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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

War News for Tuesday, November 29, 2010

NATO is reporting the death an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 30th.


Iraq foils plot to bomb French embassy in Baghdad

Pakistan drone victim to sue US for $500m

Leak: Iran offered Canada intelligence on Afghanistan

Cables Depict U.S. Haggling to Find Takers for Detainees


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: On Tuesday morning, a bomb attached to a civilian car in the al-Qadisiya neighborhood of western Baghdad exploded and killed the driver, Baghdad police said.

#2: In a separate incident Tuesday morning, a bomb attached to a civilian car exploded in al-Liqa Square in western Baghdad and wounded three civilians, Baghdad police said.


Baquba:
#1: And on Monday evening, four civilians were killed and 29 were wounded when a bomb in a parked car exploded Monday at an outdoor market in central Baquba, Iraq, about 35 miles (roughly 60 kilometers) north of Baghdad, police in Baquba said.


Samarra:
#1: The corpses of a man and a woman have been discovered in Samarra city in Salah al-Din Province on Tuesday, according to a Salah al-Din police source.


Balad:
#1: An Iraqi peasant has been killed and two others injured in an explosive charge blast west of Balad town in Salah al-Din Province on Tuesday, according to a security source. “An explosive charge blew up in Alb-Rindis area, 2 km to the west of Balad town in Salah al-Din Province, on Tuesday, killing a peasant and wounding two others,” the Salah al-Din’s security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Baiji:
#1: Police forces found on Monday two bodies of a civilian and a Sahwa fighter in west of Beiji, according to a security source. “The two men had been kidnapped yesterday in al-Sukariya village, west of Beiji,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The bodies were found on Beiji-al-Sieniya road, west of Beiji,” he added, noting that the corpses bore signs of gunshot wounds to the head and chest.


Mosul:
#1: A bullet-riddled female body was found on Monday in eastern Mosul, according to a security source. “Policemen found on Monday (Nov. 29) a female body in al-Tahrir neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body show signs of gunshot wounds to the neck and stomach,” he added, pointing out that the corpse belongs to a 40-year-old woman.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan gunmen attacked a construction company in Kabul province, wounding one security guard and kidnapping nine others, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. Gunmen opened fire on 18 Afghan guards in the mountainous Sarobi district, about 27 miles (45 kilometers) east of the capital, Kabul on Monday. Nine guards were kidnapped and nine escaped, said Zemeri Bashary, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry. The gunmen also seized several rifles.

#2: Two children were killed and one was injured when a bomb went off in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province on Tuesday.

#3: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a police station in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least six people, according to news reports.

#4: A French Air Force planes F3 Rafale fighter crashed today off Pakistan in the Arabian Sea but the pilot made a successful bail-out and was immediately rescued by the French helicopters. French Defense Ministry was quoted as saying on Sunday (November 28), that “in the beginning of an air support mission in Afghanistan, a Rafale pilot who operated from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, had to eject from his plane in the Sea, off Pakistan.” Sources say that the pilot was immediately picked up by a helicopter deputed for emergency of air operations. The pilot was safe but injured and was receiving medical treatment.

#5: Four militants were killed in exchange of fire with security forces in Puran tehsil of Shangla district on Monday, officials said. They said that all the four persons were wanted in various cases of militancy. They said that security forces were patrolling Alooch area when they saw the militants. “Soldiers asked them to surrender, but they (militants) refused and opened fire on the patrolling party,” an official said. Security forces killed them in exchange of fire, he added. The killed militants were identified as Sher Rehman, Saeedullah and Iqbal, all residents of Shangla, and Rahimullah, who belonged to Battagram district.Militants burnt three trucks carrying goods from Afghanistan to tribal areas and kidnapped the drivers in Baizai tehsil of Mohmand Agency on Monday. The driver and helper of a truck were feared killed when they resisted torching of trucks, a tribesman and official sources said.


DoD: Pvt. Devon J. Harris

Monday, November 29, 2010

War News for Monday, November 29, 2010

The DND/CF is reporting the death of Captain Francis (Frank) Cecil Paul who died of natural causes in Canada while on leave from deployment on 10 February 2010.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, November 27th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of six ISAF soldiers from an apparent small arms fire/shooting incident by an Afghan border policeman in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, November 29th.


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: An explosive charge blew up in central Baghdad on Monday, causing material damage to a number of civilian cars, a security source said. “An explosive charge blew up in a street close to Baghdad’s Police Academy in Central Baghdad, causing damage to a number of civilian cars,” the security source added, without giving further details.


Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An Iraqi Railways employee has been killed and another injured in a land-mine explosion in a railway passing through Karbala area in west Iraq’s Anbar Province on Monday, according to an Anbar police source. “A land-mine has blown up under a train passing through Karbala area in west Iraq’s Anbar Province on Monday, killing an employee and wounding another,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that the explosion had caused material damage to one of the train’s carriages.

#2: Three electric power towers have been completely blown up in west Iraq’s Akashat city on Monday, according to an Anbar security source. “A group of armed men have planted a number of explosive charges under three towers, carrying electric power in Akashat area, west of Anbar Province, fully destroying them, but causing no human losses,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Clash between Taliban militants and police in eastern Ghazni province left four militants dead and a police officer injured, Zerawar Zahid the police chief of Ghazni province said Monday. "Police raided Taliban rebels hideout in Godal village of Deyak district late Sunday night killing four insurgents," Zahid told Xinhua. He also admitted that the police chief of Deyak district Faiz Mohammad Toofan sustained injuries in fire exchange.

#2: A roadside bomb rocked Lashkar Gah the capital of the southern Helmand province on Monday wounding at least four persons, all civilians, spokesman for provincial administration Daud Ahmadi said. "The bomb planted on a road and was detonated by remote control at 10:45 a.m. local time leaving three teenagers and one adult injured,"Ahmadi told Xinhua.


DoD: Pvt. Devon J. Harris

DND/CF: Captain Francis Cecil Paul

Sunday, November 28, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

U.S. troops kill an Iraqi civilian on the airport road when, according to the U.S. account, his vehicle approached their convoy and did not respond to hand gestures. The slain man turned out to be an airport employee. Kind of reminds you of the old days, doesn't it? -- C KUNA says the man's name was Hassan Hilwas, and that the airport was closed for more than 2 hours following the incident.

Bomb attack on a police patrol near the Baghdad mayoralty garage injures 7 people, including 3 police.

Aswat al-Iraq reports 2 additional explosions in Baghdad, both planted in the victim's cars, injuring a total of 4 people. At least one of the targets was a government employee.

Hilla

Six mortar shells are launched at the U.S. military base, resulting in injuries to 3 Iraqis including a policeman. It is not known what damage may have occurred to the base, or whether any U.S. personnel were injured.

Other News of the Day

Iraqi security forces arrest 12 people who they say are associated with the Oct. 31 attack on a church that led to the deaths of 46 people. The government says they include the military commander of an al-Qaeda cell in Baghdad. As usual, they all instantly confessed. Strange how that happens . . . -- C

Iranian Foreign Ministry bickers with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit's remark that Iran should not interfere in the affairs of Iraq.

IRIN, the UN humanitarian news service, reports on the status of women in Iraq. Not so good. Excerpt:

Women may hold 25 percent of seats in the Iraqi parliament, but one in five in the 15-49 age group has suffered physical violence at the hands of her husband. Anecdotal evidence alleges that “many women are being kidnapped and sold into prostitution”, and female genital mutilation is still common in the north, the report notes.

“The situation many Iraqi women and girls face is beyond words,” journalist Eman Khammas told IRIN in a telephone interview. “Before, I was a journalist, a professional; now, I am nothing.”

Khammas noted an underlying social climate of intolerance that has become increasingly poisonous for women. She was forced to flee Iraq after receiving death threats that effectively stopped her - like thousands of other Iraqi women - from working. She now lives in Spain.

Maliki says the agreement requiring U.S. troops to leave Iraq entirely by the end of 2011 is still in effect and he expects it to happen.

Mark Brunswick of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that many female veterans feel dissed by the VA. Excerpt:

Women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan tell similar stories: Home loan paperwork from the Department of Veterans Affairs made out in the names of their husbands. VA hospital care where women are such an afterthought that examination rooms face out toward crowded hallways. Insufficient job-training programs. Family-outreach programs blind to the idea that some of the spouses left struggling at home are husbands, not wives.

Nearly 250,000female soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. More and more of them are coming home. But the military is often struggling to serve their needs.

In Minnesota, home to more than 20,000female vets, women who were once in or near the thick of the fight say they feel that the military and the civilian worlds overlook or discount their service. Some feel so marginalized they are reluctant even to seek help for emotional and other problems that arise once they're back home.
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Here's a perspective on the political situation in Iraq from a partisan Shiite news service, which seems particularly sympathetic to the Sadrist movement. This is particularly interesting to me because they claim, with some evidence, that the U.S. attempted to prevent the re-appointment of Nuri al-Maliki and even pressured Jalal Talabani to resign the presidency as part of its effort. They claim the U.S. is very concerned about Sadrist influence in the new government. Although I'm not really sure why they should be -- what are the Sadrists supposed to do that is so bad for the U.S.? Yes, they were bitter opponents of the occupation, but isn't that about to end anyway? Why should we care whether the Sadrists are influential in Iraq after we're gone? -- C

Afghanistan Update

DPA rounds up political violence in Afghanistan today.

* Abdulah Ahmadzai, senior secretary for the provincial council of the eastern province of Logar, was killed in an ambush along with two others, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.
* An explosive-laden bicycle was remotely blown up in a busy market in Taleqan, the provincial capital of the northern province of Takhar on Sunday, killing one civilian and injuring the other, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.
*A suicide bomber on Sunday became the sole victim in an incident in the western province of Ghor when his bomb went off, a provincial official said.

The U.S. has now been in Afghanistan longer than the Soviet Union. Our mission, of course, has been to fight the Freedom Fighters we sponsored against the Soviets. If the Russians knew how to beat them, I'm sure they'd give us some tips.

And our freedom-loving Afghan allies don't disappoint either. "Two Afghans accused of converting to Christianity, including a Red Cross employee, could face the death penalty, a prosecuting lawyer said on Sunday. Musa Sayed, 45, and Ahmad Shah, 50, are being detained in the Afghan capital awaiting trial, the prosecutor in charge of western Kabul, Din Mohammad Quraishi, told AFP."

The International Crisis Group says NATO should fuggedaboudit. And I'll leave this as the Quote of the Day. Excerpt:

As violence has increased, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have proven a poor match for the Taliban. Casualties among Afghan and ISAF forces have spiked, as have civilian casualties. Afghanistan still lacks a cohesive national security strategy and the Afghan military and police remain dangerously fragmented and highly politicised. On the other side, despite heavy losses in the field, insurgent groups are finding new recruits in Pakistan’s borderlands, stretching from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to Balochistan, and using the region to regroup, reorganise and rearm, with the support and active involvement of al-Qaeda, Pakistani jihadi groups and the Pakistan military. This strategic advantage has allowed the insurgency to proliferate in nearly every corner of the country. Contrary to U.S. rhetoric of the momentum shifting, dozens of districts are now firmly under Taliban control.

Nearly a decade after the U.S. engagement began, Afghanistan operates as a complex system of multi-layered fiefdoms in which insurgents control parallel justice and security organs in many if not most rural areas, while Kabul’s kleptocratic elites control the engines of graft and international contracts countrywide. The inflow of billions in international funds has cemented the linkages between corrupt members of the Afghan government and violent local commanders – insurgent and criminal, alike. Economic growth has been tainted by the explosion of this black market, making it nearly impossible to separate signs of success and stability from harbingers of imminent collapse. The neglect of governance, an anaemic legal system and weak rule of law lie at the root of these problems. Too little effort has been made to develop political institutions, local government and a functioning judiciary. Insurgents and criminal elements within the political elite have as a result been allowed to fill the vacuum left by the weak Afghan state.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

War News for Saturday, November 27, 2010

Iraq’s October Oil Export Revenue Reaches Highest Level in Year

Iraq’s Troubles Drive Out Refugees Who Came Back


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: A police major was killed by unknown gunmen using mute weapons as he was driving his car in Al Tawbaji region, western Baghdad.

#2: A bomb stuck to a civilian car wounded a woman and a child in Al Attar Street in Al Karrada.

#3: A roadside bomb went off near an Iraqi police patrol wounding two policemen and two civilians in Baghdad's southern Doura district on Friday, police said.


Hilla:
#1: Two mortar shells landed on a U.S. forces camp in the city of al-Hilla on Friday but there was no information on damage or casualties, a local police source in Babel said. “A camp of U.S. forces, which is the house of a senior member of the dissolved Baath Party in central Hilla, came under attack today (Nov. 26) with two mortar shells,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Basra:
#1: The Basra airport came under attack with four Katyusha rockets on Friday but no casualties were reported, according to a security source in the province. “The airport was attacked with four Katyusha rockets today (Nov. 26) but the attacks left no casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Tarmiya
#1: A bombing targeting a police patrol in Al Mushada region in Al Tarmiya District wounded a policeman.


Tuz:
#1: Two persons, including a Kurdish Asayish (security) man, have been killed by unknown gunmen in Tuz, to the south of Kirkuk on Friday, according to a Tuz police source. “Two armed men opened fire from a fast car on two persons riding a motorcycle, killing both men in Tuz township, 80 kms to the south of Kirkuk, and escaped to an unknown destination,” the police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Hawija:
#1: In another incident, a Kirkuk Joint Coordination Center’s spokesman said that a rocket had been fired from the industrial district in Hawija, some 65 km to the southwest of Kirkuk, but its destination was not known.


Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Provincial spokesman Mukhlis Afghan in Paktika in southeastern Afghanistan told AFP on Saturday that four policemen were killed and eleven other soldiers were injured when a disguised militant blew himself up inside a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan. "The suicide attack caused 15 casualties to the police force. Four of the 15 wounded died in hospital and the rest are receiving treatment," he said.

At least eight people were killed Saturday when two suicide bombers attacked the police headquarters in southeastern Afghanistan's Paktika province, a police official said. The first attacker detonated his explosives around 11:30 a.m. (2 a.m. ET) and the second attacker struck half an hour later, said Gen. Daud Andrabi, director of the Police Coordination Center in southeastern Afghanistan. There were other reports of more casualties, Andrabi said, and it was also not clear how many of the victims were police officers and how many were civilians.

#2: Earlier today, a guesthouse shared by US contractors in east Afghanistan has come under grenade attack amid a surge of violence against Western firms and foreign troops.

Meanwhile, the provincial chief of police for Nangarhar, Ali Shah Paktiawal, stated that a number of foreign contractors were inside the compound when the attack took place, adding that no one was hurt during the strike.

#3: Overnight, Afghan and NATO-led forces killed more than 15 insurgents after they came under fire when they approached a compound in Nangarhar province near the border with Pakistan. In Nangarhar's Sherzad district, close to the Pakistan border, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said a patrol had come under small-arms and machinegun fire as it approached a compound in search of a Taliban leader. It said "more than 15 armed insurgents" were killed in the subsequent engagement overnight.

#4: Three civilians were killed and one seriously wounded in two separate improvised explosive device (IED) blasts in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province Friday. A press release issued by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in Zharay district, three civilians, 10, 15 and 20 years old, struck an IED and got killed. An Afghan National Army and ISAF patrol responded to the scene of the blast to investigate the incident, said the press release. In Kandahar district, a private vehicle struck an IED which resulted in one Afghan civilian seriously injured, said the ISAF press release.


DoD: 1st Lt. William J. Donnelly IV

Friday, November 26, 2010

War News for Friday, November 26, 2010

Final draft of Iraq gas deal with Shell within 10 days

Maliki Given 30 Days to Form Government in Iraq


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: Three civilians were wounded Friday by an improvised explosive device in central Baghdad, according to a security source. “The bomb exploded on Friday morning (Nov. 26) near a restaurant in Karada region, central Baghdad, injuring three civilians and damaging nearby vehicles,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Six persons were wounded Friday by a bomb blast in western Baghdad, according to a security source. “A roadside bomb went off Friday morning (Nov. 26) targeting an army vehicle patrol in al-Ghazaliya region, western Baghdad, injuring three soldiers and three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: The official of the investigation commission of al-Adala Camp was killed by gunmen in northern Baghdad on Friday, according to a security source. “Unknown gunmen shot and killed the official of the investigation commission of al-Adala Camp, Muamen Jaata Ahmad, inside his car using a gun with silencer in Ali al-Saleh region, northern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Kirkuk:
#1: Two policemen were killed and a woman was wounded late Thursday in southwest of Kirkuk, according to a senior police officer. “Unknown gunmen killed two policemen and wounded a woman late Thursday (Nov. 26) in al-Fakhera village in al-Riyadh district, southwest of Kirkuk, and fled to unknown place,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Mosul:
#1: A gunman was killed while home-making an explosive charge inside his house northwest of Mosul city on Thursday, a security source in Ninewa said. “The gunman was home-making an explosive device inside his house in al-Sultana area, al-Biaj district, (130 km) northwest of Mosul, when it went off, killing him instantly and causing damage to the house,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Tal Afar:
#1: Three people were killed and 15 others wounded in an unidentified blast in northern Talafar on Thursday, a local police source in the district said. “An explosion took place near a poultry shop in al-Qadissiya neighborhood in northern Talafar district, (60 km) north of Mosul city, leaving three persons killed and 15 others wounded in an initial count of casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An oil tanker exploded in an accident on the Iraqi-Jordanian border on Thursday, killing two people, injuring nine others and setting 19 other trucks ablaze, security officials said. "A tanker truck that unloaded the oil it was carrying from Iraq in the special zone located in 'no man's land' on the border between Iraq and Jordan caught fire due to an explosion, causing a fire that affected 19 other trucks," a Jordanian security official said. Investigators believe the cause of the blast was an "accident."



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Pakistani troops bombed suspected militant hideouts in the Orakzai tribal region, killing eight insurgents and wounding six, local intelligence officials said.

#2: Militants ambushed a military convoy with a roadside bomb in the northwestern district of Hangu, killing one paramilitary soldier and wounding three, security officials said.

#3: Air raid against Taliban militants killed three and injured another in the eastern Ghazni province on Friday, provincial police chief Zerawar Zahid said. "Four Taliban rebels were planting mine on a road in Shams village outside provincial capital Ghazni city at 03:00 a.m. local time today but fortunately the airpower of international troops acting upon intelligence report dropped bomb and killing three rebels including their commander Mullah Muzamil on the spot," Zahid told Xinhua. Another insurgent was badly injured, he added.


DoD: Lance Cpl. Ardenjoseph A. Buenagua

Thursday, November 25, 2010

War News for thursday, November 25, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, November 25th.


Basra Command denies airport attack

Iraqi Prime Minister Asked to Form Government

Afghanistan, Pakistan promise joint drug operations

Pak Army has allowed US military presence in Quetta: Pentagon report


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: Brigadier Mohammad Hamid was killed on Wednesday evening (Nov. 24) by a sticky bomb in al-Sidiya region, southern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Unknown gunmen shot and killed an employee of the housing ministry in al-Aameriya region, western Baghdad,” he added. “Colonel Ali Mohammad was wounded by gunmen in al-Mansour neighborhood, western Baghdad,” the source said.

#3: Three people were wounded Thursday in an improvised explosive device explosion in eastern Baghdad, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday morning (Nov. 25) in Zayouna region, eastern Baghdad, targeting a military vehicle patrol,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast wounded a soldier and two civilians and damaged the vehicle,” he added.


Diyala Prv:
#1: A female body was found on Thursday in central Baaquba city, according to a security source. “Policemen found this morning a 24-year-old female body in al-Tahrir region, central Baaquba,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body bore signs of being stabbed,” he added, without giving further details.


Tuz Khurmato:
#1: Four Iraqi soldiers and two children were wounded in three blasts in the south of Kirkuk on Thursday, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday morning (Nov. 25) targeting the motorcade of Touz Khormato mayor, without causing damage or casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the blast occurred at the center of the district. “A second bomb exploded shortly after the first explosion in the same area after an army force rushed to it, injuring four soldiers,” he added. “A third bomb went off in the same place, wounding two children,” he said.


Samarra:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded police officer Nabeel Abbas Ashraf, head of the Huwaish police station, and two of his body guards, near Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, after it exploded hitting his convoy, a police source at the Samarra operations centre said.


Tikrit:
#1: Three civilians were killed and 24 others were wounded Wednesday in two explosions in north of Tikrit, a source from the Salah al-Din operations command said. “An explosive charge wet off targeting the vehicle of Hamid Kahiet, a Sahwa leader, in al-Shurqat district, north of Tikrit, injuring him,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Another bomb exploded shortly after the first blast at the same area, killing three civilians and injuring 23,” the source added, without giving further details.


Mosul:
#1: One civilian was killed on Thursday by a hand grenade in west of Mosul, according to a civilian source. “Unknown gunmen threw a hand grenade in a house in al-Baaj district, west of Mosul, killing a civilian,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Coalition forces report that five village elders were killed in northern Afghanistan when insurgents attacked their vehicle. The men were travelling through Faryab province on Wednesday which borders Turkmenistan when their vehicle was struck by a rocket propelled grenade, said the statement. Four other elders were wounded in the attack.

#2: A roadside bomb hit a security convoy in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least one soldier Thursday and wounding six others, police said. The Pakistani security forces were driving in the Hangu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province when the bomb exploded, police official Amir Khan said.


DoD: Staff Sgt. Sean M. Flannery

DoD: Spc. William K. Middleton

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

War News for Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 24nd.


NATO choppers violate Pak airspace again


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: Police officials said on Wednesday that the deadliest attack came late Tuesday when a surgeon and an engineer at Baghdad International Airport were gunned down in a mostly Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad. A worker at Yarmouk hospital confirmed the killings.

A surgeon and an airline company’s employee were killed Tuesday by armed men in Baghdad, according to a security source. “Unidentified gunmen killed Dr. Wesam Ali Karim and an airline company’s employee, who was accompanying him, in al-Adl neighborhood, western Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Unknown gunmen killed an official of the higher education ministry in northeastern Baghdad, a security source said on Tuesday. “The gunmen shot and killed Dr. Muthfer Mohammad, an official of the higher education ministry’s cultural relations department, inside his house in al-Suliekh neighborhood, northeastern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: In Baghdad, two civilians were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in al-Tobchi neighborhood, in northern the capital, an Interior Ministry source said.


Suwiera:
#1: One civilian and his wife were killed Tuesday by an improvised explosive device in northern Wassit, according to a security source. “The bomb went off in a residential area in al-Suwiera district, north of Kut, killing a man and his wife instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Kut:
#1: A bullet-riddled corpse of an Iraqi policeman has been found by police forces in southern Iraq’s Kut city on Wednesday morning, a Wassit police source said. “Police forces have found a bullet-riddled corpse of a Wassit policeman on the banks of the Tigris River this morning (Wednesday),” the police source said.


Basra:
#1: Nine Katyusha rockets were seized on Tuesday in northern Basra, a police source said.
“Policemen seized today nine Katyusha rockets in al-Karma region, northern Basra,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Gunmen fired two rockets from the same place without causing damage. The forces rushed to the area and found the nine rockets,” he explained, noting that the nine rockets have been destroyed.


Shurqat:
#1: In the most deadly attack, a roadside bomb killed four people Wednesday in the town of Shurqat, 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. Three of the dead were members of the Sons of Iraq, a Sunni militia that has been instrumental in lessening al-Qaida's deadly role in Iraq. Members of the group are often targeted by al-Qaida out of revenge and to intimidate others from joining the group. A Shurqat police official said that first, a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in Shurqat. The town is north of Saddam Hussein's hometown, Tikrit. No one was killed in that bombing but as people gathered nearby to assess the damage, another roadside blast exploded just five minutes later and killed the three Sunni militia members and one bystander. Ten civilians were also wounded by the second blast.


Kirkuk:
#1: Police also said a passer-by was slain in a drive-by shooting in the northeastern city of Kirkuk.


Mosul:
#1: A military force killed two gunmen, who threw a thermal bomb on it in western Mosul, according to an army source. “Army soldiers killed two gunmen, who threw a hand grenade on a military checkpoint in al-Maash market in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the explosion wounded a soldier, who was carried to a nearby hospital for treatment.

#2: An Iraqi building worker has been killed by armed men east of northern Iraq’s city of Mosul, a Ninewa security source said on Wednesday. “A group of armed men opened fire on Wednesday morning on a building worker, close to his house in eastern Mosul on Wednesday, killing him instantly,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Two children have been injured in an explosive charge blast close to a military checkpoint in eastern Mosul on Wednesday, an Iraqi Army source said. “An explosive charge blew up close to an Iraqi Army checkpoint in Somer district east of Mosul, wounding two children,” the source added.


Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An Iraqi civilian has been killed in an explosive charge blast east of Falluja, the largest city in Western Iraq’s Anbar province on Wednesday, an Anbar security source said. “An explosive charge, attached to a car parked close to a shop in east Falluja’s Garma village, blew up early today (Wednesday), killing the shop-keeper and causing damage to nearby shops,” he said, without giving further details.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Intelligence officials say one Pakistani soldier was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded during a foot patrol in northwestern Pakistan. The officials say the incident occurred Wednesday in the Tiarza area of South Waziristan, part of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region where the army launched a massive ground offensive about a year ago.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

War News for Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North and South Korea Exchange Fire Near Border


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded in a bomb explosion in western Baghdad on Monday, according to a security source. “An explosive charge went off in al-Aamal al-Shaabi street in al-Aameriya region, western Baghdad, targeting an army vehicle patrol, wounding two soldiers and damaging the vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Another bomb exploded near an elementary school in al-Doura region, southern Baghdad, targeting a police vehicle patrol, without causing casualties,” he added.

#3: An Iraqi soldiers has been injured due to two Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts in western Baghdad. Two IED charges blew up targeting an Iraqi Army patrol in northwest Baghdad’s Ghazaliya district, wounding a soldier and damaging the patrol’s vehicle,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Two other citizens were killed and two employees from Iraq’s Municipalities & Works Ministry have been wounded in an attack using a gun with silencer attached north of Baghdad, according to a security source on Tuesday. The source said that “a group of armed men had shot dead two employees of the Municipalities & Works Ministry, wounding two of their other colleagues with silenced guns. The victims were in a Ministry car close to Ibn-Hayan square in northern Baghdad’s Kazimiya district on Monday night.”


Samarra:
#1: A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol wounded a policeman late on Monday in Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Baiji:
#1: Two policemen have been seriously injured in a booby-trapped car explosion north of Tikrit, a police source said on Tuesday. “A police force discovered a booby-trapped car prepped for explosion, parked on the main road passing through Beiji town in Salah al-Din Province, 40 km to the north of Tikrit. The car detonated when police experts tried to dismantle it, seriously wounding two policemen,” the police source said. He added that a number of shops close to the location of the explosion had been seriously damaged.


Tuz:
#1: An Iraqi soldier has been killed in two explosive charges in northern Kirkuk’s Tuz township on Tuesday, a Tuz police source said. “Two explosive charges blew up, pinpointed against an Iraqi Army checkpoint close to the Industrial district in Tuz township, some 80 km to the north of Kirkuk, seriously wounding one of its soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq News Agency, adding that the soldier has died on the way to the hospital.


Kirkuk:
#1: Police forces found an unknown body in al-Khadraa neighborhood behind the gas station in southern Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body, belongs to a young man, bore signs of gunshot wounds, and was sent to the morgue,” he added, without giving further details.


Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded a civilian late on Monday in central Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated an explosives-laden suicide vest in the Bahsood district of eastern Nangarhar province but there were no casualties apart from the bomber, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#2: Two missiles fired by a U.S. drone aircraft struck a vehicle in Mirali town, about 24 km (15 miles) east of North Waziristan's main town of Miranshah, killing five militants, intelligence officials in the region said. There was no independent confirmation of the incident, and militant groups often dispute official accounts.

#3: Two separate air strikes left 20 Taliban insurgents including eight militant commanders dead in Afghanistan's southern restive Helmand province, a statement of provincial administration released to media on Tuesday said. "Several Taliban fighters had gathered in a house in Kajaki district on Sunday but international forces targeted the location by air strike that resulted in killing of Mullah Abdul Qauom Tandar a Taliban shadowy governor for Sangin district and two more commanders namely Mullah Khan Muhammad and Mullah Yunas along with 13 armed insurgents," the statement said. According to the statement, four other Taliban leaders were killed in similar raids in Nad Ali district on the same day Sunday.


DoD: Sgt. Jason T. Smith

DoD: Staff Sgt. Loleni W. Gandy

DoD: Sgt. David J. Luff Jr.

DoD: Spc. David S. Robinson

Monday, November 22, 2010

War News for Monday, November 22, 2010

MNF-Iraq (OIF) is reporting the death of a United States Forces – Iraq Soldier during physical training at Joint Base Balad, Iraq on Friday, November 19th.

MNF-Iraq (OIF) is reporting the death of a United States Forces – Iraq Soldier from a small arms fire attack in an undisclosed location in northern Iraq on Sunday, November 21st.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a non-combat related injury in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, November 20th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Monday, November 22nd.


NATO: Kabul Not That Dangerous For Kids

N Waziristan operation delayed by six months

Taliban reject timeline, seek immediate pullout

Between Firefights, Jokes, Sweat, Tales and Tedium


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: A civilian was injured when a roadside bomb exploded on a main highway in northern Baghdad's Kazimiya district.

#2: Three Iraqi civilians have been injured in an explosive charge blast in west Baghdad’s Amiriya district early on Monday, according to a security source. “An explosive charge blew off in Amal al-Shaabi Street of west Baghdad’s Amiriya distinct early today (Monday),” he said, adding that the blast had injured three civilians and caused damage to several cars and shops close to the venue of the blast.

#3: Seven person, including two policemen, have been injured when an explosive charge blew off against a police patrol in central Baghdad’s Karrada district early on Monday, a security source said. “An explosive charge blew off early on Monday against a police patrol, close to al-Muhajir Hotel in central Baghdad’s Karrada district, wounding two policemen and five civilians, and caused severe damage to one of the patrol’s vehicles,” he added, without giving further details.


Diyala Prv:
#1: The first explosion occurred when a bomb attached to a cart pushed by an old man went off in the area of Jabinat in central Baqouba. The blast killed the man and ripped through a nearby store.

#2: Another bomb blast targeted a civilian vehicle in the area of al-Hashimiyat in Baqouba's northern district of al-Khalis, killing one of the passengers -- a child, and critically injuring his parents.


Mosul:
#1: A news anchor for the al-Mosuliya television station was killed on Sunday at his residence in the North of the capital of the country's northern province of Nineveh. Gunmen broke into the house of Mazen Mirdan in Mosul's Siddiq neighborhood and shot him to death before escaping to an unknown destination, Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported.

#2: Two Christian brothers have been killed when armed men opened fire on them in western Mosul on Monday, a Ninewa police source said. “A group of armed men opened fire on two Christian brothers, working in the Industrial area of west Mosul’s Igab district, killing them on the spot,” the source added.


Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An officer with lt. Brigadier rank in west Iraq’s Anbar Passport office had been killed in an explosive charge blast in his car west of Ramadi, the center of the Province, an Anbar police source said on Monday. “An explosive charge blew off under the car of Lt. Brigadier, Abdul-Karim Hamid, one of the officers of Anbar’s Passport Department, when he drove his car west of Ramadi, and he died in hospital due to the injuries caused by the attack,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that his car was seriously damaged as well.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Four Afghan civilians were killed and two injured in a roadside bombing in a remote village in the south-eastern province of Paktia Monday, NATO said. A statement from the military alliance said international forces transported the injured to a hospital in Zurmat district, but did not give further details.

#2: Two civilians were also injured when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-filled vest in Mohamand Dara district in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

#3: Separately, unknown gunmen killed a labourer in Sanzari village in the southern province of Kandahar on Sunday, the governor's office said. The statement said the man, who worked for a government-funded project, was dragged out of the house and killed in front of his children.

#4: Three civilians and a senior police officer died in Afghanistan on Sunday, as foreign forces and officials said more than 20 Taliban militants were killed in air strikes and fighting, mainly in the restive south. The three were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Kandahar province that NATO commanders said showed the insurgents' "complete disregard for the lives of innocent Afghan civilians." Small arms fire and a rocket attack later killed the police chief of Musa Khel district.

#5: Taliban insurgents ambushed and killed a senior police officer in eastern Afghanistan, provincial officials said on Sunday. Chief of police for Musa Khil district in restive Khost province Akbar Jan, was killed in an ambush by insurgents, provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Esaaqzai said.

#6: Three German soldiers were injured on Monday when their convoy was bombed in the northern province of Kunduz, a police official said. The attack occurred in the provincial capital, also called Kunduz, Abdul Rahman Aqtaash, the deputy provincial police chief, said. 'Three German soldiers were injured in the attack and one of the vehicles in the convoy was destroyed,' Aqtaash said. A German military official in the province also confirmed the attack.

#7: Four suspected U.S. missiles slammed into a house in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing six people in an area near the Afghan border teeming with local and foreign militants, intelligence officials said. The strike, carried out by at least one unmanned aircraft, was part of the Obama administration's intensified campaign to use drones to target militants who regularly stage cross-border attacks against foreign troops in Afghanistan. The house destroyed in the strike was located in Khaddi village in North Waziristan, part of the semiautonomous tribal region in Pakistan that is almost entirely controlled by militants, said the intelligence officials. The dead included three militants and three local tribesmen who were harboring them, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

#8: A Finnish soldier was injured in a mortar attack on a permanent outpost in Ali Zayid on Sunday afternoon. The attack came two days after two other Finnish soldiers were injured in a rocket-propelled grenade attack on their vehicle in nearby Temorak. One of three shells fired at the base hit the target, injuring a Finnish soldier, who sustained shrapnel injuries in his leg and his side. He was evacuated by helicopter to the German military hospital at Mazar-i-Sharif, where about ten fragments of shrapnel were removed.

#9: A homemade bomb killed three civilians and wounded four others in the Shah Wali Kot district of southern Kandahar province on Sunday, ISAF said.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, November 21, 2010

The transfer case containing the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Loleni W. Gandy of Pago Pago, American Samoa sits at the end of the loader ramp upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010. The Department of Defense announced the death of Gandy who was supporting Operation New Dawn in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)


Reported Security Incidents

Sherquat, Salah U'Din Province

Bomb placed in a policeman's house kills a woman and injures a child. The police officer was not home at the time.

Also, police successfully defuse a sticky bomb attached to an army officer's car.

Baghdad

Bomb placed on the main highway near Aden square injures a civilian.

Other News of the Day

Parliament meets to organize committees. However . . .

Nuri al-Maliki will not be named PM designate until at least Thursday, to give him more time to negotiate ministerial posts.

AP's Rebecca Santana discusses the still uncertain state of progress toward a new government.

Al-Irqiya reports the arrest of Qaid Shehab al-Douri, a leader of the so-called Naqshabandiya Movement, and nine of its members. This organization uses the name and some of the religious rhetoric of a Sufi sect, but it is really a Baathist revanchist group. -- C

The Governor of Ninevah Province demands an investigation into the attack on Friday on three al-Iraqiya MPs. His account of the incident suggests complicity by elements of the Iraqi army.

An op-ed in the NYT, published under the name of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, justifies continued U.S. involvement in Iraq. (No offense to the VP, but obviously he doesn't get to write whatever he feels like. Note the unusual arithmetic. We will "save" $15 billion by the drawdown of troops. Actually we spent about $7.3 billion a month in Iraq in 2009, so according to my calculations we aren't saving $15 billion, we're squandering $73 billion. -- C) Excerpt:

Iraq’s security forces are not yet ready to operate fully on their own, and we must continue to support them. We must also help Iraq’s leaders with a range of challenges that lie ahead: conducting a census; further integrating Kurdish security forces into the Iraqi security forces; maintaining commitments to the Sons of Iraq, the Sunni groups that banded together against insurgents; resolving disputed internal boundaries and the future of the northern city of Kirkuk, which is claimed by both Arabs and Kurds; passing a hydrocarbon law that would distribute oil revenues and maximize the benefit to all Iraqis; stabilizing the economy through foreign investment, private sector development and new sources of revenue beyond oil; passing a fiscally responsible budget; and bringing to a close its post-Gulf war obligations to the United Nations. . . .

That is why, even at this difficult economic time, we are asking Congress to fulfill our budget requests to support America’s continued engagement, including our broader diplomatic presence, a modernization plan for the Iraqi security forces and financing for a police development program. The drawdown of American troops will save $15 billion in the coming fiscal year — we seek to direct less than one-third of that amount to provide needed assistance to Iraq’s security forces and to our State Department’s civilian-led efforts.

Afghanistan Update

Taliban attack a NATO supply convoy in Farah Province, set two vehicles ablaze. A Taliban commander is said to have been killed in the attack. TOLO also reports 6 Taliban and one Afghan soldier killed in an ongoing operation in Herat.

The Electoral Complaints Commission disqualifies 19 candidates who had been declared winners in the parliamentary elections. They also disqualify 2 candidates who had finished second behind disqualified candidates, pushing the election down to the 3rd-place vote-getter. As the AP story frankly puts it, however, "It was not immediately clear if the disqualifications would affect the power dynamic in the 249-seat lower house of the Afghan legislature. Most of the 2,500 candidates ran as independents, many of them with more of an eye toward accruing power in their local provinces than weighing in on President Hamid Karzai's policies."

Young Afghan vows to become a professional golfer despite shooting 467 for 4 rounds in the Asian games. His low round, the 4th, was a mere 40 over par. (He might want to stick to Buzkashi.)

Arnold Fields, the U.S. Inspector General for Afghan reconstruction, is coming under congressional criticism. Excerpt:

Chief among the senators' complaints is that Fields has failed to aggressively investigate allegations of fraud and waste involving the nearly $56 billion the U.S. has committed to improving schools, roads, electricity and medical facilities in Afghanistan. Instead, the senators say Fields has produced a series of mostly bland audits that haven't curbed the corruption undermining the U.S. mission and alienating Afghans from their own government.

Matthew McLauchlin, a former U.S. government official who supported legislation that created the oversight office in 2008, said the inspector general's office was intended to be an organization that fined people or put them in jail.

"They were to be focused on investigations and prosecutions," said McLauchlin, who served as the chief financial officer to the U.S. ambassador and commanding general in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2008. "But it's become an organization that does audits making recommendations on how things can be improved."

Fields, a retired Marine Corps major general appointed by former President George W. Bush, has argued that delays in getting more than $20 million to establish the organization set back plans to quickly hire experienced investigators and auditors.

Remember some vague concept that we were supposed to get out or start getting out or something or other by 2011? Fuggedaboudit.

Western leaders emerged from the NATO summit attempting to impress war-weary voters back home with an ambitious plan to bring the alliance's Afghan adventure to an end within four years. The nations of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan agreed to press Kabul to take charge of its own security by 2014, but some of the leaders who met in Lisbon had their own way of presenting the withdrawal timetable.

For the United States, which provides the vast bulk of the NATO-led force and warned that "some hard fighting remains ahead", President Barack Obama said for the first time that he hoped US troops would stop fighting in 2014. But, with observers warning that this appears an ambitious goal, he said some US combat troops might have to remain to stand by their Afghan comrades and prevent Taliban insurgents from exploiting any security vacuum.

Quote of The Day

Well, I'm not going to point any moral;
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man'll be over his head, we're
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!

Pete Seeger

Saturday, November 20, 2010

War News for Saturday, November 20, 2010

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


NATO to announce pullout from Afghanistan by end of 2011

Pakistan Denies US Bid To Widen Drone-Strike Zones

U.S. wants to widen area in Pakistan where it can operate drones


Reported security incidents

Amarra:
#1: Security forces in al-Amara found the body of a civilian man who was shot dead north of the city, according to a Missan security source on Saturday. “A force from the Iraqi army’s 10th Division discovered the body of a civilian man, who was shot dead and dumped in al-Magharba area, north of Amara,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen shot dead a guard from the oil pipelines protection department south of Mosul city on Friday, according to a police source in Ninewa. “The gunmen opened fire on the guard at al-Irej village of Hammam al-Aleel area, (20 km) south of Mosul, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Suicide bombers on bicycles killed four people and wounded 31 others in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday. Two bombers struck in Laghman province, provincial Governor Mohammad Iqbal Azizi told Reuters, with the first bomber detonating his explosives at a police checkpoint in the capital Mehtar Lam, and the second struck several hundred metres away. "We are not sure what the target of the second bomber was but we think he may have detonated his explosives prematurely," Azizi said. Earlier reports said the attacks had taken place in neighbouring Alisheng district. All of the dead were civilians, Azizi said, and most of the victims had been riding in two motorised rickshaws, a common form of transport in rural areas that can carry many passengers.

#2: Gunmen in northwestern Pakistan Saturday attacked and set on fire NATO supply trucks destined for Afghanistan, police and witnesses said. Around 10 tankers were engulfed in flames as suspected armed militants opened fire on a workshop for NATO vehicles in the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province.

#3: Two soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) sustained injuries as an explosive device went off in northern Kunduz province early Saturday, a spokesman with the alliance said. "Two soldiers were injured in an explosion in Gortipa area outside provincial capital Kunduz city at 03:30 a.m. local time when they were patrolling," Lieutenant Colonel Burchardi told Xinhua.

Friday, November 19, 2010

War News for Friday, November 19, 2010

The DoD is reporting a new death unreported by the military. Staff Sgt. David P. Senft died from an undisclosed non-combat related incident at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on Monday, November 15th.

The DoD is reporting another new death unreported by the military. Pfc. Kyle M. Holder died from an undisclosed non-combat related incident at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 17th.


Swedish suicide bomber killed in Iraq

US backs trans-Afghanistan natural gas pipeline

US sending M1 Abrams battle tanks to Afghanistan

U.S., NATO troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 handover


Reported security incidents

Diyala Prv:
#1: A former anti-al-Qaida militant was killed while two others were wounded in two bomb explosions in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala on Thursday, a provincial police source said. Firas Ahmed, also known as a member of the Awakening Council group, was killed when a homemade bomb exploded as he was in his farm south of Diyala's capital city of Baquba, a source from the provincial police told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: In a separate incident, a sticky bomb attached to a civilian car parked near a popular restaurant in northern Baquba went off, wounding two people, the source said.


Mosul:
#1: A lawmaker from Diala escaped an attempt on his life when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near his motorcade in Mosul city on Friday, wounding three of his bodyguards, a security source in Ninewa province said. “The IED went off near the motorcade of Diala legislator Mohammed Othman al-Khalidi at al-Nabi Younis area, in eastern Mosul, wounding three of his bodyguards,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Khalidi was present in the motorcade during the blast but escaped unscathed, the source said, adding some of his bodyguards were slightly injured.


Baiji:
#1: A government-backed Sunni militia's leader was wounded when a roadside bomb went off near his car outside the town of Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad, a police source said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Three members of a Finnish-Swedish patrol were injured Friday when a grenade hit their vehicle in northern Afghanistan, the Finnish and Swedish military said. The two injured Finnish soldiers and a Swedish officer were flown by helicopter to a German-run hospital in Marmal. The attack took place some 45 kilometres west of Mazar-e Sharif. It appeared that a rocket-propelled grenade launcher had been used, the Swedish military said.

#2: 3 KILLED IN U.S. DRONE STRIKE IN PAKISTANI TRIBAL AREA - LOCAL SOURCES

#3: A combined Afghan and NATO force killed 13 insurgents while conducting a patrol in the SirKani district of Kunar province Thursday. A press release issued by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the patrol came under attack from small-arms and indirect fire. The force positively identified multiple insurgent firing positions and returned fire with mortars and guided missiles, said the ISAF press release.


MoD: Guardsman Christopher Davies

DoD: Staff Sgt. David P. Senft

DoD: Pfc. Kyle M. Holder

DoD: Spc. Justin E. Culbreth

Thursday, November 18, 2010

War News for Thursday, November 18, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from small arms fire/gunshot wounds in the Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 17th.


NATO details Afghan clash that killed 5 Americans


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: Two civilians were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their vehicle south of Baghdad city on Thursday, according to a local security source. “An IED attached by unidentified gunmen to a civilian vehicle went off while it was going by the Djisr Diala area, south of Baghdad, leaving two people wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Thirty prisoners escaped from northern Baghdad’s Tasfirat prison, following clashes with the prison guards, a security source in Baghdad said on Thursday. “Clashes erupted on Wednesday night between the guards and prisoners in northern Baghdad’s Tasfirat prison, in which firearms were used, leaving some prisoners wounded and causing chaos that helped 30 prisoners to escape from the prison,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: "Eighteen Taliban insurgents were killed when NATO-led airstrikes attacked on their meeting Wednesday in Nad Ali district in Helmand province," Xinhua quoted Ghulam Farooq Parwani, an official of Afghan National Army, as saying.


DoD: Staff Sgt. Kevin M. Pape

DoD: Staff Sgt. Javier O. Ortiz Rivera

DoD: Spc. Shane H. Ahmed

DoD: Spc. Nathan E. Lillard

DoD: Spc. Scott T. Nagorski

DoD: Spc. Jesse A. Snow

DoD: Pfc. Christian M. Warriner

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

War News for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 16th.


France says Afghanistan is a trap

To Save Lives, NATO Is Razing Booby-Trapped Afghan Homes

NATO: Combat role in Afghanistan could pass 2014

GOP to jobless: Drop dead - (off topic)


Reported security incidents

Diyala Prv:
#1: “A bomb, stuck to a civilian car, went off in al-Mustapha neighborhood in central Baaquba on Wednesday (Nov. 17), killing the driver,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Mosul:
#1: According to police, unknown gunmen killed a civilian near his home located in Sikr, just east of Mosul.

#2: Another civilian died after police fired upon him by mistake, a security source said.

#3: Late Tuesday night, gunmen in Mosul had attacked and killed two women and a man from the same family while they were home.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two rockets fired by suspected separatist militants, targeting a paramilitary post, wounded five civilians in Kohlu district of southwestern Baluchistan province on Wednesday, police said.


DoD: Staff Sgt. Juan L. Rivadeneira

DoD: Cpl. Jacob R. Carver

DoD: Spc. Jacob C. Carroll

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

War News for Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Spc. David C. Lutes died in Landstuhl, Germany on Thursday, November 11th. He was wounded from an IED blast somewhere in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on Monday, November 8th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an unreported location in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 16th.


Despite Gains, Night Raids Split U.S. and Karzai


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: An employee of Iraqi intelligence was killed and a police officer was wounded by gunmen in western Baghdad, according to a security source. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle belongs to Iraqi intelligence in al-Jameaa neighborhood, western Baghdad, killing the driver and injuring a police captain,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Samarra:
#1: Gunmen shot and seriously wounded the deputy commander of a government-backed Sunni militia in Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Mosul:
#1: In Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, two Christian men were sitting in their living room when gunmen broke into the house Monday night and shot them, a police officer in the northern city said.

#2: Another house belonging to a Christian family in a different neighborhood of eastern Mosul was also bombed overnight. A police officer said that attack wounded a bystander. A doctor in Mosul confirmed the death toll.

#3: Unknown gunmen blew up the house of the director of the National Security in central Mosul, a security source said on Tuesday. “Unidentified gunmen blew up the house of Colonel Aamer Faisal Tarfa, director of the National Security in Ninewa, in al-Dawasa region, central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The armed men put two bombs inside the house and detonated them, causing severe material damage to it,” he added.

#4: A roadside bomb went off in eastern Mosul, wounding two civilians, the police said.



Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A policeman was killed on Monday by a sticky bomb in west of Anbar, a police source said. “A bomb, stuck to a policeman’s vehicle, went off near al-Ratba bridge in al-Qaem district, west of Anbar, killing him instantly and damaging the vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Suspected American missiles slammed into a home and a speeding vehicle near the Afghan border Tuesday. At least four missiles were fired before dawn Tuesday in North Waziristan's Bangi Dar village, two at the mud-brick house and two at the vehicle, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. Four of the slain were in the vehicle, while at least 11 died in the flattened home. The identity of the dead was not known, and agents were trying to get more details, said the officials. A different pair of security officials closer to the scene said later that at least 20 were killed. All spoke on condition of anonymity in line with official policy.

#2: A bomb in a graveyard in northern Afghanistan killed a parliamentary candidate and a retired policeman and wounded five, including a mayor, on Tuesday, an intelligence official said. The attack happened in the Khan Abad district of northern Kunduz province as the men prayed inside the graveyard to mark the start of the Muslim Eid al Adha holiday, provincial intelligence chief Abdul Rahman Aqtash said. Mohammad Islam Mujahid, a candidate from Kunduz in Afghanistan's September parliamentary election, and Haji Bismillah, a retired police official, were killed in the attack, Aqtash said. Bismillah was the brother of the mayor of Kunduz city. The mayor, who had been praying with the other men, was wounded along with four civilians, Aqtash said, adding the bomb had been placed near the grave before the men had arrived.

#3: Helicopter gunships targeted Taliban positions in the northwestern region of Mohmand on the Afghan border, killing six militants and wounding 19, security officials in the region said. There was no independent verification of the death toll. Militants often reject official figures.

#4: A suicide bomber targeting a tribal elder in Afghanistan's southern Uruzgan province Tuesday left the elder dead and injured five others, deputy to provincial police chief Gulab Khan said. "A suicide bomber strapping explosive vest in his body made his way to enter the house of a tribal elder Mohammad Saddiq this morning at around 11:30 local time and blew his explosive up killing Saddiq and injuring five of his guests," Khan told Xinhua. He said the bomber was also killed in the blast which took place in provincial capital Tirin Kot.


MoD: Ranger Aaron McCormick

DoD: Sgt. Edward H. Bolen

DoD: Spc. Shannon Chihuahua

DoD: Spc. David C. Lutes

Monday, November 15, 2010

War News for Monday, November 15, 2010

The British MoD is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in the southern Nad 'Ali area, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Sunday, November 14th. Here's the ISAF statement.

The DoD is reporting a new death unreported by the military. Cpl. Shawn D. Fannin died from a non-combat related incident in Mazar-e Sharif, Balka province, Afghanistan on Friday, November 12th.

The Danish military is reporting the death of a Danish ISAF soldier from an IED attack somewhere east of gereshk, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Sunday, November 14th. Here's the ISAF statement.

NATO is reporting the deaths of three ISAF soldiers from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, November 13th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of three ISAF soldiers from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, November 14th.

NATO is reporting the deaths of an additional two more ISAF soldiers from the insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, November 14th.


British demand US data on 'nukes' in Iraq

U.S. Plan Offers Path to Ending Combat in Afghanistan


Reported security incidents

Baghdad:
#1: In Baghdad, an Iraqi policeman was killed when a roadside bomb struck a patrol in downtown Baghdad

#2: four policemen were wounded when another roadside bomb detonated on Monday morning in eastern part of the capital, police and hospital officials said. Seven people were wounded in the two blasts.

#3: Two policemen were wounded Monday by a roadside bomb blast in Baghdad, according to a security source. “The bomb exploded in al-Mustansariya neighborhood in Baghdad, wounding two policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, giving no more details.

#4: A hand grenade exploded this morning near al-Fardous intersection, central Baghdad, without leaving casualties,” he added.

#5: A sticky bomb attached to a car killed the driver, an embassy security guard, and wounded another passenger in Baghdad's west-central district of Mansour, on Sunday night, an Inte rior Ministry source said.


Kirkuk:
#1: Two gunmen were killed Monday while planting a bomb in southwest of Kirkuk, a senior police officer said. “Two gunmen were killed Monday (Nov. 15) when an explosive charge, they were planting, went off near al-Mura village in al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The two bodies were sent to the morgue,” he added.

#2: A police officer was wounded Monday in a bomb explosion in central Kirkuk, a source from the joint coordination center said. “The bomb exploded near a joint vehicle patrol of Kirkuk police and Asayesh forces in central Kirkuk, injuring an Asayesh lieutenant,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, without giving further details.


Mosul:
#1: A prison commander and his body guard were killed on Monday when twin car bombs detonated outside a residential complex housing prison guards and staff in northern Iraq, officials said. The Badoosh prison, on the outskirts of Mosul, holds convicted insurgents, al-Qaida militants and criminals from across Iraq. Although it was not immediately clear who was behind the blasts near the prison complex, the facility is known for a poor security record. Police and hospital officials in the northern city of Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad said the parked, explosives-laden vehicles went off as the commander of the Badoosh prison, Lt. Col. Hussein al-Jibouri, was heading to work on Monday morning. He was killed in the blast, along with one of his bodyguards. An Iraqi intelligence official in Mosul confirmed al-Jibouri died in the attacks that also wounded 16 people, including five bystanders.


Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Meanwhile, in town of Qaim on the Syrian border some 340 kilometres (210 miles) west of Baghdad, two people were killed and five others wounded by two roadside bombs, including one in a market, Lieutenant Ali Shaker of Anbar province's police said.

One civilian was killed and another one was wounded in a bomb blast in west of Anbar, a security source said on Monday. “The bomb exploded in Saada region in al-Qaem district, west of Anbar, killing a civilian and injuring another one,” he added.

#2: Four civilians were wounded Monday in a bomb blast in eastern Falluja, according to a security source. “The bomb went off near a police checkpoint in central al-Karma district, eastern Falluja, wounding four passing civilians, including a woman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: In eastern Kunar province on Monday, an insurgent rocket struck inside a U.S. base near the provincial capital of Asadabad, sparking a blaze that destroyed six armored vehicles and an ambulance, NATO and Afghan officials said. The base came under attack from gunfire and rockets early in the morning and one rocket hit a fuel container, starting the fire, NATO said. There were no coalition injuries and the fire was contained by late morning. The six armored vehicles destroyed were Mine Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles known as MRAPS, which can cost as much as $1 million each.

#2: At least two NATO fuel trucks have been torched in Balochistan province in southwestern Pakistan, resulting in the death of the driver of one of the vehicles. The trucks were carrying fuel supplies for NATO vehicles in neighboring Afghanistan before they were set ablaze by gunmen on Sunday. One of the tankers was torched in the town of Khuzdar in Balochistan province, while the second was set on fire in the province's Bolan district. Unknown gunmen, mounted on a motorcycle, first told the truck driver to leave the vehicle before it was set on fire, a Press TV corresponded reported on Monday.

#3: Eight officers were killed in Afghanistan's Kunduz province when Taliban forces attacked a police post, a local official told CNN. Hamdullah Danishi, deputy governor of Kunduz province, said the police officers were killed in the Qalai Zal district. Seven of the eight officers were "Arbaki," members of a local pro-government tribal militia, he said.


DoD: Senior Airman Andrew S. Bubacz

DoD: Cpl. Shawn D. Fannin

Sunday, November 14, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Iraqi soldier salutes along with US soldiers during the handing over of the Rashad US base to Iraqi forces in June. A roadside bomb on Sunday killed three soldiers in Rashad, a tow south of Iraq's ethnically mixed northern oil hub of Kirkuk.(AFP/File/Marwan Ibrahim)'=


Reported Security Incidents

Mosul

Car bomb attack on an Iraqi army checkpoint kills 2 soldiers, injures 8. A nearby house collapsed, and civil defense forces were trying to rescue people trapped under the rubble.

A visitor to the city is killed in a drive-by shooting.

Khanaqin

A leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, Nawzad Rahim Khardal, is killed by a bomb placed in his car in Saadiya village on Saturday.

Near Kirkuk

IED attack on an Iraqi army foot patrol kills 3 soldiers in the town of Rashad.

Also, in the town of Leylan, a man is killed in a drive-by shooting. The motive is unknown.

Baghdad

A government employee is killed by a sticky bomb in central Baghdad. One of his escorts and 3 passersby are injured.

Also, 5 people injured by a bomb near Ibn al-Haitham Education College in northern Baghdad.

Other News of the Day

Members of the Iraqiya bloc returned to Parliament on Saturday, after lawmakers agreed to start a process of lifting the bans on 4 Iraqiya members with past Baathist ties. It appears that a power sharing agreement will be implemented, with Nouri al-Maliki remaining as Prime Minister.

However, Iyad Allawi has apparently rejected the deal. "[I]n comments to CNN television late Friday, Allawi said he would not take part in the al-Maliki government and described the power-sharing deal as dead. Allawi did not attend the parliament session, and other lawmakers said he had already left the country."

Nevertheless Iraqiya member Osama Al-Nujaifi has accepted the role of Speaker of the Parliament in the power-sharing deal. His first apparent official act was to receive the Iranian ambassador and promote the ties between the two countries.

Juan Cole analyzes the situation. He still sees the agreement as tenuous, and notes that presidnet Talabani has yet to formally ask Maliki to form a government; and furthermore it will be some time before he actually does so. Meanwhile distrust remains high. Excerpt:

Apparently Iraqiya leader Iyad Allawi had hoped as late as early Thursday that he could find a higher post for his party. He had wanted to be president, and the Obama administration had apparently put enormous pressure on the Kurds to step aside and allow an Allawi presidency. Allawi, a secular ex-Baathist from a Shiite background, had emerged as leader of what was largely a Sunni bloc in parliament, with 91 seats out of 325. If Allawi could not get the presidency, he plumped for an alternating prime ministership, with himself first, for 8 months, after which incumbent al-Maliki could return to the post.

The USG Open Source Center translated the following passage, which sheds light on this issue:

“Al-Bayyinah al-Jadidah on 11 November publishes on page 2 a 200-word report citing Iraqi National Congress Chairman Ahmad Chalabi as saying that Kurdish President Mas’ud Barzani and President Jalal Talabani came under great US pressures recently and that Talabani informed President Barak Obama that they will not allow the Trojan horse (Ba’th Party) to infiltrate the political process.”

In other words, the Kurds, who were the swing vote, viewed Allawi and his Iraqiya as far too close to the Arab nationalist emphases of the old Baath Party, and so they joined with the Shiites to deny Allawi either the presidency or an alternating prime ministership.

The election of Talabani as president on Thursday angered most of the Sunni Arab members of parliament, insofar as it reduced them to holding the office of speaker, which they saw as a lesser position incommensurate with their having won the largest bloc of seats last March. Some Sunni Arab tribal leaders were saying that they would henceforth forbid their tribesmen to vote, since the exercise had only led to their loss of face.

Afghanistan Update

Three Afghan police killed by a roadside bomb in Uruzgan.

ISAF says two troops killed in separate incidents, gives no further details, but Afghan sources say one of the incidents occurred in Spin Boldak.

Update: NATO now saying 3 more troops killed in Eastern Afghanistan, bringing the total KIA today to 5. Again, no further details at this time.

Twelve NATO fuel tankers are set ablaze in the Behsud district of Nangarhar province, after the attackers chase off the drivers.

Karzai calls for the U.S. to scale back military operations. Excerpt:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants the U.S. military to scale back the visibility and intensity of its operations in Afghanistan and end night raids that he said incited people to join the Taliban insurgency, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

"The time has come to reduce military operations," Karzai told the Post in an interview. "The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan ... to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life."

The Post said his comments put him at odds with General David Petraeus, who has made "capture-and-kill" missions a central part of counterinsurgency strategy. . . .

A senior Afghan official was quoted by the newspaper as saying that Karzai had repeatedly criticized the night raids in meetings with Petraeus and was seeking veto power over the operations.

"The raids are a problem always. They were a problem then, they are a problem now. They have to go away," Karzai said in the interview.

"The Afghan people don't like these raids, if there is any raid it has to be done by the Afghan government within the Afghan laws. This is a continuing disagreement between us," he said.

A senior Afghan diplomat, kidnapped by unknown gunmen over two years ago, has been freed in Pakistan and returned to Afghanistan, the Afghan government confirmed Sunday. The atmospherics around this may signal a bit of a rapprochement between Pakistan and the Karzai government, but I could be reading too much into it. -- C

Quote of the Day

[I]t bears emphasis that the former President's acknowledgment that he authorized torture is absolutely without parallel in American history. The admission cannot be ignored. In our system, no one is above the law or beyond its reach, not even a former president. That founding principle of our democracy would mean little if it were ignored with respect to those in whom the public most invests its trust. It would also be profoundly unfair for Mr. Durham to focus his inquiry on low-level officials charged with implementing official policy but to ignore the role of those who authorized or ordered the use of torture.

The ACLU, Reported by Dan Froomkin.