdad exploded at 4.30 p.m. Thursday injuring three family members. The house belonged to a returning displaced family. When the security forces arrived on the scene and conducted a routine search of the neighbouring houses, they found two more sticky bombs planted in the neighbour's house. Both bombs were safely defused.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Policemen found the bodies of two civilians that had been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen last week in a village of al-Saadiya district, a local security source said. “The bodies, which showed signs of having been shot, were found in the village of Sama, al-Saadiya, (35 km) south of Khanaqin district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in Amin neighbourhood in central Baquba injuring one serviceman and causing severe damage to the military vehicle.

#1: The Missan bomb squad on Thursday defused four improvised explosive devices south of al-Amara city, according to the province’s police spokesman. “The IEDs, which had been planted on the Basra-Amara highway in al-Saeeda area, (30 km) south of Amara, were dismantled based on intelligence tip-offs,” Col. Sadeq Sallam told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Unidentified gunmen shot down two women and wounded four others, including two children, of the same family in an attack on their house south of al-Kut city on Thursday, a security source in Wassit said. “The gunmen attacked a house in al-Hai district, (40 km) south of Kut, killing two women and wounding two men and children, all are members of the same family,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A civilian man was killed and another wounded when an improvised explosive device went off in central Kirkuk on Thursday, a local security source said. “The charge, which targeted an Emergency Police patrol near al-Sabriya mosque on the Kirkuk-Baghdad highway, left one civilian man killed and another seriously wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Tal Afar:
#1: Confessions by a gunman who had been captured a week ago led to finding four unidentified bodies in al-Qadissiya neighborhood, northern Talafar, a local police source in the district said. “The bodies, which were found inside an abandoned house in northern Talafar, (60 km) northwest of Mosul, were of unidentified men clad in civilian clothes and showed signs of having been shot in the head and chest,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: As the Swedish Ministry of Defence reports, during the night of July 23 to July 24, Swedish and Finnish soldiers have been involved in a fierce fire fight with Afghan insurgents west of Masar-e-Sharif. No allied soldiers were reported to be killed or wounded. However, three insurgents have been killed and two injured. The shooting started at 21:05 local time when Swedish platoon was ambushed. One armoured vehicle of the RG32 “Galt” type was severely damaged, probably by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). Reinforcements, including a Swedish CV90 tracked armoured combat vehicle, Finnish soldiers and health care resources were sent to the combat site. The enemy attacked the Swedish and Finnish soldiers in several waves throughout the night. According to the MoD the allied soldiers were able to gain control of the area in the morning and subsequently took up the searched for injured insurgents.

#2: Security forces say clashes in the troubled Swat Valley and nearby areas in Pakistan's northwest have left five militants and a soldier dead. The military issued a statement Friday saying the deaths occurred during search and clearance operations over the previous 24 hours in various parts of Swat. The army has been wrapping up an offensive there against the Taliban that began in late April. The military said another six suspected militants were arrested during the operation.

#3: Afghan police backed by air support from foreign forces killed about nine Taliban insurgents in the Gilan district of Ghazni province overnight, provincial police chief Khial Baz Sherzai said. Four other Taliban fighters were killed in a separate area of Ghazni on Thursday, Sherzai said

Casualty Reports:

Marine Sgt. Joshua J. Bouchard, 26, severely injured in Afghanistan earlier this month. Bouchard, wounded July 7 while in the lead Humvee in a convoy in southeastern Afghanistan. Joshua Bouchard lost most of his left leg as well as suffering spinal injuries so severe he is not yet a candidate for a prosthesis, his father said. The Marine also fractured his right arm.
Joshua Bouchard has been a mechanic with the Marines' 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was drafted into service as gunner because his unit was shorthanded, according to his father. As a gunner he was in the open part of the vehicle. Initially, it was thought the blast was from an improvised explosive device, but it is now believed it may have come from an anti-tank mine, his father said.

Sgt. 1st Class James T. Rundberg, 33, who was injured by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad on June 25. He leads a scout platoon in Iraq, where he has served two tours of duty.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, four fractured ribs, shrapnel wounds to his head, back and shoulders and minor burns in last month's attack by insurgents. It took 21 staples to close the deep gash in the back of his head after the explosion blew his helmet off. He was riding in an armored Humvee in a convoy that was transporting an Army chaplain so he could lead a religious service.

MoD: Guardsman Christopher King killed in Afghanistan

DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Sgt. Joshua J. Rimer, 24, of Rochester, Pa.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Spc. Randy L.J. Neff, Jr., 22, of Blackfoot, Idaho.