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, July 10, 2010

War News for Saturday, July 10, 2010

Obama says country must help vets with PTSD

Gen. Petraeus runs into resistance from Karzai over village defense forces

Reported security incidents

#1: Two policemen on duty were killed by unidentified gunmen fire in western Mosul city on Friday, according to a local security source. “Unknown gunmen shot dead two policemen away from their checkpoint in the area of Tal al-Rimman, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The two policemen were bringing food for their fellows at the checkpoint,” the source added.

#2: The Gayiara district’s police commander was seriously wounded on Saturday when he came under gunmen’s fire south of Mosul city. “The gunmen were driving a civilian car when they opened fire today targeting Col. Eid Nammuss in the Zawiya village of the district, 70 km south of Mosul,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: One policeman was killed on Saturday and one lieutenant colonel wounded in clashes with gunmen in the al-Gayiara, after the attempt to assassinate the district’s police commander by unknown gunmen. “Clashes erupted when a security force launched a raid operation in a village of the al-Gayiara looking for the gunmen,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He noted that the casualties occurred when the force engaged with the gunmen. The al-Gayiara district’s police commander was seriously wounded earlier on Saturday when he came under gunmen’s fire south of Mosul city.

Northern Iraq:
#1: Turkish warplanes on Saturday bombed targets believed to belong to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, an Iraqi official said. One civilian was wounded in the remote village of Sidakan in the Hakurk region near the borders with Turkey and Iran, Mayor Ahmed Qader said. The bombing could not be immediately confirmed with the Turkish military.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: One policeman was killed on Saturday and another wounded when a roadside bomb went off targeting a police patrol in central al-Amiriya, south of Falluja city. "A roadside bomb hit a police patrol today in central al-Amiriya district, leaving one of the patrol’s policemen dead and another wounded,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Unknown gunmen planted and detonated explosives near a citizen’s house in central al-Amiriya,” the source added. He explained that the blast destroyed the house totally, and caused damage to nearby houses, without any casualties.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Update: The death toll from a suicide bombing and car bomb blast that devastated a Pakistani tribal town has soared to 102 in one of the country's deadliest attacks, officials said Saturday. The explosions targeted a busy market in Yakaghund town in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt on Friday, destroying government buildings and shops and leaving victims buried under the rubble. Local administration chief Rasool Khan said the death toll had jumped to 102, after he and other officials had earlier put the number of dead at 65. Another local official, Mairaj Mohammad, confirmed the higher toll and said there were 98 people receiving treatment in different hospitals. "Some of them are in critical condition," he said.

#2: A motorcycle bomb exploded in the commercial center of the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Saturday, killing at least one person, police said. Cars were ablaze and windows shattered at a popular shopping center in the aftermath of the blast. One bystander was killed when the bomb, concealed in a parked motorcycle, exploded in the middle of the afternoon, said Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, the city's security chief.

#3: Unknown armed men opened fire on a civilian vehicle in Paktia province east of Afghanistan killing 13 commuters on Saturday, spokesman for provincial administration Rohullah Samoon said. "The bloody incident took place in Chamkani district at 11:00 a. m. local time as a result 13 innocent civilians including two Afghans and 11 Pakistanis were martyred," Samoon told Xinhua. Three more civilians were injured in the bloody attack. Without giving more details, the officials said that the ill- fated Pakistanis were going home when the fatal incident occurred.

In the eastern border province of Paktia, gunmen opened fire on a minibus carrying Pakistani tribal people who had crossed into Afghanistan to buy supplies, according to Rohullah Samon, spokesman for the provincial governor. Eleven Shia minority Muslim tribesmen died and three people, including a child, were wounded in the ambush in Chamkani district, Samon said. He added that provincial authorities were looking into who fired on the bus.

#4: On the same day Saturday, Taliban militants carried out a suicide car bomb attack against NATO-led troops in Ismael Khil district of the neighboring Khost province.

On Saturday, an explosion tore through a NATO convoy traveling in the eastern province of Khost, and another convoy of international troops came under attack in the northern province of Kunduz, officials said. The coalition said none of its troops were killed. Local government spokesman Mubarez Zadran said a suicide car bomber struck the convoy as it rolled through Khost province's Mando Zayi district. He said foreign troops quickly cordoned off the road. NATO spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Katie Kendrick said that the Khost convoy apparently hit a roadside bomb. She said no casualties were reported.

#5: Elsewhere in Paktia, a combined Afghan-coalition commando force raided a compound in Ahmad Abad district overnight Saturday, killing one person and arresting nine others, officials said. The Ministry of Defense said the elite force had killed an insurgent operative and captured eight others with weapons. The ninth person arrested was determined to be a civilian and turned over to local authorities, a ministry statement said. However, Paktia spokesman Samon complained that local authorities were not informed of the raid. He said villagers protested outside government offices Saturday, saying the dead man and those captured were innocent civilians. They promised a larger demonstration the next day if the eight prisoners were not released.

#6: Attackers also targeted a southern Afghan army base Saturday morning, but the government said a would-be suicide bomber was shot dead and no soldiers were hurt. A Taliban spokesman claimed two bombers penetrated the base and killed more than a dozen Afghan and international forces. Guards at the base gate in the Zabul province noticed a man approaching at about 7 a.m. and killed him, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement. It said the soldiers found the man was wearing a vest full of explosives and was carrying hand grenades and an AK-47 assault rifle. Soon after, soldiers captured two other insurgents armed with another rifle and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, the ministry said.

#7: Three Pakistani soldiers were killed as Taliban attacked security forces in a northwestern tribal area, sparking clashes in which 25 militants were killed, officials said Saturday. "Militants attacked an army patrol in Makeen district of South Waziristan area late Friday in which three soldiers were killed and eight wounded," a security official said. Taliban fighters also attacked a security post in Kaniguram valley, 30 kilometres (about 18 miles) north of the region's main town of Wana overnight, injuring five soldiers, another security official said. Military officials said troops launched retaliatory strikes, killing 25 militants in the two areas.

#8: Two German soldiers were injured on Saturday when their vehicles were struck by roadside bombs, officials said. One soldier was injured in Chardarah district of the northern province of Kunduz, Abdul Wahid Omarkhel, the district governor said. About an hour later, another German military vehicle was hit by bomb in the same Khewaja Kafter village, injuring one more soldier, he said. A German military source in the province confirmed the injuries and said the soldiers were taken to a military hospital.

#9: Foreign troops in Afghanistan killed six civilians and wounded several others with stray artillery fire just a day after a NATO air strike accidentally killed five Afghan government soldiers. A joint Afghan and NATO investigation team found the civilians died on Thursday when artillery fire failed to hit a target in the Jani Khel district of Paktia Province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement. "ISAF officials offer sincere condolences to those affected and accept full responsibility for the actions that led to this tragic incident," the statement, received late on Friday, said.

MoD: Marine David Charles Hart

MoD: Bombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson

DoD: Staff Sgt. Marc A. Arizmendez

DoD: Spc. Roger Lee

DoD: Pfc. Michael S. Pridham

AU/DoD: Private Nathan Bewes


Anonymous said...

So what happens in the next few months? Some sort of deal will be done in the end, because the spoils of power are just too tempting - and meanwhile, the Americans are leaving as quietly as possible. As quietly, that is, as you can move 1900 heavy tanks and fighting vehicles, 43,000 trucks, 600 helicopters, and 34,000 tommes of ammunition.

Some of this stuff will go straight back to the United States, but quite a lot of it will go to be repaired in Kuwait and then sent on to Afghanistan.

The "dumb war", as President Obama called it, is over. The almost-as-dumb war continues.

[Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.]

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