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 18, 2009

War News for Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of two U.S. Airmen when a F-15E crashed in the Nawur district of Ghazni province, Afghanistan on Saturday, July 18th. Here's the air-force release.

July 16 airpower summary:

"We killed too many civilians," says U.S. military chief:

Striking jump in mental illness found in Iraq, Afghanistan veterans:

Iraq Restricts U.S. Forces:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A helicopter from private military contractor Xe crashed outside Baghdad on Friday, killing two crew members and leaving two other injured, a company spokeswoman said. The MD-530 "Little Bird" went down Friday morning at Butler Range, a training facility outside Baghdad, said Stacy Capace, a spokeswoman for the company formerly known as Blackwater. An investigation into the crash is under way, and it was not known whether there was any hostile fire in the area at the time, Capace said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted pilgrims in Saidiyah neighbourhood, southern Baghdad at 8.30 p.m. Friday injuring three pilgrims.

#3: A roadside bomb targeted pilgrims in Niairiyah, New Baghdad at 9 p.m. Friday injuring five pilgrims.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted pilgrims in Zafaraniyah neighbourhood, southeastern Baghdad, at 9 p.m. Friday killing one pilgrim and injuring six others.

#5: Nine Shi'ite pilgrims where wounded by a roadside bomb in New Baghdad district, eastern Baghdad, police said.

#1: Policemen found the body of a girl in her 20s in eastern al-Kut city on Friday, a security source said. “The body, showing signs of having been shot, was found in the open and most probably she was killed today (July 17),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A large Scania vehicle exploded inside a factory in western Kirkuk on Friday, leaving three persons killed, a source from the city’s Joint Coordination Center (JCC) said. “Workers were conducting maintenance on a Scania vehicle inside a factory in Debis, (40 km) western Kirkuk, when the vehicle exploded, killing three citizens,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two Iraqi soldiers on Saturday were injured in an explosive charge blast that targeted their vehicle in western Mosul city, according to a security source. “This morning, an improvised explosive device (IED) hit an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in 17 Tammuz neighborhood, western Mosul, wounding two patrolmen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Friday A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi Army patrol wounded two soldiers and a civilian in northern Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb in Al-Karma, 15 kilometres (10 miles) east of Fallujah, killed three people and wounded six, police Colonel Hafiz Muklif said. Those killed were the son of Naeem Saleh al-Halbusi, the deputy chief of a Sunni militia opposed to Al-Qaeda, and two bodyguards, Muklif said. Halbusi was injured in the attack.

#2 A second roadside bomb in the town (Al Karma) killed two people and wounded two, the police officer said.

#3: Three civilians on Saturday were injured when an explosive device detonated inside a garage in northern Ramadi city, the third blast to hit Anbar province today. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside a garage near Ramadi Public Hospital in northern Ramadi city, wounding three civilians who were close to the scene of the blast,” a security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted young men playing a football game on the neighbourhood green in Cheffa neighbourhood, southern Fallujah at 4.30 p.m. Friday injuring nine yound men, four of whom are critical.

Casualty Reports:

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Government warplanes flattened a suspected Taliban hide-out in the northwest early Saturday, killing nine associates of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, intelligence officials said. Early Saturday, fighter jets destroyed hide-outs of Mehsud's deputy Hakim Ullah in the Orakzai region, part of Pakistan's lawless tribal belt. It was unclear whether Ullah was present at the time, said two intelligence officials who sought anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.

#2: A car packed with explosives rammed an army vehicle in troubled southern Afghanistan Saturday, killing three soldiers, the latest attack in a surge of violence ahead of the nation's presidential polls. Three other troopers were wounded in the suicide attack in Shahjoy, an insurgency-wracked district in the province of Zabul, the defence ministry said in a statement.

#3: Two villagers and three insurgents were killed when villagers tried to stop the Taliban attacking a home of an Afghan army officer in the Achin district of Nangarhar province east of Kabul overnight, provincial government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said. Eleven Taliban fighters were detained by the locals, including eight from neighbouring Pakistan, he said.

#4: A joint operation by Afghan and Western troops backed by air strikes killed eight Taliban fighters in the Barg Matal district of Nuristan province near the eastern border with Pakistan on Friday, provincial governor Jamaluddin Badr said.

#5: Afghan and Western forces killed ten Taliban militants after their patrol came under fire in the Pech district of Kunar province in the east, the U.S. military said in a statement.

#6: Three Afghan army soldiers were killed and three wounded when a car packed with explosives was detonated near their military vehicle in the southern Shah Joy district of Zabul province in the south, the Defense Ministry said.

#7: A roadside bomb attack killed one Afghan soldier and wounded three more in the Gereshk district of southern Helmand province on Friday, Defense Ministry said.

#8: Afghan security forces killed two insurgents, wounded two and detained one more during a battle in the Arghandab district of Zabul province in the south of the country on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said

Adam Palmer, lay recovering from injuries he suffered Tuesday in Iraq. Adam Palmer told his mother his condition: a fractured leg and arm that doctors have not set because they are meticulously pulling shrapnel from his body one piece at a time every other day and cleaning his wounds. The depression in his voice was even tougher to swallow. The injuries were caused by an improvised explosive device (IED).

Aaron Obitts, 19, is recovering from injuries he sustained in a land mine explosion that occurred last month while he was serving in Afghanistan. On June 10, Obitts sustained injuries to his foot and spine when his military vehicle was struck by a land mine, just over two weeks after he was sent overseas. "The explosion blew the engine block off completely and threw even our mine-resistant ambush protective vehicle in the air," Obitts said. "I heard Nelson screaming because he had a severe compound fracture to his ankle." Obitts himself suffered two fractured lumbar vertebrae after the vehicle landed on the ground, as well as a broken left foot that occurred while he was trying to get out of the vehicle.