Archive for the ‘bombing’ Category

Major Troop Decisions for Afghan War Await Obama; Suicide Bombing in Kabul Today

January 17, 2009

Iraq has been on the front of the American news media for so long that sometimes Afghanistan is overlooked.  But today, a suicide bombing killed at least seven in Kabul highlighting the nature and the danger of this conflict.

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Lingering decisions on how quickly the Pentagon can get U.S. forces out of Iraq and into Afghanistan are being pushed off until after the Obama administration takes over next week as military commanders continue to wrangle over where the troops are needed most.

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Writer

By the end of this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to approve sending more Marines to southern Afghanistan, effectively lowering their numbers in Iraq’s western Anbar province, and he may also endorse deploying an Army brigade equipped with armored Stryker vehicles. Senior military officials say there is general agreement to cut back on the 22,000 Marines in Iraq, but Army officials have concerns about how to free up the Stryker unit.

As the Pentagon looks to double the existing force in Afghanistan, the overall cast of the military’s growing force in Afghanistan is becoming clearer: Commanders want to beef up the expeditionary units and trainers in the south and east with enough new troops to stem the violence without becoming an occupying force that would alienate the Afghan population.

Their challenge, however, is to get troops out into the hundreds of tiny villages in the volatile southern region, where the Taliban insurgency has been centered. To do that, Gen. David McKiernan, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has asked for more mobile forces and believes the strykers will allow soldiers to move more easily along the rugged trails to the widely dispersed tribal enclaves.

Stryker brigades come outfitted with several hundred eight-wheeled, 19-ton Stryker vehicles, which offer greater protection than a Humvee and are more maneuverable than the heavily armored mine-resistant vehicles that are being used across Iraq.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009011
7/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_afghanistan

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Suicide Bombing In Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — Seven civilians were killed Saturday morning after a suicide bomb exploded near the German embassy in Kabul, a government official said.
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Five U.S. forces were wounded in the blast, three of them seriously, said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Kubik, a spokesman for the U.S. military. Several embassy staff were also wounded and the explosion caused damage to the embassy compound, the German Foreign Ministry said.

The blast occurred in the Afghan capital around 9:30 a.m. (midnight ET) in an area near a military base as well as the German embassy, an Interior Ministry official said. Afghan security officials had been in the area stopping and checking every car before the bomb went off, CNN’s Atia Abawi reported.

A fuel tanker was burned in the explosion, the force of which could be felt blocks away. It was unclear who was targeted in the attack.

Read more:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/01/17/afghanistan.blast/index.html

Israel Poised for Long Campaign in Gaza; Learned From Failure in Lebanon

December 29, 2008
Before launching attacks on Hamas in Gaza, the Jewish state carefully prepared a list of targets, and it has kept its tone more modest than it did before attacking Hezbollah in 2006.
By Richard Boudreaux
The Los Angeles Times
December 29, 2008
Reporting from Jerusalem — As they prepared for lightning airstrikes on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Israel’s leaders drew sobering lessons from their stalemate against another Islamic paramilitary force, Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas.

In that setback in the summer of 2006, Israel rushed to battle without a detailed plan or realistic goals, and was handed its first failure to vanquish an Arab foe in war. Hezbollah not only withstood the 34-day offensive, but it also emerged stronger politically.
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Faced with frequent Hamas rocket fire across its southern border, Israel planned its Gaza operation more meticulously, over nearly two years. As a result, Israeli officials said Sunday, their intelligence services developed a longer list of targets to bomb, enabling the air force to inflict more damage on the militant Palestinian group before Israel contemplates a risky ground assault.

And instead of boasting that they would “destroy” the enemy, as they did in the case of Lebanon, Israeli leaders set the more modest aim of “improving the security” of terrorized Israeli communities.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/
la-fg-israel-analysis29-2008dec29,0,3905805.story

Israeli special forces 
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METICULOUS PLANNING: Israeli army special forces are deployed at the Gaza Strip border. Israel mapped out the operation for nearly two years.  Photo: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

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Israeli warplanes struck a broad array of targets in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Sunday, hitting a security compound, a mosque, the Islamic University, a television station and a network of smugglers’ tunnels along the border with Egypt as Hamas fired fresh volleys of rockets into Israel. The Palestinian death toll approached 300 after two days of violence, making this the deadliest operation in Gaza since Israel seized control of the coastal territory from Egypt in 1967.

Israeli officials said that they were prepared for an extended campaign in Gaza, possibly including ground forces, and that the goal is to break Hamas’s military capacity. “We will continue to attack as long as they fire,” said a senior Israeli military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Israel’s military, he said, intends to pressure Hamas to the point where the Islamist movement either “runs out of will or runs out of capability to launch more attacks.”

Read the rest from The Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co
ntent/article/2008/12/28/AR2008122800
115.html?hpid=topnews