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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

War News for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, June 28th.

NATO is reporting the death of another ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, June 28th.

Estimated cost of post-9/11 wars: 225,000 lives, up to $4 trillion

U.S. strikes al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia

Reported security incidents

#1: A roadside bomb struck a police patrol near al-Rasheed vegetable wholesale market in Baghdad's southern district of Doura, killing a civilian and wounding seven people, including four policemen, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: In a separate incident, another roadside bomb ripped through Doura district wounding two civilians and damaging several nearby buildings and civilian vehicles, the source said.

Irbil Prv:
#1: The directorate of Hajj Omran border District in Arbil announced that Iranian shelling resumed on Tuesday targeting the District border region. No casualties were reported, the directorate said. Iranian raids on sites inside the Iraqi territory specifically in Arbil in borders regions with Iran have been going on since a week now under the pretext of targeting opposition members. Violent armed clashes erupted on Monday night between Iranian Forces and PJAK members related to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in regions close to Iraqi Wiza village, 4 kilometers away from the Iranian borders, eye witnesses said. Clashes erupted when Iranian Army vehicles opened roads inside the Iraqi territory. Armed clashes erupted as well on Sunday night between Iranian Forces and PJAK members inside the Iraqi borders near the Iraqi Wiza village, in Joman District, Arbil, eye witnesses reported. 12 Iranian soldiers and PKK members were killed in clashes.

#1: The former Minister of Reconstruction and Housing was hurt today in an armed attack against her convoy, Kirkuk security forces said. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that "unknown armed group attacked ex-minister Bayan Di'za'i near Touzkhormato area , near Kirkuk, while traveling to Baghdad.

#2: Police found the body of an unidentified man in his 30s who had been shot, south of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: An Iraqi civilian has been injured in an explosive charge blast in eastern Mosul, a Ninewa security source reported on Wednesday.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO helicopters fired rockets before dawn Wednesday at Taliban gunmen who stormed one of Afghanistan's premier hotels, ending a brazen, nearly five-hour assault that left 19 people dead - including all eight attackers. The strike against the Inter-Continental was one of the biggest and most complex to have occurred within Kabul. Militants who had managed to penetrate the hotel's security measures began the attack around 10 p.m. Tuesday, on the eve of a conference about the transfer of security responsibilities. After hours of fighting, two NATO helicopters opened fire at about 3 a.m. on the roof of the five-story hotel where militants had taken up positions. U.S. Army Maj. Jason Waggoner, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting in Afghanistan, said the helicopters killed three gunmen and Afghan security forces clearing the hotel worked their way up to the roof and engaged the insurgents. Latifullah Mashal, the spokesman of the Afghan National Directorate for Security, said eight suicide attackers were involved and all had either blown themselves up or been killed by Afghan or coalition forces. The 11 civilians killed included a judge from an unnamed province, five hotel workers and three Afghan policemen, Mashal said. He said no foreigners were killed, but two foreigners were among 14 people wounded in the attack. He did not disclose their nationalities.

One of the dead was a Spanish civilian pilot.

Two New Zealand soldiers have been injured in the raid by suicide bombers and Taliban insurgents on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. The two Kiwis were part of the New Zealand special operations forces, and sustained moderate injuries when the Intercontinental Hotel was raided.

#2: Two NATO oil tankers came under armed attack near Mach area of Bolan district on Tuesday. Mach Assistant Commissioner Qaim Khan Lashari said that unidentified armed men opened indiscriminate firing at the oil tankers carrying logistics for the NATO forces in Afghanistan, as they were on their way to Afghanistan from Karachi. “Resultantly, they caught fire and were burnt,” he said, adding, “Drivers and cleaners, however, remained unhurt as a result of firing.”

#3: Meanwhile, an oil tanker, supplying fuel to the NATO forces in Afghanistan, caught fire after explosion in Azakhel area of district Nowshera late Monday night, police said. As per details, driver and cleaner of the tanker allegedly stole fuel from the vehicle and detonated it with locally manufactured explosives. Both the accused, taking advantage of darkness of the night, managed to flee from the scene.

#4: Insurgents have suffered heavy casualties in a hard-fought battle with U.S. and Afghan forces in the rugged mountain terrain and Taliban stronghold of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province, military officials said Tuesday. Up to 100 insurgents were killed during the multiday operation in the northern part of the Watahpur District of Kunar, where gunmen from Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan are battling hundreds of American troops and their Afghan military counterparts. About 30 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in the fight. Agha said the Afghan soldiers were doing well in the difficult terrain. They too experienced a number of casualties over the past few days, but he did not provide exact figures.

#5: An anti-personnel mine planted by insurgents killed two Afghan women and wounded a child in the Panjwai district of southern Helmand province, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#6: An International Security Assistance Force remotely piloted aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan today. The crash site is secure and the aircraft is being recovered. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but initial reports indicate there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time.

DoD: Spc. Matthew R. Gallagher

DoD: Staff Sgt. Russell J. Proctor

DoD: Pfc. Dylan J. Johnson

DoD: Spc. Kevin J. Hilaman

DoD: 1st. Lt. Dimitri A. Del Castillo

DoD: Staff Sgt. Nigel D. Kelly

DoD: Cpl. Michael C. Nolen