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 31, 2009

War News for Monday, August 31, 2009

The MoD is reporting the death of an ISAF Marine in an IED attack near Gereshk, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Saturday, August 29th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from separate IED attacks in undisclosed areas of southern Afghanistan on Monday, August 31st. We suspect both are Americans.

Cheney: I was isolated over Iran attack idea:

US general sends Afghan war review to Pentagon:

U.S. military ends journalist profiling contract:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Five people were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a U.S. military patrol in the Rustamiyah area in southeastern Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The source could not tell whether the U.S. patrol sustained any casualties as the U.S. troops sealed off the area.

#2: In addition, four people were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near the convoy of a senior official of Baghdad's municipality near the Nahdha Square in the center of the capital, the source added.

#3: A suicide car bomb struck an Iraqi army checkpoint in northern Baghdad on Sunday, killing a civilian and wounding 12 people, an Interior Ministry source said. A suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into the checkpoint at the Antar Square in Adhamiyah district and blew it up on Sunday afternoon, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. "Only two soldiers were among the wounded and the rest were civilians," the source said, adding that the blast badly damaged several cars at the checkpoint and caused damages to surrounding shops and buildings.

Arbil Prv:
#1: Unknown gunmen on Monday opened fire on a civilian in central Arbil, said a source from the city’s police. “The gunmen were driving an SUV with no plates,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Monday went off near a U.S. patrol vehilce in southern Kirkuk, causing no casualties, according to an informed source. “The blast targeted an MNF patrol on Kirkuk-Daqooq road near al-Sumoud village (35 km south of Kirkuk),” a source from the Joint Coordination Center told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The explosion caused damage to the vehicle, the source added.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Monday shot down an owner of a bookstore in downtown Mosul city, according to a local police source. “The incident occured this noon on al-Nujaifi St., central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A British Chinook helicopter was deliberately destroyed by ISAF Forces at 1605 local time having sustained damage on landing approximately 10km East of Sangin at 0530 this morning, Sunday 30 August 2009. The crew and passengers were unharmed. The aircraft is believed to have suffered a 'hard landing' and sustained damage to the undercarriage, nose and front rotor which subsequently made it unflyable.

#2: Hundreds of miles (kilometers) away, a southwestern border crossing with Afghanistan reopened after an administrative dispute culminated in an attack on a line of waiting NATO fuel tankers. One driver was killed and 16 trucks destroyed when the fuel caught fire. The other bomb, near the border crossing, ripped through a line of NATO fuel trucks backed up by a two-day closure resulting from a dispute over fruit inspections. At least one driver was killed and 16 trucks destroyed on the Pakistani side of the Chaman crossing, police official Gul Mohammad said. The border crossing reopened Monday, he said.

At least 15 of the hundreds of oil tankers, trailers and containers stranded in the Chaman area of the border region caught fire Sunday night, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported. Other reports said up to two dozen vehicles may have been destroyed.

On Sunday night, at least 25 oil tankers caught fire in Chaman after a blast

#3: Pakistani soldiers killed at least 45 Taliban militants in scattered gunbattles across the northwestern Swat Valley after a suicide bombing on a police station killed 17 cadets, the army said Monday. Soldiers looking for militants after the attack encountered resistance in several areas, and battles that raged into early Monday left 30 dead, army spokesman Col. Akhtar Abbas said. Separate army statements Monday said 15 more militants were killed in security sweeps of five other areas over the previous 24 hours and two soldiers had died.

#4: Farhai also said three militants died while trying to plant a bomb on a road in Zabul's Shamolzai district.

#5: In Kandahar, meanwhile, an official says three Afghan police were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

#6: At least 16 police cadets died Sunday after a suicide bomber sneaked into the courtyard where they were training in Swat's main town of Mingora and detonated his explosives, local government official Atifur Rehman said. It was the deadliest attack since an army offensive ended Taliban rule there.

#7: Police say Taliban militants ambushed a supply convoy for NATO troops in southern Afghanistan, killing an Afghan guard who was escorting the trucks. Zabul province police chief Ghulam Jailani Farhai says the militants opened fire on the line of trucks on the main highway from Kandahar province into Zabul early Monday. Private security guards hired to protect the convoy fought off the attackers, but one of the guards died in the battle and four were wounded.
Farhai also said three militants died while trying to plant a bomb on a road in Zabul's Shamolzai district.