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 31, 2010

War News for Saturday, July 31, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan of Friday, July 30th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from an IED strike in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan of Friday, July 30th.

News reports the death of an Italian ISAF soldier from suicide in Kabul, Afghanistan sometime over the weekend of July 23rd-25th.

The Suffering of Fallujah

U.N. Removes 5 Taliban From Its Sanctions List: The five were hardly viewed as much of a threat: Three of them have already made peace with the Kabul government, and two of them are dead.

Reported security incidents

#1: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians when it went off in the Baghdad's western district of Khadra, on Friday, an Interior Ministry source said.

#2: A mortar round wounded a civilian when it landed near a residential area in the Baghdad's northern district of Shaab, on Friday, an Interior Ministry source said.

#1: An Iraqi security force seized four rockets ready for firing in the direction of a U.S. military base in western al-Kut city on Friday, according to a local security source in Wassit province. “An Iraqi interior ministry force seized today (July 30) four Katyusha rockets in a farmland in al-Ahrar district, (25 km) western Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The rockets, ready for firing on the Delta military base, (7 km) western Kut, which is taken by the U.S. forces as their headquarters, were defused by a bomb squad,” he said, adding intelligence tip-offs led the force to the site of the rockets.

#1: Gunmen opened fire in a souk (outdoor market) north of al-Hilla city on Friday, leaving two women wounded, a local security source said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire on pedestrians inside a souk in the area of al-Latifiya, (60 km) north of Hilla, wounding two women,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Police found the body of an Iraqi soldier which had gunshot wounds in Qaiyara, 330 km (205 miles) north of Baghdad, police said, adding that the soldier had been kidnapped a few days ago.

#1: A roadside bomb killed three civilians and wounded eight others when it exploded near a minibus in Tarmiya, 25 km (15 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday, an Interior Ministry source said.

#1: A bomb attached to the car of Daham Hussein, a police brigadier, killed one person and wounded four others, including Hussein, on his way to work in Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

#1: Gunmen snatched a Christian man working for a money exchange office in central Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday, police said

#1: Seven people, including five policemen, were wounded on Saturday when a roadside bomb went off west of Mosul city. “The blast targeted a police patrol at the al-Zinjeeli area, west of Mosul,” a local security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A suspected insurgent was killed when a bomb he was apparently trying to plant exploded in eastern Mosul, police said.

#3: Police found the body of an unidentified man which had head and chest bullet wounds in eastern Mosul, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban militants fighting Afghan government have killed a tribal elder in Kandahar province south of Afghanistan, spokesman for provincial administration Zalmai Ayubi said Saturday. "The Taliban rebels raided the house of Khalifa Hamidullah, a tribal elder in Arghandab district Friday night and took him away and murdered him," Ayubi told Xinhua.

#2: Rioting erupted in Kabul Friday when two US embassy vehicles were set ablaze after one collided with a civilian car, killing a number of occupants, officials and witnesses said. An ISAF official said the vehicles involved belonged to the US embassy. "We don't know yet how many people were killed in the accident," interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashery said. Witnesses said four passengers in the civilian car died when it was hit by one of two armoured vehicles moving in convoy. The US embassy in Kabul released a statement saying that "four US contract personnel" had been in the vehicle involved in the accident. "We understand that the other car contained four Afghan passengers. We have also been informed that there were fatalities and serious injuries among the Afghans involved in the accident," it said, without further detail. Police fired shots in the air to quell the violence, an AFP reporter witnessed. It was unclear how the vehicles were set alight, as some security firms torch cars they are forced to abandon as a matter of policy, a security contractor in Kabul said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

#3: The cleanup operation against Taliban insurgents has been continuing in Bagh-e-Shirkat area of Kunduz province in north Afghanistan and four NATO soldiers have received injuries since Friday, spokesman of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Saturday. "Three vehicles of ISAF forces were partially damaged due to roadside bombings and four soldiers have been slightly injured over the past 24 hours in Bagh-e-Shirkat area," Lieutenant Colonel Weber told media. However, he did not comment on the casualties of Taliban insurgents saying Afghan and ISAF forces with the support of locals would continue the operation unless the area is cleansed from the insurgents.

#4: There is a report from Wardag province that some five personnel of NDS, a local US-NATO spy agency were killed in an ambush attack in the province’s Nirkh district on Friday, while a Mujahid was, too, martyred in the operation.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Shane R. Martin