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

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

War News for Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Photo: Desert storm: Satellite spots dust storm that choked Iraq: (Click on photo for larger view)

The British MoD is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an explosion near Gereshk, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, July 7th.

Ainsworth defends Afghanistan helicopter shortage:

Oregon Marine gravely wounded: He is the fourth Marine to suffer double amputations from an Afghanistan roadside bomb in the past month.

Finland to send more peacekeepers to Afghanistan:

Iranian-Kurd refugees moved to Iraq-Syria border:

Iraq group calls for further attacks on U.S. troops:

Citing Sandstorm, Officials Shut Down Iranian Capital:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A woman was wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in western Mosul, a police source said Wednesday. “An explosive charge went off late Tuesday (July 7) in Nables neighborhood in northern Mosul, wounding a woman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded a civilian in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb wounded a woman in Mosul, police said.

#4: Seven people were wounded on Wednesday in a hand grenade blast in central Mosul, a police source said.“A gunman threw a hand grenade on a police vehicle patrol in Ghazi street in central Mosul Wednesday (July 8), injuring seven persons, including two policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system crashed in southern Afghanistan July 4. The crash was not due to hostile fire.

#2: Two Australian soldiers from the Townsville-based 3rd Brigade, deployed to Afghanistan as part of the 2nd Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force, have been wounded in an incident involving an Improvised Explosive Device. The soldiers were travelling in a Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle when it was struck by a large road-side bomb yesterday (7 July 2009) at about 10am (approximately 15.30pm AEST).

#3: A district in Afghanistan's restive east was in danger of falling into Taliban hands after pitched gunbattles with insurgents killed at least eight police, a senior official said on Wednesday. The fighting erupted late on Tuesday in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nuristan bordering Pakistan, where authorities are also battling a growing Taliban insurgency. Another eight police were kidnapped during gunbattles lasting several hours, Nuristan's governor Jamaluddin Badr said. "The district headquarters is with the government, but if we do not get reinforcements it will fall to the Taliban," Badr told a Reuters reporter in eastern Afghanistan by telephone. Officials said 21 Taliban fighters were killed in the battle. The Taliban said on a website that they had surrounded the building. They said only four of their fighters had been killed. The Defense Ministry in Kabul said an additional 130 soldiers and police would be sent to Barg Matal to help counter the Taliban attack.

#4: US-led coalition forces killed an Afghan woman and several militants in an operation in southern Afghanistan. The civilian woman was killed by "a ricocheting round" when coalition forces targeted militants in several compounds in Ghazni province on Tuesday night, the US military said in a statement.

#5: In another incident, Taliban militants torched 12 vehicles of a road construction company in the northern province of Kunduz on Tuesday night, Mohammad Omar, the provincial governor, said. He said no one was hurt in the incident, but two employees of the company were missing, raising fear that they could have been kidnapped by the attackers.

#6: In yet another US drone strike, at least nine suspected Taliban insurgents were killed and several others injured in South Waziristan on Wednesday. Unmanned Predator aircraft fired two missiles targeting a militant hideout in Karwan Manza area of the region killing nine people on the spot besides wounding several others, The News reports. This is the fourth such attack in the region in less than a week, where the government has announced an all out military offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud.

#7: A blast occurred near a police colony in northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring several others, local TV channel reported. Eyewitness said that a suicide bomber blown himself up on Nasir Bagh road near a police colony in Peshawar, the capital city of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), according to the private channel TV GEO News.

#8: Four militants were killed including two commanders and 34 others were apprehended in northwest Pakistan in the military operation during last 24 hours, an army press release said on Wednesday. Security forces carried out search and sweep operation in selected houses in Swat and Bunnu district in North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Militants commander Muhammad Rasol and Akram were killed while 34 suspected militants were apprehended along with a large quantity of arms and devices.