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, October 17, 2009

War News for Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of 3 U.S. ISAF service persons in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, October 16th.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of another U.S. ISAF service persons in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, October 16th.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A bomb attached to the car of an Interior Ministry officer wounded the official and one civilian in the Yarmouk district of central Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two gunmen where killed on Saturday while attempting to plant a roadside bomb southwest of Kirkuk city, and two civilians were wounded in the resulting blast, said a security source from Kirkuk.

#1: On Saturday, attackers targeted an Iraqi army patrol near Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, killing two civilians, a police official in the oil-rich city said. Two civilians were injured in the hand grenade attack, which left the soldiers unharmed, he said.

#1: In Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, a gunman killed a policeman and three bystanders Saturday, police said.

#2: Policemen killed a woman and wounded two civilians in western Mosul city by mistake on Friday, a local police source said. “National Police personnel opened fire at an ambulance carrying a sick women in the area of Dorat Qassem al-Khayyat, western Mosul, by mistake when the ambulance was driving by fast and ignored orders to stop,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The sick woman was killed and two civilians escorting her were wounded in the incident,” he added.

#3: A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol killed one policeman and wounded two civilians in western Mosul, police said.

#4: Gunmen shot dead a civilian in a drive-by shooting in southwest Mosul, police said

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber driving a dynamite-laden truck destroyed a key bridge Saturday on a highway used by the departing U.S. military. A U.S. military spokesman in Iraq's western Anbar province, where both Ramadi and Fallujah are located, confirmed Saturday's explosion on the highway bridge outside Ramadi, close to two Iraqi military bases that host U.S. troops in the area.

#2: The incident came a day after gunmen blew up a wooden bridge south of Falluja connecting Ameriyat al-Falluja and Abu Ghraib towns near the Euphrates river.

#3: Four Iraqi policemen were killed and 10 injured Saturday when a bomb targeted their truck near the Iraqi city of Falluja, security sources said.

#4: One policeman on Saturday was killed and two others were wounded in an explosive charge blast in southern Falluja, according to the local police. “Today, an explosive charge went off in al-Ameriya district, southern Falluja, killing one patrolman and wounding two others,” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: Unidentified gunmen on Saturday blew up the house of a police officer in Anbar province, according to a police source. “Unknown gunmen planted explosive devices and an amount of TNT explosives around the house of a cop in al-Aameriya district, southern Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Meanwhile, Afghan and NATO forces killed 20 Taleban militants in Urgon district of southeastern province of Paktika on Friday in an operation in which an airstrike was also used, Hamidullah Zewak, a spokesman for the provincial governor said. Mullah Ismail, one of the Taleban district level commanders was also among those killed, he said, adding that no Afghan or foreign troops were killed in the firefight.

#2: Another five militants were killed in an Afghan army commando operation in Gerishk district of southern province of Helmand, Afghan defence ministry said in a statement. The forces arrested two other militants during the operation, it said.

#3: More than 30,000 Pakistani soldiers launched a ground offensive against al-Qaida and the Taliban's main stronghold along the Afghan border Saturday, officials said, in the country's toughest test yet against a strengthening insurgency.

#4: At least 11 suspected insurgents were killed in the jet bombings, while a bomb hit a security convoy, killing one soldier and wounding three others, two local intelligence officials said.

#5: At least 20 Taliban militants were killed in air strikes on the militants' hideout in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province, authorities said Saturday.

#6: Eight Afghan National Police (ANP) were wounded on Saturday as their van hit a roadside bomb in Paktia province of eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, police said. "The incident occurred at around 10 a.m. local time (0530 GMT) in Ibrahim Khil area near the capital city Gardez when an ANP unit was on routine patrol by their vehicle," deputy to provincial police chief Ghulam Dastgir Rustamyar told Xinhua. Three of the eight wounded are in critical situation, he added.

#7: In separate incident, 10 villagers who were busy in reconstructing road were kidnapped by Taliban militants in Waza Zadran district of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan Saturday morning, district chief Abdul Wali Zadran told Xinhua. However, Taliban militants told media via cell phone from undisclosed location that 15 villagers, who have not heeded the warning of outfits, have been made captive.