Friday, October 12, 2007

Mini Battlefield Digest: Afghanistan, week 41

A bit behind this week, but still timely.

I hesitate to do highlights, but the expansion of Bagram military base by one-third to accommodate more troops in country has to stand out against the backdrop of last weeks news of a 15 year plan to be involved in the country.

Selected Battlefield News, Afghanistan & Iraq

Political Developments

  • CBC: The Canadian military has begun paying the salaries of Afghan police directly, following reports that impoverished police officers weren't receiving money owed by the Afghan government. -Tuesday, October 9, 2007
  • Mustafa Abu al Yazid, al Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan, released a video where he claimed Osama bin Laden is alive and the Taliban is winning on the battlefield. Mullah Mansour, the Taliban military leader, released a video praising suicide bombers. An Italian intelligence agent who was kidnapped with a colleague in Afghanistan and wounded during a rescue operation died Thursday...The man had been put on a respirator after he was wounded in the NATO-led raid on Sept. 24... -Thursday, October 4, 2007
  • Roggio: Muqtada al Sadr and Abdul Aziz al Hakim signed an agreement to put aside religious and sectarian issues. Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in Muqdadiyah signed an agreement to put aside tribal differences to fight al Qaeda. -Saturday, October 6, 2007
  • Roggio: Al Qaeda assassinated a senior member of the Salahuddin Awakening Council. -Tuesday, October 9, 2007
  • Roggio: The Sunni insurgent group Army of Truth has halted operations and seeks reconciliation. -Thursday, October 4, 2007
  • Roggio: Reconciliation meetings are underway in Muqdadiyah in Diyala province. -Wednesday, October 10, 2007
  • Roggio: Muqtada al Sadr and Abdul Aziz al Hakim signed an agreement to put aside religious and sectarian issues. Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in Muqdadiyah signed an agreement to put aside tribal differences to fight al Qaeda. -Sunday, October 7, 2007
COIN: Actions, Reactions, Counteractions, etc.
  • UPI: Critics said spraying U.S.-made chemicals over opium fields in Afghanistan could be a boon to Taliban propagandists if food crops are also destroyed. -Monday, October 8, 2007
  • NYTimes: In this isolated Taliban stronghold in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. paratroopers are fielding what they consider a crucial new weapon in counterinsurgency operations here: a demure civilian anthropologist named Tracy. -Sunday, October 7, 2007
  • AP: A German engineer and four Afghans taken hostage in July were freed Wednesday in exchange for six Taliban fighters, an Afghan official said. Rudolf Blechschmidt and the four Afghans were handed over by local elders to officials... -Wednesday, October 10, 2007
  • ABC News: Former Spy Chief, Avid Golfer Set to Take Over Pakistan's Army
    -October 02, 2007 9:43 AM

VIOLENCE: Tactical Developments
  • NPR: As many as 250 people have been killed in recent days in fierce combat between Pakistani security forces and Islamic militants along the rugged Afghan border in some of the deadliest clashes in years, army officials said Tuesday. Also Brian Ross story. Retaliation? -Tuesday, October 9, 2007
  • Thehindu: Fighting continued to rage in North Waziristan on Tuesday with fighter jets of the Pakistan Air Force bombing targets near Mir Ali on the third day of clashes between the military and pro-Taliban militants. -Tuesday, October 9, 2007
  • AP: Insurgency-related deaths in Afghanistan were 55% higher in the first nine months of 2007 compared with last year, as violence since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion surpassed all previous highs, according to an Associated Press analysis. -Thursday, October 4, 2007
  • BBC: Two people have been killed and at least 10 injured in Afghanistan after gunmen opened fire in a mosque during prayers in a province bordering Kabul. In a separate incident, also near the capital, a mullah was shot dead. -Wednesday, October 10, 2007
  • irna: Defence Secretary Des Browne revealed that there had been 1,359 attacks on British troops between October 2006 and August this year...The list showed a fluctuation between 181 attacks carried out in March to 52 in April compared to a monthly... -Tuesday, October 9, 2007
  • radioaustralia: Afghanistan has ended a three-year moratorium on the death penalty by executing 15 prisoners, including a man convicted of murdering Australian cameraman Harry Burton. The mass execution by firing squad took place on Sunday. -Tuesday, October 9, 2007
  • OhmyNews : Iran's foreign ministry has condemned the arrest and beating of a PressTV correspondent by U.S. forces in Kabul. The ministry said the Americans have been trying to prevent reporting on the realities of their failure in Afghanistan. -Tuesday, October 9, 2007
  • AP: Twenty militants and two soldiers died in a battle in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, an army spokesman said. The fighting occurred in North Waziristan, a stronghold of pro-Taliban militants near the Afghan border... -Sunday, October 7, 2007
  • Bloomberg: A group of civilians, including several men, a woman and a child, were killed in a raid by Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces on a compound used by militants in eastern Afghanistan, the American military said. -Friday, October 5, 2007
  • timesofindia: Pro-Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has threatened to launch suicide attacks on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. -Friday, October 5, 2007
Economic Developments, Reconstruction, and General Good News
  • [this space purposely left blank because of lack of de-classified, systematic data]

No comments: