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

Friday, January 25, 2008

War News for Friday, January 25, 2008

The Washington Post (AP) is reporting the death of U.S.-led coalition soldier in a clash with insurgents in Nari district of Kunar province, Afghanistan on Friday, January 25th. Three other soldiers and an Afghan soldier and an interpreter were wounded. We assume these to be Americans. Here's CJTF 82 statement

Security incidents:

#1: an explosive device went off east of the Iraqi capital, targeting an Iraqi patrol and wounding two policemen.

#2: U.S. forces killed one gunman and arrested 19 others during operations on Thursday and Friday in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

#3: Police found ( 2 ) unidentified dead bodies in Saidiyah ( south Baghdad) in Karkh bank.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Friday afternoon, a roadside bomb targeted a civilian car at Abu Saida ( 25 km east of Baquba) .One person was killed and another was injured.

#1: In other violence on Friday, police said a man was killed and another wounded when their car was struck by a roadside bomb at Abu Saida near the Diyala provincial capital Baquba.

#1: A senior Iraqi Shi'ite cleric was lightly wounded in a bomb attack in the holy city of Kerbala on Thursday that killed two of his bodyguards, police and local officials said. Sheikh Abdul Mehdi al-Karbalai is a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, and leads Friday prayers at the revered Imam Hussein shrine in Kerbala. Officials said a roadside bomb hit Karbalai's convoy after he left the shrine on Thursday evening. He was wounded in the hand.

#1: In the city of Samraa, 125 kilometres north of Baghdad, elements of the Awakening Council killed four al-Qaeda suspects and released a number of kidnapped drivers, the Iraqi News Agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) said.

#1: Iraq's prime minister announced Friday that the government was launching a major offensive against al-Qaida in the northern city of Mosul after two days of deadly bombings that killed nearly 40 people.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police and U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrols killed one gunman, wounded another and arrested two who were wearing explosive vests north of the city of Falluja in western Anbar province.

#2: The Iraqi police found three unidentified bodies in al-Saqlawiya district, 15 km north of Falluja city, on Friday, an Iraqi police source in Anbar said.

#1: A roadside bomb killed four Afghan fighters from the U.S.-led coalition force on Friday in southeastern Afghanistan, a provincial official said. The fighters were killed when the device hit their vehicle on a road in Khost province on the border with Pakistan, he said.

#2: Also on Friday, a soldier from the coalition force was killed during an operation against Taliban insurgents in the eastern province of Kunar, the coalition said. Three coalition soldiers, an Afghan interpreter and a local security member were wounded in the operation in which air support was also used, it said in a statement. It did not identify the foreign victims.

#3: Zenia Aguilan, 31, a physical therapist, was killed along with five other people on January 14 when armed men stormed the five-star Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan where she had worked as the spa supervisor.

Casualty Reports:

A year later Steve Holloway remains determined to beat his paralysis. Three times a week, the 34-year-old war veteran spends an hour in the therapeutic pool at Palms West Hospital. So far, he's gained movement in a hamstring and toe, he's worked himself out of a crouch and, most strikingly, he can walk in the water. On his stomach — from his sternum past his belly button — is a sign of war. The deep, inset scar bisects his belly where surgeon after surgeon sewed him back together. There's a scar on his back, too. That's where the Iraqi insurgent's 7.62mm bullet exited Holloway's body, taking with it his ability to walk. the bullet struck on Jan. 15, 2007.

Jaime Antolec, 28, got blown up on the Fourth of July. A roadside bomb in Baghdad exploded under the U.S. Army sergeant's tank, shattering his ankles, and leaving him bloody and unconscious -- but alive.

Marine Sgt. Gregory Edwards took his last step Oct. 21, 2006. Alpha Company was on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq, conducting house-to-house searches when a hidden explosive detonated. The blast left Sgt Edwards a double amputee with a shattered left hand. He has endured 37 surgeries and a painful physical regimen that he devised himself to strengthen the tender stumps that end just above his knees.

David Corley was on patrol when he was shot in the jaw by enemy fire. The bullet shattered his jaw and exited through his neck. He was immediately flown to Germany and treated by a spinal surgeon. They discovered the bullet just barely missed a majory artery in his neck. Corley is now recovering in a San Antonio hospital. "He's not moving his right arm at all. He has a tremendous amount of pain in his shoulders, neck and arms. And of course he can't speak with a trake, and his jaw is wired together," his father Ronald said.

Presidential Library:
As an Historian, I always look forward to the opening of newhistorical facilities. I have used several Presidential Libraries inthe past for my research. The plans for the new George W. Bush Library sound intriguing.

The Alberto Gonzales Room - Where you can't remember any of theexhibits. - The Hurricane Katrina Room - It's still under construction. - The Texas Air National Guard Room - Where you don't have toeven show up.

The Walter Reed Hospital Room - Where they don't let you in.

The Guantanamo Bay Room - Where they don't let you out.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room - Nobody has been able tofind it.

The War in Iraq Room - After you complete your first tour, theycan force you to go back for your second and third and fourth tours.

The K-Street Project Gift Shop - Where you can buy an election,or, if no one cares, steal one. -

The Men's Room - Where you could meet a Republican Senator (or two).

To be fair, the President has done some good things, and so the museum will have an electron microscope to help you locate them.