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, August 19, 2011

War News for Friday, August 19, 2011

News is reporting the death of a Polish ISAF soldier from an IED attack in Ghazni province, Afghanistan on Thursday, August 18th. One additional soldier and two afghan police were wounded in the attack. Here's the ISAF release.

Attack on British Council in Kabul - in pictures

Reported security incidents

#1: An Iraqi traffic policeman and a civilian have been injured in shooting by a group of unknown gunmen north of Baghdad on Thursday, a security source reported. “A group of armed men opened fire on a policeman in north Baghdad’s Taji district on Thursday, wounding him and a civilian, who was close to the venue of the shooting,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Turkey's air force attacked 28 suspected Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, the military said Friday, in a second day of cross-border strikes in retaliation for stepped up attacks by the guerrillas. Nearly 100 rounds of artillery also were fired as the warplanes bombed sites on Thursday in the largely mountainous areas just across the border with Iraq as well as on Mount Qandil on the Iraqi-Iranian border, the military said.

#1: An Iraqi civilian has been killed by a group of unknown armed men in the city of Mosul, the center of north Iraq’s Ninewa Province, on Thursday, a Ninewa security source reported. “A civilian has been killed on Thursday afternoon, when a group of armed men opened fire on him, close to his house in Tal al-Rumman district, west of Mosul,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that the victim was working as a carpenter in Arbil and he was a Mosul citizen.

#2: An off-duty soldier was killed and three others were wounded when gunmen opened fire on their car in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a local police source said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A co-ordinated attack Friday on a British compound in Kabul involving two suicide bombers and a five-hour long firefight between Afghan security troops and attackers who penetrated the complex killed at least 10 people, Afghan officials said. The attack on the British Council occurred as Afghans on Friday celebrated Independence Day, marking the day the country achieved full independence from Britain in 1919. The dead included eight Afghan policemen, a security guard whose nationality was not immediately known and an Afghan municipal worker, according to Kabul police official Farooq Asas. Two of four people wounded in the blasts were not Afghans, he said. The attack started with one suicide bomber detonating an explosives-laden car outside the British Council in west Kabul while another suicide bomber struck inside the compound, according to Afghan police. Afghan security forces dispatched to the scene said that at least three insurgents fought from a secure bunker inside the compound with rifles and rocket propelled grenades. The stand-off was still going on five hours after the initial blasts. Asas, the police official, said he had counted five suicide bombers. One detonated the car outside the compound, one set of an explosion inside while at least three more got inside the compound on foot.

A New Zealand Nato soldier is believed to have been killed in a suicide attack on the British Council Offices in Kabul.

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#2: A US drone strike in a restive Pakistani tribal area on Friday killed at least four suspected militants, local security officials said. The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, hitting a house in the Shin Warsak area of South Waziristan, a tribal district, wounding two other people, security officials told AFP. “Two missiles were fired at the house of a tribal elder where local militants were present,” one security official told AFP on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media. “Four dead bodies have been recovered and two are injured,” the official added.

#3: Four insurgents were killed after they attacked a convoy belonging to a private logistics firm in the southern Kandahar province, governor spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi said.

#4: Afghan security forces and ISAF troops killed several insurgents in the central Wardak province on Wednesday, the coalition said in a statement.

News: Lance Corporal Szymon Sitarczuk (Pol.)