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

Monday, August 27, 2007

War News for Monday, August 27, 2007

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Marines in two separate incidents, one on Saturday, August 25th, one on Sunday, August 26th, from enemy action in Al Anbar Province.

(2) MNF-Iraq is also reporting the deaths of two Task Force Lightning soldiers from enemy gunfire in Salah ad Din Province on Sunday, August 26th.

(3) The NATO website is announcing the death of an ISAF soldier from a small arms fire attack while on a dismounted patrol in Eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, August 26th. As usual, the soldier's nationality was not given. However, most of the ISAF troops in eastern Afghanistan are American.

(4) The Dutch Ministry of Defense is announcing the death of one of their soldiers in an improvised explosive device attack at Cutu-brug (12 km north of the Dutch base at Deh Rawod in Oruzgan Province) on Sunday, August 26th: Sergeant 1 Martijn Rosier, 30. Roughly translated, the article goes on to say that a 23-year-old corporal, Bas van Mourik, received a head injury in the attack, but was expected to survive. Both men happened to be outside of their vehicle at the time the bomb went off. Both were assigned to the 111 Pantsergeniecompagnie (Armored Engineer Company) based out of Wezep in the Netherlands. A brief English language article on the incident can be found here. The ISAF statement has also been posted.

(5) The NATO website is announcing the death of an ISAF soldier in an attack on his convoy involving small arms fire and RPGs in Eastern Afghanistan on Monday, August 27th. As usual, the soldier's nationality was not given. However, most of the ISAF troops in eastern Afghanistan are American. One other ISAF soldier was wounded in the incident.


Security incidents:

#1: one pilgrim was shot on Baghdad's Jadiriyah bridge

#2: gunmen hiding in an orchard south of the capital opened fire on another group, killing one and injuring three others.

#3: Three more pilgrims were injured when gunmen blasted them in a drive-by shooting in southwestern Baghdad

#4: Gunmen attacked a police station and wounded three policemen in al-Rashdiya district in the northern outskirts of Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded three others in central Baghdad, police said

#5: Police found 12 anonymous bodies in Baghdad today. 9 bodies were found in Karkh, the western side of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (2 bodies in Amil, 2 bodies in Bayaa, 2 bodies in Shoala, 1 body in Saidiyah, 1 body in Kadhemiyah and 1 body in Mahmoudiyah.) 3 bodies were found in Rusafa, the eastern side of Baghdad in the following neighborhood (2 bodies in Jisr Diyala and 1 body in Zafaraniyah.)

Diyala Prv:
#1: Nine civilians were kidnapped by gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniform in a fake checkpoint near the district of al-Muqdadiya, Diala province, on Sunday, eyewitnesses said. "The fake checkpoint was set at the intersection of al-Muqdadiya and Dali Abbas," both 45 and 50 km northeast of Baaquba respectively, an eyewitness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Baaquba's hospital morgue received 10 unidentified bodies from different areas of the city on Sunday evening and Monday morning, medics said. "Most of the bodies were blindfolded, had their hands tied and showed signs of having been shot," a source from Baaquba hospital, who refused to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Police killed three people on Monday night in clashes with pilgrims in Iraq's holy city of Kerbala, where tens of thousands of Shi'ites have gathered for one of the holiest days on the Shi'ite calendar. A Reuters photographer said he saw one pilgrim shot dead outside his hotel. Several wounded were carried away by fellow pilgrims. A water tanker was ablaze and the sounds of gunfire echoed in the streets around the hotel, situated between the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas mosques, for about two hours, he said. Police said they opened fire on a large crowd of pilgrims infuriated by the strict security measures in force in the city for the celebrations, killing three and wounding 13. The shots were fired after the pilgrims began brawling with the policemen.

#1: A mortar round killed a child and wounded two others in the town of Mahmudiya, about 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, on Sunday, police said.

Jurf al-Sakhr:
#1: At least seven tribal militia members were killed and four wounded when they clashed with al-Qaeda militants over night in the town of Jurf al-Sakhr, about 85 km (50 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Salah ad Din Prv:
#1: Two Task Force Lightning Soldiers were killed by enemy gunfire in Salah ad Din Province, Sunday

#1: The governor of Salahudin province north of Baghdad survived a twin roadside bomb attack near his procession in the provincial capital of Tikrit City on Monday, a source from the governor office said. "Two roadside bombs exploded in a quick succession near the procession of Hamad Humoud al-Qaisi, governor of Salahudin province, after he left his office to attend a meeting in the provincial council in Tikrit," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The attack, which occurred on a main road in the center of Tikrit, 170 km north of Baghdad, wounded two of Qaisi's bodyguards and destroyed a vehicle from his procession, the source

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West died Aug. 25, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province

#2: another Marine died Aug. 26, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province.

#1: Police said they found the bodies of three people shot and tortured near the town of Qaim, 500 km (300 miles) west of Baghdad.

#1: A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt among worshippers at evening prayers Monday in Fallujah, killing nine people, including the mosque preacher who had been an outspoken opponent of al-Qaida, police said. Police said 10 people were wounded in the attack, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. at the Raqeeb mosque in the northern part of the city.

#1: One ISAF soldier has been killed and another injured when their patrol was hit by an IED strike in Southern Afghanistan on Aug 26.

Dutch soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, the defence chief said Monday. The 30-year-old sergeant, whose name was not immediately released, was the 10th Dutch soldier killed while serving as part of Dutch contingent in the NATO force in Afghanistan. He died late Sunday night when an improvised explosive device detonated near the southern town of Deh Rawod, Gen. Dick Berlijn told reporters in The Hague. A 23-year-old corporal in the Dutch force also was hurt, but his injuries were not reported to be life threatening.

#2: One ISAF soldier was killed during a patrol today in eastern Afghanistan. The unit took small-arms fire during a dismounted patrol when one ISAF soldier was wounded and immediately evacuated to a nearby medical treatment facility where the soldier later died of wounds.

#3: Militants and soldiers exchanged fire in northwest Pakistan Monday, an official said, killing one militant and injuring three civilians and a soldier in a lawless region where U.S. authorities worry al-Qaida is regrouping. The militants fired rockets at a security post on the outskirts of North Waziristan's main town of Miran Shah before dawn Monday, sparking a gunbattle with troops, an intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. A mortar shell apparently fired by security forces hit a civilian home, wounding two women and a child, the official said. One militant was killed and one soldier wounded in the firing.

#4: Militants rocketed military posts and bases in Miran Shah and in Mir Ali, another North Waziristan town, but no one was hurt, he said.

#5: Three U.S. and two Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush on Monday in Afghanistan's eastern provice of Kunar, a provincial police official said. The incident happened in Ghazi Abad district near the border with Pakistan, police chief of the district told reporters. "There was a Taliban ambush in which three U.S. and two Afghan soldiers were killed today," he said.

International and Afghan troops battled Taleban militants for several hours in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, with fears of casualties among foreign soldiers, officials said. The US-led coalition that operates in Afghanistan confirmed there was fighting with insurgents in the eastern province of Kunar, which borders Pakistan. Spokesman Sergeant Dean Welch told AFP that soldiers on the ground had called for medical evacuation helicopters but had no details on whether there were any casualties.

#6: One International Security Assistance Force soldier was killed and one wounded in eastern Afghanistan today. An ISAF convoy was attacked with small-arms and rocket propelled grenade fire this morning. The wounded soldier was evacuated to a nearby ISAF medical facility for treatment.

Casualty Reports:

The British Ministry of Defense has announced the identities of the three 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment soldiers who died in a friendly fire incident in Helmand Province on Thursday, August 23rd:

Private Aaron James McLure, 19
Private Robert Graham Foster, 19
Private John Thrumble, 21

(1) McClure had enlisted in the British Army in March of 2006, completing basic training as a rifleman in October of that year. He had then participated in military exercises in the UK and Kenya before being sent to Afghanistan in March 2007 on his first operational deployment. Despite his young age and "a quiet, unassuming nature", he had more than held up his own in his 5 months in country, a veteran of over 40 engagements with the Taliban, many of them fierce, close-range battles. McClure is survived by his parents and three brothers.

(2) Foster enlisted in the army in April of 2006, and like McClure, was trained as a rifleman. He had also been in Afghanistan on his first operational tour since March of this year, under very demanding circumstances, seeing significant action in the short time he served. Foster was described by his platoon mates as a "character" ... an extrovert by nature, full of confidence and courage, and with a hilarious sense of humor that shone through no matter how tough the circumstances. He leaves behind his parents and an older sister.

(3) Older than McClure and Foster, in fact the most senior private in his platoon, Thrumble had been talking enthusiastically about the promotion course he was soon slated to take, hoping to make Lance Corporal status. He had enlisted in April 2004 and trained as a rifleman. Thrumble had already completed one operational deployment to Iraq, along with various military exercises in the UK, Canada and Kenya. Currently he was serving as the platoon machine gunner. A commanding officer described him as "utterly dedicated to his job and in particular, fiercely loyal to his platoon and protective of his friends." Thrumble is survived by his parents, two brothers and his girlfriend.

(4) The DoD has identified the two American soldiers who reportedly died in a vehicle roll-over accident in Herat Province on Friday, August 24th:

Sergeant 1st Class Daniel E. Miller, 43, of Rossford, Ohio
Sergeant 1st Class Scott M. Carney, 37, of Ankeny, Iowa

Miller was assigned to the regular army ... the 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas. Carney was an Iowa National Guardsman assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division.

(5) The DoD has identified the Task Force Lightning soldier who died in a medical facility near Tikrit in Salah ad Din Province on Friday, August 24th, of wounds he sustained in an IED attack in Bayji: Sergeant 1st Class David A. Heringes, 36, of Tampa, Florida. His unit, the 1st Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, NC), had been operating out of Camp Summerall at Bayji. The Lakeland (Florida) Ledger is reporting that Heringes was a 16-year veteran who enjoyed working on cars and motorcycles. He was supposed to return home this month but had recently had his tour extended. He leaves behind two young children.

(6) The DoD has identified a soldier who died in an IED attack in the vicinity of Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad on Wednesday, August 22nd: Private 1st Class Edgar E. Cardenas, 34, of Lilburn, Georgia. His unit, the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Cavalry Regiment (1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, TX) is the same as the one for Pfc. Omar Torres who died on the same day.

(7) The Des Moines (Iowa) Register has published a good piece on Iowa National Guardsman Sergeant 1st Class Scott M. Carney, 37, of Ankeny, Ohio, who died in a vehicle rollover accident near Herat, Afghanistan, on Friday, August 24th. Born in 1970 in Somerset, Ohio, Carney graduated from high school in 1988, then enlisted in the Army in March of 1989. In December of 2000 he joined the National Guard ... and went on to earn an associates degree from Upper Iowa University in 2003. In May of this year, however, he found himself in Afghanistan on his first combat mission ... part of a team of Iowa soldiers training Afghan police and soldiers. He was assigned to the Boone-based unit of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division. Carney is survived by his wife, two 12-year-old twin sons, and his parents.