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

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

War News for Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Obama to cut U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 50,000 by end of August

4 killed in PKK attack in SE Turkey

Karachi Businesses Shut After 36 Killed in Shootings

The Missing Word in Our Afghanistan Strategy

In Kandahar, U.S. tries the lessons of Baghdad

Reported security incidents

#1: Suspected al-Qaida militants killed five Iraqi soldiers in a brazen dawn attack Tuesday at a western Baghdad checkpoint and planted the terror group's black banner before fleeing the scene, officials said. Tuesday's attackers arrived in three cars and used pistols fitted with silencers in the assault in the mainly Sunni Mansour district, police and hospital officials said. The assailants, according to the officials, then planted the al-Qaida banner on a pole next to the checkpoint. An Interior Ministry official familiar with the incident said five gunmen first shot dead two soldiers who were on duty, then moved to a nearby spot where three soldiers were sleeping and shot them dead at close range. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He said the attack took place at 5 a.m.

#2: And in the nearby Ghazaliyah neighborhood, gunmen in a speeding car opened fire on a police checkpoint, wounding one policeman, police officials said. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

#3: In the northern area of al-Hurreya, a car bomb injured three people,

A roadside bomb went off today targeting a civilian car driven by a police officer (major) in al-Hurriya city, northern Baghdad, wounding him and two pedestrians,” the source said.

#4: while two bomb blasts in the central neighbourhoods of al- Khilani and Bab Sharqi injured a total of six people.

Another roadside bomb went off in al-Khilani Square, central Baghdad, wounding two civilians,” the source added.

Four civilians were wounded on Tuesday when a roadside bomb went off in eastern Baghdad. “The blast occurred today at the Palestine Street, eastern Baghdad,” a local security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: He noted two mortars hit the al-Dawoodi neighborhood, western Baghdad, causing no casualties or damage.

#6: A traffic police officer was killed when a bomb attached to his motorcycle exploded in the Ghadir district of southeastern Baghdad, police said.

#1: Attackers killed a nurse in his clinic on Monday south of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said

#1: Five civilians were wounded on Monday when a grenade went off in central Mosul city, Ninewa province. “The five civilians were injured today when an unknown gunman launched an attack with a grenade targeting a police patrol in al-Farooq neighborhood, central Mosul,” a local security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two civilians were killed by a bomb blast in south of Mosul on Monday, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device went off on Monday afternoon (Aug. 2) near al-Qayara district, south of Mosul, killing two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A bodyguard of a lawmaker of al-Iraqiya List from Ninewa was killed and a child and civilian were wounded on Monday in central Mosul, according to a security source. “A bodyguard of MP Amna Saadi Mahdi from al-Iraqiya List in Ninewa was killed on Monday afternoon (Aug. 2) by gunmen in Bab al-Saray marketplace in central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “One child and a civilian were wounded in the attack,” he added, pointing out that the body was sent to the morgue.

#4: “One policeman was wounded today when a grenade hit his patrol along the right bank of the 5th Bridge, western Mosul,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: “One Iraqi army soldier was wounded today when a gunman opened fire targeting an army checkpoint in the al-Isslah al-Ziraee neighborhood, western Mosul,” the source added.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A Taliban attack on an airbase in southern Afghanistan led by a suicide bomber riding a tractor has been repelled by Nato forces. The man riding the machine blew himself up at the perimeter of the base near Kandahar city in an attempt to clear the way for other fighters. The other Taliban fighters who advanced on the base under cover of rocket fire were killed or turned back. A spokeswoman for Nato forces said the hour-long attack had been unsuccessful. Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi said they had been responsible for the assault. Some reports said that a foreign soldier had been wounded, but this has not been confirmed by Nato or US officials. The Kandahar airfield, 15 miles (25km) outside Kandahar city, is one of the largest Nato military bases in Afghanistan.

Kandahar provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayubi said there were five attackers, two of whom were killed in the attack. He said they fired two rockets into the base, but did not have further details.

#2: Six Afghan private security guards were beheaded during a bank robbery in northern Afghanistan, police said Tuesday. It appeared that the security guards were poisoned before they were beheaded, said Sherjan Durani, a police spokesman for Balkh province. He said someone apparently mixed a poison into the guards' food Monday night at a branch of Kabul Bank in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Durani says an unknown number of robbers beheaded the guards and took about $269,000 in U.S. and Afghan currency. Kabul Bank officials declined to comment on the incident until it has been investigated.

#3: Also in the south, three private security guards were killed and four others injured Tuesday by a roadside bomb in Arghandab district of Zabul province, according to Amanullah, provincial chief of police who goes by one name.

DoD: Sgt. Kyle B. Stout