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

Saturday, July 4, 2009

War News for Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Canadian DND/CF is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED strike in the Zhari District, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Saturday, July 3rd. Five additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

CENTCOM is reporting the death of a U.S. Marine in an undisclosed incident while in combat operations presumably in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Friday, July 2nd.

The BBC is reporting the deaths of two U.S. soldiers in an explosion in the Zirok district, Paktika province, Afghanistan on Saturday, July 4th. Four additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Germany to send AWACS planes to Afghanistan:

Russia to Open Airspace to U.S. for Afghan War:

SKorea says North fires 7 missiles off east coast:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Four electricity towers went down Friday due to acts of sabotage with explosive charges that targeted the Baiji high-tension power line in western Baghdad, said the official spokesperson of the Iraqi Electricity Ministry.

#2: One civilian on Saturday was killed and 12 others were injured in an explosive charge blast that ripped through the capital Baghdad, according to a local police source. “On Saturday noon, an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by unknown men detonated near a vegetables market in al-Yousifiya area, southern Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring 12 others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A U.S. unmanned plane went down near al-Kut city, where U.S. and Iraqi military forces are searching for the debris, a Wassit police source said on Friday. “The drone crashed near the Delta Base of the U.S. forces, (7 km) west of Kut, on Friday afternoon,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency on condition of anonymity.

#2: A civilian man was shot down by unidentified gunmen who attacked his home in al-Kut city on Friday, a Wassit police source said. “Unknown gunmen stormed a house in al-Damuk, al-Kut city, and opened their machine-gun fire at the owner, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The dead man’s family said three masked gunmen attacked the house apparently not for the purpose of stealing,” he added.

#1: A body of a young man showing signs of having been shot was found in the southeastern Kirkuk on Friday, a source from the Joint Coordination Center in the city said. “The corpse was left in the area of al-Nasr neighborhood, near to a pharmacy in southwestern Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: One policeman has been killed by unknown gunmen in southern Kirkuk city, a local police official said on Saturday. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire from a silencer-equipped pistol on an emergency policeman in southern Kirkuk, killing him on the spot,” Lt. Col. Kamel Ahmed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Gunmen killed off duty Peshmerga soldier in northern Kirkuk, police said.

#1: Police found the body of a man with bullet wounds to the head and chest in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A civilian man was killed by unidentified gunmen in eastern Mosul city on Saturday, a security source with the Ninewa police said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire today (July 4) on a civilian man working as a contractor in the area of al-Zuhour neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Gunmen killed a man as he left a mosque in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb targeting Iraqi police patrol wounded one civilian in central Mosul, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Pakistani fighter jets pounded Taliban positions in the country's volatile northwest on Saturday, killing at least 12 suspected insurgents, security officials said, as the government kept up pressure on Islamist militants along the Afghan border. The government airstrikes hit three suspected militant positions in the Kurram region, part of the rugged, lawless tribal belt along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, two security officials said. Twelve Taliban fighters were killed and many more were wounded, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The military could not be immediately reached for confirmation.

#2: Elsewhere in the northwest, clashes between tribesmen and Taliban fighters left 16 people dead in the latest violence between pro-government tribal militias and insurgents. The fighting between tribesmen and militants took place in the remote Mohmand region, which also lies along the Afghan frontier. Dozens of fighters attacked the tribal militia after receiving a warning from a council of tribal elders to leave the area, a local government official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

#3: A roadside bomb tore through a police vehicle on Saturday in an insurgent attack in a southern Afghanistan flashpoint, killing seven officers, the interior ministry said. The incident took place in Registan district in Kandahar province, a hotbed for the Taliban-led insurgency, the ministry said. "A roadside bomb struck a police vehicle which resulted in the martyrdom of seven policemen," the statement said.

#4: A helicopter operated by a company contracted to carry food and other sustenance supplies for coalition forces made an emergency landing in the Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan today. The helicopter crew reported mechanical issues and landed in remote mountainous terrain. A second contractor helicopter that was nearby recovered the crew and returned them to base without incident. None of the crew were reported injured. A short time later, a small group of unidentified individuals were seen removing items from the helicopter and running away. Minutes later, the helicopter burst into flames, causing unrecoverable damage to the helicopter and its cargo.

#5: Twenty-six Pakistani soldiers were killed when a helicopter in which they were travelling crashed in the Orakzai tribal agency close to the Afghan border, a media report said Saturday.
The MI-17 helicopter crashed Friday due to a technical problem, the Online news agency said citing army officials. Media reports earlier said that Taliban militants shot down the helicopter. There were 30 army personnel on board. The helicopter was returning to Peshawar from Para Chinar when it went down in the Chappar Feroze Khel area.

#6: A roadside bomb killed one civilian and wounded another in northern Jawzjan province, the Interior Ministry said.

#7: Two Afghan soldiers were killed and four wounded when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southern Helmand's Musa Qala district on Friday, the Defence Ministry said.

#8: Afghan security forces killed two insurgents and detained two more during an operation in southwestern Ghazni province on Friday, the Defence Ministry said.

#9: Two Taliban insurgents were killed when a roadside bomb they were planting exploded in the Delaram district of southwestern Nimroz province, the Interior Ministry said.

#10: A man driving explosive-laden car blew himself up next to Italian military convoy in west Afghanistan on Friday, provincial police chief Hekmatullah Alizai said. "The suicide bomber exploded his car very close to a convoy of Italian forces in Shindand district at 3 p.m. local time (GMT1030),killing himself and damaged an armored personnel carrier," Alizai told Xinhua. However, he did not say if there were any casualties on Italian forces but said two civilians died in the accident.