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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

War News for Saturday, December 22, 2007

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North Soldier during two roadside bombings in an eastern neighborhood of Kirkuk province on Friday, December 21st. Eleven other soldier were wounded in the attack

Security incidents:

#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up near an Iraqi police and army checkpoint in western Baghdad on Saturday, killing four people and wounding six, police said. Police said one of those killed in the attack in the Ghazaliya district was an Iraqi soldier, while the other three bodies were charred beyond recognition and unidentified.

Around 3 p.m. a suicide car bomb targeted joint Iraqi police and army checkpoint in Al Ghazaliyah, killing one soldiers and three civilians and injuring two soldiers, two police officers and two civilians.

#2: Eight wanted persons were arrested and two car bombs and five explosive charges were defused, while an officer was killed and two others wounded during combat operations in several parts of the Iraqi capital over the past 48 hours, a senior official said on Saturday.

#3: The commander of the Sahwa (Awakening) division of al-Jamea neighborhood in Baghdad was killed by a gunman on Saturday, a security source in the Baghdad Operations Command said." While the commander, known as Col. Rabie, was getting out of the al-Mullah Hweish mosque in Baghdad's al-Jamea neighborhood, after performing the noon prayers, a man opened fire at him from a gun with a silencer attached to it," the source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three people were wounded in a mortar attack on residential sections in the district of al-Khalis, 15 km north of Baaquba, on Saturday, an official security source in Diala said."Several mortar shells landed on neighborhoods in al-Salam area, injuring three civilians from one family and causing severe damage to their house," the source, who preferred not be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Police said they found the body of a guard who works for the minister of state for national security in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, on Friday.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded five civilians as they were walking past a hospital in the town of Madaen, 45 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Babel police forces arrested an Iraqi interpreter working for U.S. forces after he allegedly shot a man in a quarrel in central Hilla, local police said on Saturday. "An interpreter shot one of his acquaintances during a quarrel between them in front of al-Baidar Restaurant in central Hilla's Bab al-Hussein area…," a media director from Babel police, Captain Muthna Khaled Ali, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Two unidentified gunmen were killed and one was wounded in clashes with Iraqi police in a village near the northern city of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Two policemen were also wounded in the clashes.

Ninewa prv:
#1: Two roadside bombs killed a policeman and wounded two others in an attack targeting a police patrol in the northern town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An Iraqi civilian was killed and another was gravely wounded allegedly by US military fire in a town west of Baghdad, witnesses told a local news agency on Saturday. The incident reportedly occurred Friday night as a group of US soldiers patrolled Amiriyat al-Fallujah, a town 20 kilometres south of Fallujah. Witnesses cited by the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said the soldiers fired at a civilian vehicle that was carrying the two Iraqis on a main road. The witnesses claimed that the vehicle was later searched but that no weapons were found. The two Iraqis were transferred to Fallujah's general hospital.

Casualty Reports:

Christopher Braley , 23, a Navy medic with a Marine battalion in Iraq continues to recover at a naval military hospital in Bethesda, Md. following an ambush attack on Sept. 16. A piece of shrapnel from an improvised explosive device struck the right side of his face, taking out his eye and lodging in his brain, his grandfather Larry Braley said. He's able to be up and move around, though you can tell his head has been opened a lot," Jane Braley said. "Right now the biggest battle is fighting infection," adding every eight hours Christopher takes a strong dose of antibiotics. Christopher also lost anywhere from 40 to 50 pounds over the past three months. "He's also coming out of the deep depression he had when things seemed kind of hopeless because of his condition," Jane Braley said. "He's coming out of that, so we're excited for him." his spirits were down when he looked in the mirror and saw crushed cheek bones, a broken nose and a fractured skull. Family members also say that though his speech is a tad bit slower than they remember, he still has his outgoing personality. "His mind is still there, despite all the injuries.

Wesley Leon Barrientos, was on his third tour of duty when a roadside bomb hit his humvee. In all, eight soldiers were critically injured and one was killed. Wesley lost his left leg at the knee and part of his right leg at the ankle.