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, August 19, 2009

War News for Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo: NYTimes: The scene near the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, left, after a massive bomb attack in Baghdad on Wednesday. Khalid Mohammed/Associated Press Click for full size view.

Military World is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 18th.

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier in a non-hostile related injury in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 19th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 18th. The press is reporting these to be Americans.

Reuters is reporting the death of a U.S. soldier in a combat incident in an undisclosed location in Iraq. No other details were released.

Oil firm says no Iraq payment yet:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The deadliest was a car bomb near the foreign ministry, which killed at least 59 people and wounded 250. Officials said the toll may climb as rescue workers continue to search through rubble and debris. The ministry is close to the fortified Green Zone. The force of the explosion blew concrete slabs off the front of the 10-story building, shattering windows and crushing cars parked outside. Dozens of cars were burned. The blast was so strong it also damaged nearby buildings. A large area outside the ministry was covered by debris and broken glass and it damage windows in the parliament building, inside the Green Zone.

#2: Another car bomb targeted a joint Iraqi police and army patrol just outside the finance ministry, killing at least eight people and wounding 22, a police official said. Twenty-two were wounded, said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

#3: Another blast in the commercial area of western Baghdad's Baiyaa district killed two people and wounded 16,

#4: while a bombing in the commercial district of Bab al-Muadham killed six people and wounded 24, authorities said.

#5: mortars struck inside the Green Zone. It was not immediately known what damage the mortars caused or whether there were causalities.

Separately, at least six mortars rained down on two heavily transited locations in central Baghdad, Iraqi officials said. Three mortars targeted the Green Zone, the fortified enclave in Baghdad where the U.S. Embassy and many Iraqi government offices are located.

A media director in the Iraqi Ministry of Health on Wednesday denied that mortar shells had fallen on its downtown Baghdad headquarters. “The news about the firing of mortar shells at the ministry’s headquarters is not true,” Sabah Abdullah told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The official did not provide further details. Earlier today, media sources said that several mortars had hit ministerial compounds in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, including the headquarters of the Health Ministry.

A mortar round targeted Kifah neighbourhood in central Baghdad at 10.45 a.m. Wednesday, injuring four civilians.

A mortar round landed between Mansour Hotel and al Rasheed theatre in Salhiyah neighbourhood, central Baghdad at 10.50 a.m. Wednesday injuring two civilians.

#6: Tuesday Two civilians were killed and 15 others were wounded by a roadside bomb in Abu Disheer neighborhood around 9 p.m.

#7: a roadside bomb went off Wednesday in central Baghdad, according to a security source. “The bomb went off in al-Sadriya region in central Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. There was no immediate word on casualties.

#8: A roadside bomb exploded in Waziriyah, northern Baghdad at 8 a.m. Wednesday. No casualties were reported.

#9: A roadside bomb exploded in Qahira, northern Baghdad at 9 a.m. Wednesday. No casualties were reported.

#10: Two roadside bombs went off simultaneously in Palestine Street near Beirut Square, not far from Mustansiriyah University campus in northeastern Baghdad at 11 a.m. Wednesday injuring 10 civilians.

#11: One truck bomb parked near Ibn al Bitar Hospital in Salhiyah, central Baghdad was captured and defused at around 1 p.m. Wednesday. It was carrying one tonne of explosives, according to Iraqi police.

#1: Tuesday Three policemen including a high rank police officer were wounded when a buried IED detonated while they were defusing another IED near a primary school in downtown Tikrit city.

#1: A Christian citizen was killed by unknown gunmen in central Kirkuk on Tuesday, a source from the joint coordination center said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on Tuesday night (Aug. 18) on Sabah Dawood Askar, a Christian citizen, near his house in Shaterlo neighborhood in central Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen shot dead a civilian in Hamam al Aleel in central Kirkuk, Tuesday.

#3: Gunmen kidnapped former administrator of the Kirkuk Children's Hospital, Dr. Semeer Gorgis late Tuesday. Kirkuk police said that the Christian doctor's body was found in Shaterloo neighbourhood in central Kirkuk, Wednesday.

#1: Tuesday Gunmen driving a speeding car opened fire upon police checkpoint in downtown Mosul killing one policeman and injuring another.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An anti-bomb squad defused on Tuesday an explosive charge in central Falluja, according to a security source. “Acting on a tip-off an anti-bombs team defused an improvised explosive device in al-Jolan neighborhood in central Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The bomb was defused without casualties,” he added.

#2: Two policemen on Wednesday were injured in a car bomb blast near a security checkpoint in Anbar province, according to a local security source. “A suicide bomber detonated a booby-trapped car near a security checkpoint in eastern Ramadi, wounding two policemen according to an initial count,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A parked car bomb targeted the motorcade Chief of Habbaniyah Police, Col. Khalid al Khirbeet, in Khalbiyah area. 30 km to the east of Fallujah at noon, Wednesday, seriously injuring two of his security personnel.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Police stormed a bank in Kabul on Wednesday and killed three insurgents who had taken it over.

#2: In a region generally considered safe, four election workers were killed Tuesday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb about 20 miles (30 kilometers) outside the capital of northeastern Badakhshan province. Najafi said they were delivering materials to a polling station.

#3: Another two election workers were killed in Shorabak district of Kandahar province on Tuesday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, said Abdul Wasai Alakozai, the chief electoral officer for southern Afghanistan.

#4: A remote-controlled roadside bomb exploded early Wednesday near a vehicle taking voting supplies to a poll in the Chaparhar district of the eastern province of Nangarhar, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the governor's spokesman. The driver was slightly wounded, but the voting materials were not damaged, he said. Security forces arrested the man who detonated the bomb, he said.

#5: In other violence, a roadside bomb killed a district government leader and a tribal elder early Wednesday in the Registan district of Kandahar, said Ghulam Ali Wahadat, a police commander in southern Afghanistan.

#6: Another roadside bomb in Tirin Kot, in Uruzgan province, killed three policemen, said Ali Jan, a provincial police official.

#7: A patrol of Finnish peacekeeping soldiers was again the target of gunfire in the north of Afghanistan on Tuesday. The Finns were patrolling in a restless area on the western edge of Sari-i-Pol Province along with Afghan forces, when they were fired on with small arms and bazookas. The Afghan soldiers returned the fire, and the Finns took cover. There were no injuries or damage to the vehicles, and the peacekeepers returned to their base in the evening.

#8: Several NATO vehicles have been attacked by unknown assailants in Khyber agency in northwestern Pakistan, but no casualties were reported. The incident took place at Landi Kotal area in Khyber agency when militants opened fire at a NATO convoy and partially damaged two vehicles, officials told Press TV. The containers were returning to Pakistan via Torkham border after delivering supplies to US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

#9: At least seven persons lost their lives including four security personnel and four others sustained injuries amid a suicide attack on a security forces check post located in Miranshah, area of South Waziristan Agency (SWA), Geo news reported. According to sources, a suicide attacker hit his explosives-laden vehicle to Asha check post near Mir Ali Road here in Miranshah. Consequently, four security officers, present on check post, were killed, four injured and three civilians, found close to blast scene, lost their lives.

#10: Pakistani troops killed five militants after a military convoy was attacked in the northwestern ethnic Pashtun tribal region of Bajaur on the Afghan border, the military said.

#11:Pro-government Pashtun tribesmen fired on Taliban militants travelling in two vehicles in the Orakzai region, killing two insurgents and wounding two, tribal leader Ahmed Ali Unkhel said. Tribesmen accuse the Taliban of disturbing the peace in their region.

#12: Police found the body of a foreigner, identified as Abdullah Noori, in a house in Peshawar late on Tuesday, security officials said. They said they suspected the dead man was linked to al Qaeda and had been brought to Peshawar for treatment after being wounded in a U.S. missile strike near the Afghan border