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, August 10, 2011

War News for Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reported security incidents

#1: Three civilians have been seriously wounded in an explosive charge blast against a police patrol on southern Baghdad’s Saydiya district on Tuesday, according to security source on Wednesday. “An explosive charge, planted on the roadside in southern Baghdad’s Saydiya district, has blown off on Tuesday, seriously wounding 3 civilians, the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, giving no further details.

#2: Nine persons, among them 5 Army and Police men, have been injured in an explosive charge blast against a joint patrol in northern Baghdad on Tuesday night, according to a security source on Wednesday. “An explosive charge blew off late Tuesday against a Joint Iraqi Army & Police patrol in al-Suleikh district north of Baghdad, wounding 2 soldiers, 3 policemen and 4 civilians, who were all driven to nearby hospitals for treatment,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A Katyusha rocket landed inside the heavily fortified area of the Green Zone, home of Iraqi government offices and the U.S. embassy, after midnight with no reports of casualties, an interior ministry source said.

#1: The Director of Azadi Police of northern Iraq’s oil-rich city of Kirkuk has escaped an assassination attempt by an explosive charge against his motorcade in the city early on Wednesday, according to a Joint Coordination Center’s source in Kirkuk. “An explosive charge blew off early in the day against the motorcade of Kirkuk’s Azadi Police Director, Beston Mohammed Qafary, while on his way for work,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He said “the explosion had caused material damage for the motorcade’s two vehicles, but did not cause any human losses.”

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two gunmen have been killed in an explosive charge blast they were planting in Falluja city of west Iraq’s Anbar Province on Tuesday, an Anbar security source reported. “An explosive charge blew off against two armed men, while trying to plant it in central Falluja’s Golan district on Tuesday, killing both men on the spot,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: American-fired missiles killed 20 Islamist militants in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, most of them members of a powerful insurgent network fighting the US presence in Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence officials said. Two missiles slammed into a house close to the town of Miran Shah in North Waziristan, a militant hot spot that lies just across the border from Afghanistan, the officials said on condition of anonymity. They said 14 of the dead were Afghan militants belonging to the Haqqani network, a Taliban-linked militant faction fighting the US in Afghanistan. Six were Pakistani militants supporting the group, which America regards as one of its deadliest foes in Afghanistan, they said.

#2: In southern Kandahar province, Afghan police and NATO troops clashed in Arghandab district - a farming community just outside of Kandahar city, said Shah Mohammad, the top official for the district. He said four Afghan police officers were killed and four wounded. It was not clear what started the firefight and Mohammad said that investigators had been dispatched to the site to investigate the cause. A NATO spokesman confirmed that there was "an incident" in Arghandab, but did not provide further details. Capt. Justin Brocckhoff said more details would become available after an investigation.

#3: In the eastern province of Ghazni, meanwhile, NATO forces fought briefly with Afghan police manning a checkpoint in Ghazni city before the two groups realized the mistake. The NATO troops approached the checkpoint while on a nighttime patrol through the area, provincial Police Chief Gen. Zarawar Zahid said. The Afghan police saw armed men and asked them to stop and started firing when the NATO troops did not, Zahid said. The exchange of gunfire lasted about 15 minutes and no NATO or Afghan forces were killed, Brockhoff said. He said an investigation had also been launched into that incident.

#4: Meanwhile, a police inspector was shot dead in Kandahar city Tuesday night by unknown gunmen, said Deputy Police Chief Shershah Yousafzai. Yousafzai said they suspected he was killed by militants. The Taliban has repeatedly targeted Afghan forces and police.

#5: Afghan army, backed by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), have eliminated 189 Taliban insurgents throughout the country between July 23 and Aug. 10, Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday. "Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers during independent and joint operation with ISAF troops have killed 189 militants and detained 380 more insurgents all over the country in the past 19 days," General Zahir Azimi told a joint press conference with ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson here. The ANA also defused 167 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and seized 209 pieces of weapons and 22 vehicles over the same period, Azimi added. Briefing reporters on ANA casualties, Azimi said 62 army personnel were killed and 179 others injured over the same period.

#6: Four civilians and a policeman were killed on Tuesday by a bomb, which exploded in a bazaar in southern Afghanistan, police said. The blast took place at around 1:00pm (0830 GMT) in the insurgency-hit Dihrawud district of Uruzgan province, said Gulab Shah, head of the provincial criminal investigation police force.

#7: Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan have blown up a NATO oil truck carrying fuel for US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan, local officials say. The incident took place near the eastern city of Sargodha in Punjab Province, a Press TV correspondent reported. Officials told Press TV that militants first opened fire upon the NATO tanker and then set it alight in the Harnoli Mor Peeplan village of the Sargodha district early Wednesday. As a result, the tanker was completely destroyed but no human loss was reported in the incident.

#8: Insurgents killed four civilians, linked to the Afghan government, who had been kidnapped in the Bala Bulok district of western Farah province on Monday, Farah police chief Sayed Mohammad Roshandel said. Roshandel said the men were kidnapped on Saturday and their bodies sent back to their families two days later. Bala Bulok residents said the men had been beheaded but police said they were unable to confirm that because the area is controlled by insurgents.

#9: A bomb killed four civilians and a policeman in a crowded market in the Dehrawod district of southern Uruzgan province on Tuesday, said Uruzgan police detective Mohammad Gulab. Another policeman was wounded.

#10: At least three blasts were heard Tuesday night near a security checkpost in Panjgur, a remote district in Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan, reported local Urdu TV channel Geo. According to the local media reports, the incident took place at about 9:30 p.m. local time near a checkpost of Frontier Constabulary in the district which is located some 500 kilometers southwest of Balochistan's capital city Quetta. Following the blasts, firing was also heard, said the reports.

#11: An explosion rocked Herat city, 640 km west of capital city Kabul on Wednesday, an official said. "It was a roadside bomb targeting a vehicle of government employees but fortunately no one was hurt," deputy to Herat's police chief Ghulam Farooq Kohistani told Xinhua. The vehicle was damaged in the blast, he said.

DoD: Sgt. Adan Gonzales Jr.

DoD: Sgt. Joshua J. Robinson

DoD: Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino