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 27, 2011

War News for Saturday, August 27, 2011

BBC journalist killed during Taliban attack 'may have been shot by US forces'

Reported security incidents

#1: A sticky bomb attached to the car of a police officer killed him and wounded two passers-by when it went off on Friday in Baghdad's central Karrada district, an Interior Ministry source said.

#2: A roadside bomb went off near a liquor store, wounding two civilians in central Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

#3: Three civilians were wounded when three mortar rounds landed in northern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

#1: Gunmen in a car shot dead a civilian late on Friday in Jbela, 65 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, a local police source said.

Um Qsar:
#1: update The head of the security commission in Basra said today that the rockets launched yesterday were not directed against the Kuwaiti Mobarak Terminal, but Pokka prison, charging that it is an attempt to destroy the Iraqi economy. Ali al-Maliki told Aswat al-Iraq that "the rockets were launched against Pokka prison, 2 km west of Um Qasr port, 60 km west of Basra city, which is the center of the Iraqi naval forces and foreign companies. The rockets were newly designed rockets with a range of one kilometer.

#1: A roadside bomb went off near a mosque and wounded three civilians in Tarmiya, 25 km (15 miles) north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

#1: Police found the body of an unidentified man in his forties just north of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, a source in Kirkuk police operations room said late on Friday. The source said the man had been handcuffed and blindfolded and his body was riddled with bullets.

#1: An armed man has been killed while trying to plant an explosive charge in Mosul, the center of northern Iraq’s Ninewa Province on Friday, a Ninewa security source reported. “An armed man has been killed on Friday in an explosive charge he tried to plant on the main highway connecting Mosul with Hammam al-Ajil township, 20 km from the city,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Hundreds of militants crossed the Afghan border Saturday and attacked three security checkpoints in northwestern Pakistan, killing 12 people including 10 paramilitary soldiers and two policemen, officials said. The militants seized control of a local village after attacking the security checkpoints in Chitral district, said local police official Nizam Khan. Pakistani forces responded to the raid and killed nine insurgents, he said. But fighting was still ongoing Saturday afternoon, and Pakistani troops requested helicopter gunships to drive the militants back across the border, said Maj. Ghulam Rasool, a member of the paramilitary forces. Chitral is located across the border from the Afghan districts of Nuristan and Kunar, both of which house significant numbers of Afghan and Pakistani Taliban fighters. The U.S. largely pulled out of the area about a year ago but has recently added additional troops.

update -- At least 40 soldiers of Chitral Scouts were killed and many others wounded when militants from Afghanistan attacked border checkpoints in northern Chitral district Saturday, Geo News reported.

#2: Also Saturday, gunmen kidnapped and killed a retired army colonel in northwestern Pakistan, and a police officer died trying to rescue him, said police official Umer Hayat. The gunmen seized Col. Shakeel Ahmad as he was on his way home from morning prayers in the garrison city of Kohat, said Hayat. Police intercepted the gunmen's car at a checkpoint and engaged them in a firefight in which one police officer was killed and two others wounded. The gunmen escaped and later shot dead Ahmad and abandoned his body alongside a road.

#3: At least four people have been killed in a suicide car bombing in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province. Officials say at least another 21 people were wounded. A deputy police chief for Helmand, Kamal-u-Din Sherzai, said the bomber detonated the vehicle at the New Kabul Bank in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, as soldiers and police officers were collecting their salaries.

#4: Two blasts in southern city of Kandahar wounded at least 20 civilians, including women and children, the provincial governor's spokesman, Zalmay Ayoubi, said. It was not immediately clear whether they were suicide or car bomb explosions, Ayoubi said

DoD: Sgt. Andrew R. Tobin