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 25, 2009

War News for Saturday, July 25, 2009

The AFP is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in a small arms fire / RPG attack in an undisclosed area in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, July 25th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, July 25th. The British MoD has confirmed this to be a British soldier.

July 23 airpower summary:

US marines under attack in south Helmand:

Dearth of Capable Afghan Forces Complicates U.S. Mission in South:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An explosive charge sabotaged the al-Rasheed power line on Saturday, causing a reduction in electricity supply hours in the al-Karkh (western) side of Baghdad. “The explosive charge was planted under the power line,” Aziz Sultan, the Iraqi Electricity Ministry’s official spokesperson, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: One civilian on Saturday was killed in an explosive charge blast in the capital Baghdad, according to an Iraqi police source. “Today, a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) detonated inside a civilian vehicle on Ishreen St, al-Adhamiya neighborhood (northern Baghdad), killing the driver on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two Katyusha rockets landed in al-Batira military airstrip northwest of al-Amara city on Friday, leaving no casualties or damage, an official security source said. “The al-Batira military airfield, (5 km) northwest of Amara, came under attack with two Katyusha rockets on Friday,” Col. Sadeq Abdulazim al-Hilw, the assistant chief of the Missan police, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside explosive device on Saturday was defused by bomb squad personnel near Karbala city, according to a local security source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) was found at an intersection in al-Huseiniya district (20 km north of Karbala) and was defused by bomb squad experts,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Four emergency police personnel on Saturday were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in southern Kirkuk city, according to a local source. “This morning, an explosive device hit an emergency police patrol vehicle near al-Ghanam market, southern Kirkuk, wounding four patrolmen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: “The first explosive vehicle was detonated by security forces on the main road between the village of Kheneis in Beleij district and al-Qairawan area in al-Biaaj district, (130 km) west of Mosul, without incident,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “A while later a second car bomb went off, killing a civilian who happened to be near the blast scene,” the source added.

#3: An Iraqi soldier was killed in a car bomb blast while security agencies dismantled another and an improvised explosive device planted by unidentified gunmen in another vehicle in different incidents in western Mosul city on Friday, local security sources said. “An Iraq soldier was killed today (July 24) in a car bomb blast near the village of Umm al-Zanabeer, al-Biaaj district, on the Iraqi-Syrian borders (some 130 km west of Mosul),” the al-Biaaj local council chief Jassem Mohammed Hussein told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The vehicle had been reported stolen earlier. When the Iraqi army personnel identified and approached it, it went off, killing one soldier,” the source added.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Twelve civilians on Saturday were injured when a booby trapped car went off near the headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) in Falluja city, according to a local police source. “Today, a car rigged with explosives detonated near the headquarters of the IIP on al-Atibba St, downtown Falluja city, wounding 12 civilians, including women and children,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Four civilians on Saturday were injured in a car bomb explosion in Falluja, the second to hit the city today, according to a police source. “This noon, a second booby trapped car went off near a restaurant in northern Falluja city, wounding four civilians, according to an initial count,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Fighting erupted in the volatile east Afghanistan city of Khost on Saturday, security officials and witnesses said, with at least three suicide bombers attacking government buildings. Interior Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said a car packed with explosives had been detonated in Khost city, followed by three suicide bombers. He said details were still unclear but sporadic fighting was continuing. A statement by the Ministry of Defence said "a group of suicide bombers" had attacked government offices in Khost and three had blown themselves up, causing "casualties and damage". Salahuddin Ayubi, a spokesman for the al Qaeda and Taliban-linked Haqqani network, said a suicide car bomber had attacked a district government building in the city, blowing open the gates to allow gunmen and more suicide bombers to enter.

#2: Two Pakistani helicopter gunships on Saturday fired at a suspected house near Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border, killing a woman and wounding three, witnesses said.

#3: Seven policemen were wounded while trying to defuse an improvised explosive device planted on a roadside along the Indus Highway in the northwestern region of Kohat on Saturday, security officials said.

#4: Pakistani Taliban shot dead an Afghan refugee in a village south of Miranshah, accusing him of being a U.S. spy and dumped his body on a roadside with a threat -- anyone spying for the U.S. will meet a similar fate, witnesses and intelligence officials said on Saturday.

#5: Security forces killed 16 militants in Lower Dir on Friday, paramilitary officials said of the northwestern district where troops have been battling insurgents for nearly three months.

#6: The NATO-led peacekeeping force ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mistakenly targeted Afghan police forces in Kandahar province, south of Afghanistan, killing two police officers, police chief in southwestern region Ghulam Ali Wahdat said Saturday. "The police were on patrol in the north part of Kandahar city Friday night when the incident occurred during which two policemen were killed and three others got wounded," Wahdat told Xinhua. ISAF forces in Kandahar also described it a mistake, according to the police officer.

#7: Three explosions, apparently well organized, damaged three trucks supplying logistic items to U.S. forces in Afghanistan and hampered the supplying to troops for a while, a press release of Interior Ministry issued here Saturday said. "At around 2:40 a.m. this morning, three trucks begun journey from Bagram Airbase in Afghan capital Kabul to supply logistic items to the troops in south Afghanistan," the statement said. It added that one of the three trucks exploded and smashed after a while as two others in span of minutes also blew off and were partially damaged. Only one driver sustained injuries in the blasts, it further said.

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Sgt. Ryan H. Lane

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Lance Cpl. Jeremy S. Lasher

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Cpl. Nicholas G. Xiarhos