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, August 20, 2009

War News for Thursday, August 20, 2009

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a small arms fire attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 19th. These appear to be American soldiers/Marines. (Note the third death in this release is covered in yesterdays Reuters article.)

NATO is reporting the death of another ISAF soldier in a mortar attack in some undisclosed area in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, August 20th. This also is likely an American.

Aug. 17 airpower summary:

Aug. 16 airpower summary:

Iraq forces admit lapses after blasts kill 95:

CIA hired Blackwater for assassin program: reports

3 Canadian soldiers hospitalized with bacteria:

Top Taliban commander claims he has replaced Mehsud:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Attacks resumed on Thursday when the explosives-laden bicycle struck a restaurant shortly before 8 a.m. in downtown Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding 18, according to al-Moussawi's office.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded four people on Wednesday in Adhamiya district of northern Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three guards of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) were wounded in an attack conducted by gunmen in central Saadiya district, a security source from Diala province said Thursday. “The armed men opened fire targeting the KDP office in central Saadiya, 35 km south of Khanaqeen suburb,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The gunmen were able to escape to an unknown place,” he said.

#1: The Multi-National Forces managed on Thursday to detonate a car bomb in the southwest of Kirkuk, without causing casualties, the province districts’ police chief said. “The Multi-National Forces managed on the wee small hours of Thursday (Aug. 20) to defuse a booby-trapped car in al-Tariqiya village in al-Abbasi district, southwest of Kirkuk, without laving casualties,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: The Multi-National Forces managed to defuse a second car bomb without casualties in western Kirkuk, a media source said. “The forces managed to defuse a car bomb parked near Sahet Seif in Arafa neighborhood in western Kirkuk, without leaving casualties,” Ferhad Mohamed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: One Iraqi soldier on Wednesday was killed and three others, including an army colonel, were injured in an explosive charge blast in Ninewa province, according to a local security source. “This afternoon, a roadside explosive device exploded in Tal al-Salat village (60 km northwest of Mosul City) while an Iraqi army patrol vehicle was passing the location,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “One serviceman was killed and three other army personnel, including Col. Raad al-Shamri, were wounded,” the source indicated.The colonel, who is in a critical condition, has been rushed to a hospital in the Kurdistan region, the source noted.

#2: Four policemen on Wednesday were killed or wounded during clashes with gunmen in Ninewa province, according to a local security source. “This afternoon, clashes erupted between National Police forces and a group of gunmen in al-Yabisat area, western Mosul, leaving one cop killed and three others injured,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “One gunman was wounded in the clashes, but was soon evacuated from the scene by his comrades,” the source noted.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Insurgents killed one man in a rocket attack in Kandahar city.

#2: A police chief and 21 Taliban militants were killed in a raid on a police post. The Taliban attacked the police post in the Baghlan Jadeed district of the northern province of Baghlan, killing a district police chief and wounding two others, said Jawid Basharat, spokesman for the provincial police chief. Police forces fought back and killed 21 militants and wounded 22, he said.

#3: Five rockets hit Kunduz, the capital of the northern province of the same name, wounding five people, said Mohboobullah Sayedi, spokesman for the provincial governor. Two of the rockets hit a polling station.

#4: A British Chinook helicopter made an emergency landing in southern Afghanistan following an engine fire, but the crew escaped unhurt, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday. The cause of the incident on Wednesday night was being investigated and enemy action had not been ruled out, the MoD added. The helicopter was later deliberately destroyed by a coalition airstrike to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Taliban.

#5: Two Taliban fighters holed up in a disused building in the capital were killed during a gunbattle with police on Thursday as the Islamist group made good its threats to disrupt elections with violence across the country. In Thursday's attack, the two militants took over a two-storey building in the east of the city and a gunfight ensued when police and several foreign soldiers surrounded them, said Abdullah Uruzgani, a police battalion commander. "The two fighters were killed and no one escaped," said Uruzgani, adding there were no police casualties. Unconfirmed reports said one of the fighters had blown himself up and the other was shot dead.

DoD: Sgt. 1st Class William B. Woods Jr.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Leopold F. Damas

DoD: Gunnery Sgt. Adam F. Benjamin