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

Thursday, July 15, 2010

War News for Thursday, July 15, 2010

The DoD is reporting a new death unreported by the military. Spc. Christopher J. Moon died at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany on Tuesday, July 13th. He was wounded in an IED attack in Arghandab, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, July 6th.

Hundreds of Afghanistan contractor deaths go unreported: In a 10-month period between June 2009 and April 2010, 260 private security contractors working for the Defense Department made the ultimate sacrifice, while over the same period, 324 U.S. troops were killed. In analyzing the numbers, the report found a private security contractor "working for DOD in Afghanistan is 4.5 times more likely to be killed than uniformed personnel."

Afghans to Form Local Forces to Fight Taliban

Reported security incidents

#1: Earlier, a bomb on a Baghdad minibus left two dead and another five people wounded.

#2: An unknown sniper killed on Wednesday a soldier in central Baghdad, according to a security source. “A sniper shot and killed a soldier in al-Karada region, central Baghdad, on Wednesday afternoon (July 14),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: “A booby-trapped store went off in Garage Baghdad region, central Baghdad, injuring four people,” he added, without giving further details.

#4: Four civilians were wounded on Wednesday in an improvised explosive device blast in western Baghdad, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off on Wednesday (July 14) near the central markets building in al-Adl neighborhood in western Baghdad, injuring four civilians, who were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb exploded in the Adil district of western Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding four others, an Interior Ministry source said.

#5: A Sahwa leader was wounded by a sticky bomb in southern Baghdad, a police source said Thursday. “A bomb, stuck to the vehicle of Saleh Mezher, a Sahwa leader, went off late Wednesday (July 14) in al-Rai neighborhood in southern Baghdad, injuring him and damaging the vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#6: Two policemen were injured on Wednesday (July 14) in an attack by hand grenades on a checkpoint in al-Ghazaliya neighborhood, western Baghdad.

#7: two more policemen and a civilian were wounded in an armed attack on a police vehicle patrol near al-Darwiesh intersection in al-Bayaa neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#8: “Two policemen were slightly wounded in a third attack by light weapons on a patrol in al-Masbah intersection in al-Karada neighborhood, central Baghdad.

#9: an environment ministry’s employee was injured in a sticky bomb explosion in al-Yarmouk neighborhood, western Baghdad,” he continued.

#10: A bomb attached to a vehicle killed a senior appeal court judge in the western Baghdad district of Yarmouk, an Interior Ministry source said.

#11: A bomb attached to a police car wounded the driver and a passer-by in the Doura district of southern Baghdad, police said.

#12: Gunmen using weapons equipped with silencers shot dead a university professor, Adnan Makki, at his home in al-Qadissiya district of southwestern Baghdad, police said.

#13: A bomb attached to a car wounded the driver and a passenger in the New Baghdad district of eastern Baghdad on Tuesday evening, police said

#1: Policemen found on Wednesday a booby-trapped house in western Basra, according to a police source. “Acting on a tip-off, police forces raided a house in al-Qebla region in western Basra, where they found bombs, hand grenades, guns, ammunitions and an amount of C4,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Department of Criminal Evidence managed to defuse the bombs,” he added, noting that the house belongs to al-Qaeda leader, who had been arrested earlier.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and four others were wounded when attackers blew up a house used as a headquarters for the army in Abu Ghraib on the western outskirts of Baghdad, police said.

Sulaiman Pek:
#1: A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt blew himself up as Iraqi army forces stormed his home near the town of Sulaiman Pek, 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. No soldiers were hurt

#1: Authorities said a car bomb targeting a police patrol killed a senior officer, two policemen and three civilians in the city of Tikrit. Eleven civilians were wounded.

Six people, including three police, were killed by a car bomb that targeted a patrol in the centre of Tikrit, 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Baghdad, said Colonel Hathem Akram, while 11 people, six of them police, were wounded.

#1: Army forces killed on Wednesday three gunmen in south of Mosul, according to a military source. “A force from the 2nd division of the Iraqi army killed on Wednesday morning (July 14) three gunmen during clashes with them in a region, south of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A contractor was killed and three security elements were wounded in a bomb blast in western Mosul, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off on Wednesday (July 14) targeting a vehicle patrol of a security company in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that a contractor was killed and three security elements were wounded in the attack.

#3: “Unknown gunmen killed a civilian in al-Maash market in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the victim is one of the Talafar residents and was visiting Mosul.

#4: A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army patrol, wounding one soldier, in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#5: A bomb blew up in a parking lot and wounded two people in southern Mosul, police said.

Al Abrar Prv:
#1: A fourth policeman was killed in Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad, by an unknown gunman, local police said.

#2: Gunmen stormed the house of a Sufi Muslim cleric killing four people and wounding at least six others, in a town near Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Gunmen kidnapped five Health Ministry employees in the volatile southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Members of a medical team were abducted while returning to Kandahar city, the provincial capital, after visiting a project in Maiwand district, provincial spokesman Zulmi Ayubi said Thursday. The gunmen forced the car to stop about a mile (two kilometers) outside Maiwand and abducted two doctors, a pharmacist, a nurse and their driver, Ayubi said. The Health Ministry issued a statement calling for their release.

#2: In neighboring Uruzgan province, police said they had killed a local Taliban commander, identified as Mullah Dawood, in a gunbattle. A routine police patrol discovered the insurgents in a village in Tarin Kot district and started fighting, according to Gulab Khan, the deputy police chief. He said five insurgents, including the commander and a bomb-maker, died and the police suffered no casualties.

#3: Fifteen Taliban militants were killed and several others injured as fighter jets targeted terrorist positions in the volatile Orakzai tribal region in northwest Pakistan today, security sources said. The jets bombarded Taliban hideouts at Ghundaki, Mashti Kandi, Chapri Alikhel and Dharra Dhar Mamzai areas of Orakzai Agency that borders Afghanistan. Three hideouts were also destroyed in the air strikes.

#4: Four Taliban militants were killed as their explosive device went off prematurely in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province on Thursday, Interior Ministry said in a press release. "A group of Taliban rebels were busy in planting explosive device on a motorbike in Yahya Khil district this morning but the device exploded prematurely killing four on the spot and wounding four others," the press release added.

#5: An apparent suicide bombing near a bus terminal in Pakistan's Swat Valley killed three people and wounded at least 35 on Thursday, officials said, a sign that Islamist militants remain active in the northwest region despite a massive army operation against them. The explosion went off around noon in Mingora, the main town in the one-time tourist haven that was overrun by the Taliban back in 2007.

#6: A member of an Afghan tribal council was killed by militants, a day after district elders secured his release from kidnappers, the U.S. military said Wednesday. Mullah Saleh Mohammed was killed Tuesday in eastern Uruzgan province by militants who stopped the van he was traveling in by putting up a make-shift checkpoint, the military said in a statement. The insurgents stopped the van, pulled Mohammed out and shot him on the spot, the military said, attributing the information to witnesses.

MoD: Major James Joshua Bowman

MoD: Lieutenant Neal Turkington

MoD: Corporal Arjun Purja Pun

DoD: Sgt. Shaun M. Mittler

DoD: Spc. Christopher J. Moon