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

Saturday, August 20, 2011

War News for Saturday, August 20, 2011

The NZDF is reporting the death of a New Zealand ISAF soldier from a small arms fire/gunshot wounds in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, August 19th. Here's the ISAF release.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, August 19th.

Reported security incidents

#1: Turkey's military says its warplanes have bombed 20 suspected Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq in a third day of cross-border strikes. The military says on its website Saturday that 85 other rebel targets were also hit with artillery fire in Friday's assault. It said all planes returned to their base safely and that work is under way to assess the damage and losses caused.

#1: The Commander of Iraq’s Supporting Battalion in Zab township of northern Iraq’s Kirkuk city has escaped an assassination attempt on Friday, Kirkuk Police Director, Sarhad Qader reported. “The Commander of Zab’s Supporting Battalion, Hamad Ali Hussein, has escaped an assassination attempt by a sticking bomb explosion under his car in Zab township, 85 km to the southwest of Kirkuk, Lt-Brigader, Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Qader said the explosion had injured two of Hussein’s protection force, one with a major rank, and caused damage to the vehicle.

#2: Gunmen opened fire on a police lieutenant colonel and seriously wounded him in northern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, a local police source said.

#1: A civilian was shot by armed gunmen east of Mosul city, security sources said today. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the deceased had worked as a cab driver.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: One person was killed and four others injured on Saturday when a roadside bomb went off in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of Nangarhar province 120 km east of capital Kabul, spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai for provincial government said. "A bomb was placed along a road in fifth precinct of Jalalabad city and was detonated at around 06:30 a.m. local time. As a result one person was killed and four others injured," Abdulzai told Xinhua. Without giving more details, Abdulzai said the man who was killed and two injured people were security personnel and two more civilians were also injured in the attack. However, a witness who declined to be named told Xinhua near the site of the blast that some explosive was planted in a tricycle vehicle and was detonated when a car belonging to provincial intelligence agency was passing by.

#2: GUNMEN set ablaze at least five oil tankers in southwestern Pakistan which were carrying fuel for NATO forces stationed in neighbouring Afghanistan, officials said today. The men armed with automatic weapons fired at the tankers, causing them to catch fire on a main highway in the Dasht area, some 20km south of Quetta, the capital of restive Baluchistan province. "Unknown gunmen opened fire on five oil tankers parked at the roadside on the main Quetta-Jacobabad national highway in the Dasht area late Friday after which the vehicles caught fire," tribal police official Abdul Salam said. There were no casualties, he said. The tankers were waiting for a paramilitary and police escort for their onward journey to Afghanistan via the Chaman border.

#3: Two Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed and eight others wounded when an explosives-rigged rickshaw was detonated in the 5th police district of western Herat City Saturday morning, an officials said. The explosion struck an ANA vehicle at around 6:20am on a road that has been opened as an alternative route to the road lined with minarets, which has been closed to preserve the structures. The vehicle was carrying Zafar Military Corps’ personnel, Col. Najibullah Najibi, a spokesman for the Zafar Military Corps, told Pajhwok Afghan News. Two ANA soldiers were killed and eight others hurt in the blast, said Najibi, who added that three of the injured were discharged from the Herat Regional Hospital after receiving first aid while five others, whose injuries were critical, were still hospitalized there.

#4: Three policemen were killed and four more wounded in combat with insurgents in the Shigi area of the eastern Kunar province, Kunar Provincial Governor Fazlullah Wahidi said.

#5: A roadside mine killed three civilians and wounded two more in the central Ghazni province on Saturday, Ghazni Police Chief Dlawar Zahed said.

#6: In a separate incident, three policemen were killed and four others injured when insurgents stormed a police check point in the country's eastern Kunar province in the wee hours on Saturday. A provincial security official in Kunar province told Xinhua that a group of armed insurgents attacked a police check point in the outskirts of provincial capital Asadabad at around 01:00 a.m. local time Saturday, killing three policeman and injuring four others.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Travis M. Nelson