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, August 19, 2010

War News for Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Washington Post is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed area in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 18th.

Last U.S. combat troops leave Iraq

Civilians to Take U.S. Lead After Military Leaves Iraq

Reported security incidents

#1: “Two bombs went off late Wednesday (Aug. 18) targeting a police vehicle patrol in al-Kesra region in al-Aadhamiya, northern Baghdad, injuring ten people, including two policemen, and damaging the car and nearby stores,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Two civilians were wounded when a mortar shell hit a house in Abi Nawas street near the Green Zone, central Baghdad,” the source added, noting that they were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

#3: Two civilians were wounded in an improvised explosive device explosion in eastern Baghdad on Thursday, according to a security source. “The bomb exploded in al-Baladiyat region, eastern Baghdad, injuring two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Anti-explosives experts managed to defuse another bomb at the same place,” he added.

#4: Two civilians were wounded on Thursday by an improvised explosive device in northern Baghdad, a police source said. “The bomb went off today (Aug. 19) targeting a police vehicle patrol near Kourniesh al-Aadhamiya, northern Baghdad, injuring two passing civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A sticky bomb attached to the car of a government-backed Sahwa militia leader killed him and wounded his brother when it exploded in eastern Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: In Madaen, southeast of Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on a security checkpoint manned by Local Awakenings Council members, killing one and wounding two others.

#1: Gunmen using silenced guns opened fire at an Iraqi military checkpoint, killing a soldier in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol killed one civilian and wounded two soldiers when it went off in eastern Mosul, police said.

#3: Police found the body of a man with gunshot wounds to the head in the town of Bartila, west of Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two people were killed and three others were wounded when a car bomb exploded at an Iraqi police checkpoint in Ramadi on Wednesday night, police officials said.

#2: A roadside bomb exploded near a civilian car in Falluja, killing one person.

#3: A policeman was killed on Thursday by a sticky bomb in eastern Falluja, a police source said. “A bomb, stuck to the cop’s vehicle, went off on the Baghdad-Falluja road near the Cement Factory in eastern Falluja, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the blast caused material damage to the car.

#4: A policeman was killed and two more were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in northern Ramadi on Thursday, a police source said. “The bomb exploded in 5 Kilometer region, northern Ramadi, targeting a police vehicle patrol,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban fighters attacked a road construction crew Thursday in southern Afghanistan and several people have been killed and wounded, officials and witnesses said. The attack on the road crew occurred in the Sangin district of Helmand province, according to a company employee, Salam Khan Durrani. He said several people had been killed or wounded but he had no precise figures because fighting was still raging at midday. The crew was working on the main road from Sangin to the provincial capital Lashkar Gah. Sangin has been the scene of bloody fighting between the Taliban and coalition forces.

#2: In neighbouring Kandahar province, eight NATO service members were injured when their helicopter made a hard landing during a joint Afghan and coalition operation. According to initial reports, the aircraft was not taking enemy fire. An investigation is under way.

#3: In the east, a joint Afghan and NATO force killed 12 insurgents Wednesday in Puli Alam district of Logar province, the coalition said. Among those killed was Qari Muir, who had held several Taliban positions, including deputy shadow governor, military commander and the insurgent group's intelligence chief for Logar, NATO said. The insurgents were observed preparing an attack on coalition forces and were killed in airstrikes, the coalition said. A weapons cache, which included rockets, mines, ammunition and bomb-making equipment also was destroyed.

#4: Also in eastern Afghanistan, coalition and Afghan forces killed three insurgents who were members of the fundamentalist Islamic group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, NATO said. Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a Pakistan-based group that is believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India blames for the 2009 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people. The insurgents, who were killed in fighting in Pech district of Kunar province, were members of a network linked to two rocket-propelled grenade attacks that killed two U.S. service members and wounded several others, plus various other attacks on Afghan and coalition forces.

#5: NATO also reported that technical problems forced one of its unmanned aerial vehicles to make an emergency landing Wednesday in Kunduz province. The vehicle is a lightweight, medium-range reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft that is not armed.

#6: Four policemen and a NATO soldier were killed in separate attacks by insurgents in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, reports quoting the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan officials said on Thursday. The district police chief of Daman in Kandahar province was traveling to the provincial capital in a vehicle along with three policemen when an explosives-laden car rammed into it. A civilian was also killed in the blast.

#7: At least eight militants were killed and three others injured in a military operation launched on Thursday by the Pakistani army in the country's northwest tribal area of Upper Orakzai, reported local media. Thursday's military action against the militants is the second largest operation of its kind launched by the Pakistani army over the last couple of weeks. On Wednesday, the Pakistani army killed 18 militants and injured 10 others in a gunship helicopter strike launched in the adjacent area of Kuuram agency.

#8: At least 16 people were injured in a handgrenade attack Thursday morning in district Bannu in the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, local media reported. According to the reports, an unidentified person has attacked a shop with a handgrenade in the crowded downtown oil bazaar.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Derek J. Farley

DoD: Pfc. Benjamen G. Chisholm

DoD: Pvt. Charles M. High, IV