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

Friday, September 25, 2009

War News for Friday, September 25, 2009

NATO is reporting the deaths of five American ISAF service members in separate attacks in undisclosed locations in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, September 24th. Some details are in the release.

US Admits Indian Designs in Afghanistan:

Militant says Pakistani Taliban stronger than ever:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb targeted civilians in Doura, southern Baghdad at 8 p.m. Thursday, injuring four. And another bomb was discovered nearby and was successfully defused.

#2: An improvised explosive device went off Friday afternoon targeting a police vehicle patrol in central Baghdad, a security source said.“An explosive charge went off Friday (Sept. 25) targeting a police vehicle patrol on the highway in al-Wazieriya region, central Baghdad, leaving unspecified number of casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast caused material damage to the police vehicle,” he added, noting that security forces sealed off the whole region.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three civilians were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their vehicle in the district of al-Saadiya, eastern Diala, on Thursday, a local security source said. “The IED exploded near a civilian vehicle in the area between Imam Weis and al-Saadiya district, (35 km) south of Khanaqin, leaving three people wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Two roadside bombs wounded four civilians in the Doura district of western Baghdad on Thursday, police said.

#1: A controlled explosion of weapons confiscated by the Iraqi military went awry Friday, killing 11 Iraqi soldiers, Iraqi military officials said. The blast took place in an area where American and Iraqi forces routinely carry out explosions to destroy weapons seized during raids in and around the northern city of Mosul, which the U.S. military has called the last stronghold of al-Qaida in Iraq. The explosion occurred while the soldiers were preparing the materials for the controlled explosion just east of Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of Baghdad, said two military officials.

Fifteen Iraqi soldiers were killed accidentally during what were meant to be controlled explosions in a town outside the northern city of Mosul on Friday, a defence ministry official said. Among the dead was one army officer, while one soldier was also seriously wounded, said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media. The accident occurred on the outskirts of Baashiqa, around 30 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of Mosul. A military source told a foreign news agency the soldiers were carrying out routine controlled explosions of roadside bombs which had been collected in the area over the previous week.

A total of 15 Iraqi army soldiers were killed Friday in a booby-trapped car blast in Ninewa, according to a security source.

#2: Gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint and killed one solider and wounded another in western Mosul on Thursday, police said

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least 12 people have been killed and five injured in a suspected US drone attack in north-west Pakistan, district officials say. They said the attack targeted the stronghold of the high-profile Tailban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, in the North Waziristan tribal area.

#2: A clash between militants and security forces claimed the lives of three Taliban fighters in the western Nimroz province, provincial governor Ghulam Dastgir Azad said Friday. "The rebels attacked security forces in Dilaram district Thursday evening and the troops returned fire, as a result three Taliban fighters were killed," Azad told Xinhua. An American soldier also sustained injuries in the firefight, which lasted for a few hours, the official added.

#3: Taliban militants stormed a police checkpoint in Helmand province south of Afghanistan, killing one police constable and wounding seven others while over a dozen militants died in the gun battle, a local official said Friday. "The rebels raided police checkpoint in Shakariz village of Musa Qala district on Thursday, during which one police lost his life and seven others sustained injuries," district chief of Musa Qala Mullah Abdul Salam told Xinhua. He added that so far neither Afghan reinforcement nor international troops have extended cooperation to dislodge the advancing militants.

#4: Two Italian soldiers were injured in southwest Afghanistan on Thursday after being attacked by militants. Sources in the Italian defence ministry told Adnkronos that the attack occurred during a humanitarian operation in Shindand, around 100 kilometres north of Farah, in the southwest. As soon as the attack occurred, two A10 fighter aircraft from the multi-national International Security Assistance Force were called to reinforce the troops under attack.One of the Italian soldiers was injured in the hand, while another was wounded in the neck.

#5: A gun battle between Afghan police and Taliban in the troubled Helmand province in south Afghanistan left two militants dead on Friday, provincial police chief Assadullah Shirzad said. "A group of Taliban insurgents were busy in planting mine on Gereshk-Herat highway this morning when the police got information and stormed the insurgents, killing two on the spot," Shirzad told Xinhua. There were no casualties on the police, he contended.