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

Friday, May 20, 2011

War News for Friday, May 20, 2011

Kirkuk Bombs Threaten Iraq's Oil Security

Wildcat strikes spread in Iraq as BP lifts first oil cargo

Troop morale in Afghanistan plummets, report says

Cdn. medics kept busy in Afghanistan

Armed skirmish reported at Tajik-Afghan border in Khatlon

A new test for Taliban and al-Qaeda ties

5 Mehdi Army chiefs escape from Taji prison


Reported security incidents

Qaiyara:
#1: A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraq army patrol, killing four soldiers, in the town of Qaiyara, 290 km (180 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: update Thirty-six people were killed and 20 wounded when the Taliban stormed an Afghan road construction company. The violence in the eastern province of Paktia, which borders Pakistan, started at around 2am on Thursday and raged for several hours. One security guard who survived told said that 'hundreds' of Taliban had swamped the compound, forcing him and two colleagues to hide with guns and a few bullets so they could kill themselves if they were found.

#2: The Taliban bombed a US consulate convoy in Peshawar on Friday, killing one person and wounding 11 others in the first attack on Americans in Pakistan since Osama bin Laden's death. A US embassy spokesman said two US government employees were lightly wounded in the rush-hour attack in the volatile northwestern city, which runs into the tribal belt that Washington has branded a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda. One of two armoured vehicles was damaged by what a bomb disposal official said was 50 kilos of low-grade explosives packed into a car and detonated by remote-control, dismissing initial reports of a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. "Two vehicles of the US consulate were on their way to the consulate when they were attacked," US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez told AFP. "One vehicle was damaged. There is no death among our personnel and there are no serious injuries," he added. "Only one car was hit. In that car there were US citizen diplomats and a Pakistani driver," he said, adding that two male US government employees inside the car suffered "minor injuries".

#3: A civilian was killed and nine others injured Thursday when a powerful bomb explosion rocked Kandahar city, officials said. Eight civilians were injured Thursday when a powerful bomb explosion rocked Kandahar city, the provincial capital of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. Eye witnesses told Xinhua that the explosive were planted in a motorbike and detonated near the Kabul Bank branch.

#4: One child was killed and four civilians wounded when a bomb hidden in a bag exploded near shops and a shrine in southern Kandahar city, said Zalmay Ayoubi, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor.

#5: At least 60 insurgents were killed by Afghan and foreign forces in a three-day operation in northwestern Faryab province, ISAF said in a statement. The offensive started on May 13 in Faryab's Qiasar district, it said.


FR/MoD: Private 1st Class Cyril Louaisil

DoD: Spc. Brandon M. Kirton