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

Saturday, August 15, 2009

War News for Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aug. 12 airpower summary:

Aug. 13 airpower summary:

Blackwater Still Armed in Iraq:

Idle Iraqi Date Farms Show Decline of Economy:

In Helmand, Caught Between U.S., Taliban: 'Skittish' Afghans Wary of Both Sides

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Saturday exploded in the capital Baghdad, leaving no casualties, according to a local police source. “On Saturday noon, a roadside explosive charge planted by unknown men exploded near al-Hurriya Square of al-Karada area, downtown Baghdad, causing slight damage to nearby stores,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: The U.S.-run Camp Echo has been shelled six times since Iraqi forces took over security duties in late June.

#1: A merchant was shot down by gunmen after he stepped out of a mosque for the Friday prayers in eastern Mosul city, a police source in Ninewa said. “Unidentified gunmen shot down a merchant just after he stepped out of a mosque in al-Muthanna neighborhood, eastern Mosul, where he performed the Friday prayers, and then escaped to an unknown place,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The gunmen were boarding a vehicle during the attack on the merchant, who is also an agronomist,” the source added.

#2: Three policemen were wounded when two mortar shells hit Um Alrabiain police headquarters in west Mosul on Friday evening.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: One civilian was killed when a bomb detonated near a fuel station in Falaht area to the west of Fallujah around 11 a.m.

#2: A suicide bomber struck on Saturday an Iraqi Army base in the central city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, killing an officer and a soldier and wounding nine soldiers, a provincial police source said. A suicide bomber blew up his explosive-belt near the base in the Qadsiyah district in central Ramadi, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Thirteen Taliban insurgents were killed Saturday in an air strike carried out by the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan’s eastern Khost province, officials said. The air raid took place in the Sapera district early Saturday, the coalition forces said in a statement.

#2: In a separate incident Saturday, two civilians were killed when the car in which they were traveling hit a roadside bomb in the neighbouring Paktia province, according to the police.

#3: A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a security checkpoint in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley on Saturday, killing at least three soldiers, police said.

#4: Meanwhile, a Pakistani army officer and two intelligence officials said Saturday that a clash between Pakistani and Afghan border guards killed a Pakistani soldier and wounded 12 others.

#5: Also Saturday, gunmen attacked a truck terminal in the southwestern town of Yaro, burning three trucks carrying fuel to NATO troops in Afghanistan, said local police chief Zia Mandokhel.

#6: A suicide car bomb exploded Saturday outside the main gate of NATO's headquarters in the biggest attack in the Afghan capital in six months. The bomber evaded several rings of Afghan police and detonated his explosives on the doorstep of the international military headquarters. Brig. Gen. E. Tremblay, the spokesman for the NATO-led force, said some soldiers in the International Security Assistance Force were wounded in the 8:35 a.m. blast. He did not say how many. The explosion occurred 30 yards (meters) from NATO's front gate, he said. The blast killed seven Afghans and wounded 91, Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, said. Four Afghan soldiers and Awa Alam Nuristani, a member of parliament and President Hamid Karzai's campaign manager for women, were among the wounded, the ministry said.

Four Macedonian soldiers suffer minor injuries after a suicide car bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Makfax reported.They sustain grazes on their faces. The General Staff of the Macedonian Armed Forces says the soldiers received medical treatment immediately. Since their health condition was good, they returned to their usual work.

#7:A Spanish military base at Herat in western Afghanistan has come under rocket attack for the second time this month, although there were no casualties, the Spanish Defence Ministry said today." Seven rockets were fired during the night"from Friday to Saturday, a statement said, adding that no-one had been injured in the incident. On August 9, six rockets were fired at the base.

#8: Afghan troops, backed by foreign air power, killed about 29 Taliban insurgents in an operation in southern Uruzgan province overnight, Defence Ministry spokesman General Sher Mohammad Zazai said.