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

Thursday, July 2, 2009

War News for Thursday, July 02, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two British ISAF soldiers in an explosion near Lashkar Gah, central Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, July 1st.

June 29 airpower summary:

June 30 airpower summary:

U.S. forces deployed to 5 new locations in Diala:

FBI notes: Saddam feared Iran more than US attack:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: "A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol about 8am in Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad," an interior ministry official said. "One Iraqi soldier was killed and eight people wounded, including two soldiers."

#2 A car bomb later exploded near a market on the highway south of Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding 15, according to a police officer at the regional command.

Diyala Prv:
#1: One Iraqi soldier on Wednesday was killed and three others were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near Baaquba city, according to a local security source. “The device detonated near an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in al-Ibrahimiya area (45 km northeast of Baaquba city), killing one patrolman and injuring three others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The source did not provide further details.

#1: A car bomb in a commercial street killed two people and wounded 15 in the town of Yusufiya, 20 km (10 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: In the oil hub of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, an army officer named Saddam Hussein was shot dead by gunmen as he was driving to work, a security official said. "Major Saddam Hussein was killed this morning after being attacked by gunmen who pumped 24 bullets into his body," the official said.

#1: Iraqi army forces on Wednesday killed a gunman while he was planting an explosive device in Mosul city, according to a local police source. “An army patrol vehicle saw the man while he was planting his device in al-Tahrir neighborhood, eastern Mosul, and shot him down,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: One Iraqi policeman on Wednesday was wounded when an explosive charge detonated in Mosul city, according to a local police source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near a police patrol vehicle in al-Tameem neighborhood, wounding a patrolman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb went off near an Iraqi army patrol, wounding three soldiers in western Mosul, police said.

#3: Gunmen killed a man in a drive-by shooting in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police forces in Anbar province killed a gunman while he was trying to plant an explosive charge in eastern Falluja city, according to a local source. “The gunman was shot down by patrolmen in al-Karma district (45 km west of Baghdad),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: An Iraqi intelligence officer survived an attempt on his life on Thursday in central Falluja, Falluja’s police deputy chief said. “A sticky bomb went off Thursday (July 2) inside the car of Captain Khaled al-Dulaimi in al-Jumhouriya neighborhood, central Falluja, killing his driver and one of his bodyguards,” Colonel Dawood al-Maraawi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion destroyed the car completely,” he added.

The casualties from the sticky bomb explosion that ripped through central Falluja targeting an intelligence officer on Thursday rose to seven, a media source said. “Six wounded civilians were admitted to the Falluja public hospital on Thursday (July 2), in addition to one body,” Ahmad Mekhlef told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Thousands of U.S. Marines stormed deep into Taliban territory in an Afghan river valley today, launching the biggest military offensive of Barack Obama's presidency. The Marines say Operation Khanjar, or Strike of the Sword, will be decisive and is intended to seize virtually the entire lower Helmand River valley, the heartland of the Taliban insurgency and the world's biggest opium poppy producing region. The U.S. military said it had suffered no serious casualties in the early stages of the assault. The Taliban said in a later statement one of their fighters had been killed and two wounded. Quoting spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf, it said “11 foreign troops were killed and wounded.”

#2: The U.S. military later said a soldier had been kidnapped in southeastern Afghanistan, before the operation in Helmand began. Kidnappings by Islamist militants were common during the Iraq war but are relatively rare in Afghanistan. A senior Taliban commander, Mullah Sangeen, said by phone from an undisclosed location the soldier was taken as a patrol walked out of its base in Paktika province. The soldier would be held until Taliban fighters held by U.S. forces were released, he said.

#3: Pakistani combat helicopters killed 28 militants from a hardline Islamist group during raids on hideouts in the famed Khyber region bordering Afghanistan, the military said on Thursday. Pakistan military kills 28 militants. Pakistani combat helicopters killed 28 militants from a hardline Islamist group during raids on hideouts in the famed Khyber region bordering Afghanistan, the military said on Thursday. Government troops are locked in battles against Islamist insurgents in parts of Pakistan's northwest and lawless tribal belt where US officials have said al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked insurgents enjoy safe havens. "At least 28 militants of Lashkar-e-Islam were killed in shelling by helicopter gunships," said Major Fazal Khan, a spokesman for the paramilitary Frontier Corps unit. He said the operation was conducted overnight in the Tirah valley of Khyber, one of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal areas and through which flows the bulk of supplies destined for US-led and NATO troops in Afghanistan. Lashkar-e-Islam, however, said eight of its members died. "Eight of our members were killed. We don't know about the rest, they might be civilians," said Mistri Gul, a spokesman for the group.

#4: On the outskirts of Peshawar, a remote-controlled bomb ripped through a police patrol on Thursday, killing at least two policemen, said city police chief Safwat Ghayur.

#5: Pakistan’s Army has deployed troops to a stretch of the Afghan border to stop Taliban militants fleeing a major US offensive in southern Afghanistan, a military spokesman said Thursday. Major General Athar Abbas told Geo TV that they had “mustered more troops from the other areas of the border” to deploy opposite the Helmand region. Nearly 4,000 US marines plus 650 Afghan forces moved into Afghanistan’s Helmand province early Thursday to take on the Taliban in one of their strongholds.

#6: Afghan National Security Forces backed by International Troops eliminated nine militants in a joint cleanup operation in southern Afghan province of Zabul on Wednesday, said a press statement of Interior Ministry issued hereon Thursday. "A joint cleanup operation was launched in Deh Rawood district by Afghan National Army, police and international troops, during which nine armed militants were killed and over 1,000 kg explosive materials were found on the ground," the statement added.

#7: In a separate operation in Zabul, four rebels were also arrested in Shah Joi distract on the same day, it said.