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

Monday, August 17, 2009

War News for Monday, August 17, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of three British ISAF soldiers in an IED attack near Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Sunday, August 16th.

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldiers in an IED attack near Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Saturday, August 15th.

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldiers at at the Royal College of Defence Medicine, Selly Oak, England on Saturday, August 15th. He was wounded in an undisclosed incident near Musa Qaleh, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Thursday, August 13th. (Cervantes posted this one yesterday)

The AFP is reporting the death of an American soldier during a small arms fire attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, August 16th. An American citizen working with the military also died in the attack.

Aug.14 airpower summary:

Maverick pro-Taliban militant offers to help U.S. forces: "We are ready to help with the United States and ... other coalition forces if foreign troops announce the time frame for the pulling out their troops from Afghanistan," said Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister and leader of the pro-Taliban Hizb-e-Islami militant group.

Almost 100 British soldiers wounded in Afghanistan in just one month:

Three months on the frontline with troops in Afghanistan: award-winning Guardian photographer Sean Smith tells of his time with UK and US troops

US to fight Taliban with FM radio, cell phones:

Threats by Taliban May Sway Vote in Afghanistan:

McKiernan's Ouster Reflected New Realities in Afghanistan -- and Washington:

Najaf refinery gets 3rd production unit in Iraq:

U.S. Moves to Quell Violence in Northern Iraq:

Suicide bomber kills 19 in Russia's Ingushetia:

Yemen troops kill rebel leader, dozens dead:

Four soldiers killed in blast in eastern Turkey:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Sunday Bombs hidden in plastic bags near a falafel stand exploded at a market in a mainly Shiite Muslim area of Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least eight civilians and wounding 21, Iraqi officials said. The bags packed with explosives were left in a pile of garbage and exploded shortly before 8 p.m. as the district was crowded with people enjoying the evening.

#2: The remains of 10 unidentified people were found over a two week period in east Baghdad, during a campaign by the army to clear the area of weapons, a statement from Baghdad's security operations room said

Diyala Prv:
#1: A policeman on Sunday was killed by sniper fire in Jalawlaa district, according to a local security source. “A sniper shot a cop in Tabaj area of Jalawlaa district (30 km southwest of Khanaqin), seriously wounding him,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A Maseeb:
#1: Three Sahwa council members were killed or wounded in an armed attack north of Hilla City, a local police source said on Monday. “Unknown gunmen attacked a checkpoint set up by Sahwa fighters in a-Maseeb district (45 km north of Hilla), killing two fighters and wounding another,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A parked car bomb targeted a Federal Police (formerly National Police) patrol in Taji, northern Baghdad at 4 p.m. Monday, killing two civilians and injuring nine policemen and two civilians.

#1: Gunmen in a car attacked a government-backed neighborhood guard checkpoint, killing one guard and wounding three on Sunday night in the town of Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen in a car shot and wounded a leader of a government-backed neighborhood guard unit on Sunday night in the town of Mussayab, police said.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Sunday opened fire on an Iraqi soldier in Kirkuk City, according to a local security source. “On Sunday noon, unknown gunmen driving a civilian vehicle wounded an Iraqi soldier in al-Shourja area, near the Olympic playground,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Six police personnel on Monday were injured when an explosive charge targeted their patrol vehicle in downtown Kirkuk City, according to a local police chief. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) hit a police patrol vehicle near the oil depots in downtown Kirkuk City, wounding six policemen, including an officer,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion caused damage to the vehicle,” the official explained, adding that an investigation is currently underway.

#1: Two Iraqi soldiers on Sunday were killed in two separate incidents in Mosul City, according to a local security source. “This afternoon, armed men opened fire on an Iraqi serviceman at a checkpoint in al-Rifaie neighborhood, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “This evening, unknown gunmen assassinated another soldier while he was off-duty near his house in Dawret al-Hamameel area, southwestern Mosul,” the source noted, providing no further details.

#2: Unknown gunmen have broken into a sports store in Mosul City and killed its owner, a local security source said on Monday. “Last night, gunmen assassinated a 24-year-old sports equipment storekeeper in al-Aamel neighborhood (western Mosul),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Two policemen on Monday were killed in an armed attack on their checkpoint in western Mosul City, according to a security source. “On Monday noon, a group of armed men opened fire on a police checkpoint in Qabr al-Bint area, western Mosul, killing two cops and wounding a civilian,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their patrol in southern al-Falluja city on Sunday, a police source said. “The IED went off today (Aug. 16) near an Iraqi patrol in the village of al-Fuhaylat, Aamiriyat al-Falluja district, southern Falluja, leaving two servicemen wounded and causing damage to the patrol vehicles,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb went off Monday noon targeting an Iraqi army patrol in eastern Falluja city, without leaving casualties. “The incident took place on the international highway, in the east of the city” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Sunday Gunmen attacked the house of Jamal Ziban, a police member and local Awakening leader, in Al Bu Essa tribe area south of Fallujah before sun rise today. The gunmen took over the house killing Ziban and two of his sons and blew up the house after ordering the rest of Ziban’s family to leave the house.

#4: A bomb exploded outside a music shop in Fallujah causing damages to the shop.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A British former soldier has been killed in Afghanistan while working for a private security firm. The man from Ballykelly, Co Londonderry, died in Herat in the west of the war-torn country. It is understood he was caught in an ambush, but it was not known whether it was a bomb or gun attack. While in Afghanistan on a civilian basis he was still a serving member of the Territorial Army in Northern Ireland and he held the rank of Staff Sergeant.

#2: A bomb exploded on a truck at a fuel station in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, killing seven people, police said, while the Taliban claimed responsibility for two weekend suicide attacks in a valley recently retaken by the army. Three children were among the dead in Monday's truck bombing, which wounded at least 15. Police officer Sifwat Ghayur said a timed explosive device fashioned from a mortar had been loaded onto the truck in a package marked "medicine" without the driver's knowledge. The truck functioned as a taxi service between towns. Six of the dead were believed to have been passengers.

#3: Gunmen also assassinated the leader of a feared Sunni sectarian group, triggering rioting in three southern cities. Haideri was killed along with a guard in Khairpur town in Sindh province, about 220 miles (350 kilometers) northeast of Karachi, officer Pir Mohammad Shah said.

#4: The bullet-riddled bodies of 18 Taliban militants apparently killed by furious residents seeking revenge were discovered yesterday in Pakistan's northwest Swat valley, officials said. "Eighteen dead bodies of militants were found in Barikot, Shamozai, Kabal and Kanju," a local military spokesman told AFP. "They had been apparently shot dead by residents who fear that the Taliban might return. These militants were not killed in any military operation [...] The heads of some of the bodies had been smashed with hammers. "Atif-ur-Rehman, administrative chief of Swat district, confirmed that 18 bodies had been found but he had no further details.

#5: Pakistan's security forces killed 13 militants and apprehended 28 others in the continued search and clearance operations in northwest Pakistan's Swat and Malakand districts during the last 24 hours, the army said Monday. The army said in a daily update that the security forces killed13 militants and apprehended eight others in the operations at Shaheed Sar near Sar Qala and Derai in Swat.

MoD: Sergeant Simon Valentine

MoD: Private Richard Hunt