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 16, 2009

War News for Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 14 airpower summary:

July 13 airpower summary:

Wounded troop numbers surge: Since the start of June Britain has sustained 109 serious or fatal casualties. (19 dead 90 wounded by this count)

Oil for NATO smuggled back to Pakistan: Asim:

Bush’s phantom guard unit heads to Iraq: (this is worth reading)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A bomb explosion struck Shiite pilgrims in central Baghdad on Thursday, wounding eight worshippers who were heading to the capital's northern holy neighborhood of Kadhimiya to commemorate the death of a Shiite Imam, an Interior Ministry source said. The attack took place in the morning near the Talaie Square in Hifa Street, while crowds of Shiite pilgrims were traveling on foot on their way to the tomb of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in northern Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Eighteen people were injured Thursday in an explosion that targeted a minibus transporting Shiite pilgrims to a holy shrine to commemorate the death of a revered imam.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded six pilgrims on Wednesday evening in Baghdad's central Maamoun district, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb explosion claimed 5 people's lives in Baghdad on Wednesday night, police source said. The police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that a roadside bomb was detonated near a funeral gathering in the Shiite dominated neighborhood of Sadr City, eastern Baghdad. The blast killed five people and wounded 28 others.

#1: "Anti-bomb squad managed to defuse three bombs; two on the international road between Safwan and Umm Qasr, south of Basra, and the third was found near al-Kazeza bridge, north of the city,” he added.

#1: Three policemen were wounded Thursday by a car bomb explosion in western Mosul, a police source said.“A car crammed with explosives went off Thursday (July 16) near Mosul-Talafar garage, western Mosul, injuring three policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The police found the car bomb before the incident, but unknown gunmen detonated it remotely,” the source added.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An Iraqi Emergency Force killed a policeman while attempting to detain him in in his home in Garma neighbourhood, 20 km to the north of Fallujah, Thursday morning.

#2: The Iraqi security forces shot dead a suicide bomber driving a car bomb in Halabsa intersection in western Fallujah, Thursday. The car bomb was later detonated under control

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Four members of a family were killed and a dozen others sustained injuries as a house was attacked from the air in Taliban former stronghold Kandahar early Thursday, owner of the house Hajji Nematullah Khan said. The upset Khan who took the injured members of his family to Mir Wais Hospital in Kandahar city the capital of Kandahar province said the bombardment occurred this morning in Shah Walikot district. "It was early this morning that aircraft of foreign troops raided his house in Tawala village killing four people including a child and injured 12 others including four men and eight women and children," Nematullah Khan told newsmen at the hospital.

#2: Taliban militants attacked a military supply convoy in southern Afghanistan, sparking a gunbattle that killed 21 insurgents and three border police, a provincial official said Thursday. The convoy was targeted Wednesday soon after it crossed the border from Pakistan, said Hamidullah Zhwak, a spokesman for the governor of Paktika province. He said it was guarded by more than 80 private security guards, and he had no reports that any of them were killed or wounded.

#3: Meanwhile, international and Afghan forces killed two insurgents who helped mount bomb attacks in eastern Afghanistan, NATO forces said.

#4: A UN official working in a camp for displaced civilians in the Pakistani city of Peshawar was killed during a failed kidnapping attempt , UN and Pakistani officials said. "A national staff of UNHCR at the Kutcha Gari camp has been a victim of a kidnapping attempt that turned into a shooting," UN spokesman Janos Tisovszky told AFP by telephone. "He was shot in the chest several times and he was rushed to hospital," he added. Another UN spokeswoman, Stephanie Bunker, said the official died. Four unidentified gunmen opened fire on the UNHCR vehicle and fled after the attack, a senior Pakistani police official told AFP. "A senior UNHCR field officer's car was fired at. He sustained injuries and later died in the hospital," said the official, Abdul Ghafoor Afridi.

#5: A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden station wagon into a police convoy in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing three police, the Interior Ministry said. Four other police officers were wounded in the morning attack in Nimroz province's Khashord district, the ministry said in a statement.

#6: A pilotless plane, apparently a reconnaissance one, crashed in northern Afghan province of Kunduz in the wee hours of Thursday, a local official said. "Very early this morning, a drone hovering Chardara district was crashed in Khawja Kafter village but fortunately caused no loss of life and property," governor of Chardara district Abdul Wahed Omarkhil told Xinhua.

#7: One Afghan soldier was killed and three wounded in a clash with insurgents in the Spin Boldak district of southern Kandahar province, the Defence Ministry said. An unspecified number of insurgents were also killed, the ministry said.

#8: A roadside bomb killed one Afghan soldier and wounded one in the Gereshk district of southern Helmand province on Wednesday, the Defence Ministry said.

#9: A roadside bomb exploded in Ghazni province in south Afghanistan wounding seven personnel of the law enforcing agencies, a local official said Thursday. "The gruesome incident occurred in Dayak district Wednesday evening and five policemen and staffs of national intelligence service were injured," Ismael Jehangir, the spokesman for provincial administration, told Xinhua.