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

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

War News for Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by CENTCOM.Petty Officer 1st Class Victor W. Jeffries died in a vehicular accident in an undisclosed location in Kuwait on Monday, December 31st.

Security incidents:

#1: A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest targeted mourners at a funeral in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least five people and wounding 15, a police source said. The source said the casualty toll from the blast in the Zayouna

The death toll from a suicide bomb attack on Tuesday on a funeral in Baghdad reached 30 killed, with 38 others wounded, police said. Police said the funeral in eastern Baghdad was being held for a man who had been killed in an explosion three days ago.

#2: Police found ( 3 ) unidentified dead bodies in the following neighborhoods in Baghdad: ( 2 ) were found in Saidiyah in west Baghdad ( Karkh bank ). While ( 1 ) was found in Zayuna in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank).

Diyala Prv:
#1: Tuesday noon, gunmen killed an Iraqi army soldier at Ragat Haji Suheil ( 7 km north Baquba ) and during transferring the dead body to the morgue an IED targeted the police car which was carrying it injuring one policeman .

#1: The bodies of a Sunni policeman and four of his family members were found on the outskirts of a village north of Baghdad early Tuesday, just hours after they were abducted from their home by unknown gunmen, authorities said. Tuesday's attack happened on the northern outskirts of Jalula, a city with mixture of Shiite and Sunni Muslims 80 miles northeast of Baghdad.

#1: Hours later in the same province, a Shiite man and his 16-year-old son where killed in a drive-by shooting, police said. The two were standing outside their home in Tahwelah, about 19 miles east of Baqouba.

#1: One popular committees' fighter was killed and two more were injured during a security operation waged on Tuesday morning in southern Baaquba, a security source said. A joint force of Iraqi and U.S. personnel waged a crackdown operation at dawn in Bahraz district in southern Baaquba, where one popular committees fighter was killed and two others were injured as well as arresting eight persons, including a police officer," the source, who requested anonymity, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: A U.S. helicopter bombed areas near the town of Iskandriyah south of Baghdad after two U.S. patrols attacked by roadside bombs, killing a suspected insurgent and wounding another, local police said on Tuesday. Two roadside bombs detonated on Monday night near U.S. patrols outside the village of Lagash near the town of Iskandriyah, 50 km south of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#1: Unidentified gunmen attacked a group of shepherds east of Dalouiya, killing one of them and kidnapping three others, a police source said on Tuesday."In the wee hours of the morning, unknown gunmen attacked a group of shepherds in Abu Heleig region, east of Dalouiya, killing one shepherd and kidnapping three," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: One policeman was killed and two others were wounded in clashes with gunmen near Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

A source from the Balad police department said on Tuesday that a policeman was killed and six others were injured during clashes between police, security forces and gunmen in east of Balad.

#1: A civilian was killed on Tuesday in an armed attack southwest of Kirkuk, said a police source."Unknown armed men opened fire on a civilian in al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk, killing him on the spot," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) under condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, south of Kirkuk, a group of gunmen shot dead a civilian in the Rashad area. Also Tuesday, two more civilians were gunned down by unidentified militants in the same vicinity.

Al Zab:
#1: Three Iraqi soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb blew up near their patrol in al-Zab, 35 km (20 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

#1: The U.S. military said it killed two Iraqis when they failed to stop their vehicle despite warning shots in the northern city of Mosul on Monday. Police in the city had said U.S. forces killed an elderly couple in a car after a roadside bomb exploded near the military vehicles.

#2: Policemen found three bodies, one of them of an Iraqi soldier, in different areas of Mosul city on Tuesday, a security official said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police forces found an unknown body in the Sunni Anbar's northern city of Falluja, Iraqi police said on Tuesday.

#2: An improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a police patrol in southern Falluja, Anbar province, an Iraqi police source said on Tuesday."The roadside IED blew up just after an Iraqi police patrol pushed deep into al-Tameem neighborhood, southern Falluja, damaging one of the patrol vehicles," the source, who declined to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).The source, however, did not reveal details about possible casualties in the bombing attack."Reinforcements from the Iraqi police and U.S. forces arrived at the scene, sealing off all roads leading to it and denying access to vehicles and pedestrians in or out of Tameem neighborhood," he said.

#1: Afghan and US-led forces killed several Taliban militants Tuesday in an operation in southern Helmand province, the coalition said. The militants were killed in a gun battle with troops searching a compound for rebels "associated with Taliban and foreign fighters," it said.

#2: Two Taliban insurgents were killed as their mine exploded prematurely in Afghanistan's central Ghazni province in the wee hours of Tuesday, police said.

Casualty Reports:

Richard Setterstrom. 22, was blown up along a road south of Fallujah last year. His back aches, his joints are arthritic and he wears a hearing aid in his left ear. Setterstrom was first injured Dec. 12, 2005, while he and fellow members of 3rd Battalion 5th Marines were clearing houses of enemy combatants through a section of Fallujah. Setterstrom was pounding a dwelling with .50-caliber rounds when something inside exploded. A piece of shrapnel from the explosion lodged just above his right knee.“It felt like someone hit me in the kneecap with a baseball,” Setterstrom said. The piece of shrapnel remains in his leg.Setterstrom was the victim of another explosion during his second tour in Iraq, just five months after his first injury. His battalion was patrolling a major thoroughfare near the embattled city of Fallujah.Setterstrom drove a Humvee in a convoy that encountered daily IED attacks. Setterstrom said they knew who was making the IEDs: a Jordanian who was hired by the insurgency to kill as many Marines as possible. The explosion shook the ground. Fortunately for Setterstrom and his passenger, the Humvee took the brunt of the blast. But the force of the explosion beat up the two men badly. The blast tore a joint in his shoulder, pulled his spine and gave him a serious concussion.“My brain swelled up a little bit,” he said.Setterstrom still gets headaches and feels pain in his joints throughout his body as a result of the injuries suffered in the attack.

Matthew Zajack lost a leg to a roadside bomb and was sent home early. Zajack has been recovering in Texas, but was flown to Colorado Springs to greet his buddies at the end of their tour.

Marine Bjorn Steinmo, 21, said he is happy to see 2008 after being given a second chance at life this fall when he was shot in the face while on duty in Iraq. A prosthetic jaw, a few replacement teeth and some hearing loss will be the only permanent physical damage caused by a sniper's bullet that entered his right nostril and exited behind the left ear without striking his brain or a major blood vessel. On July 22, Steinmo was sitting on a roof in front of a chin-high wall in Karma, a town of about 75,000 people, nine miles outside Fallujah, when the sniper's bullet hit him. He said he has undergone four surgeries without any infections or complications. The only major surgery remaining is to his shattered jaw. Despite having a special reconstructive bar pinned to his face this fall, the jaw bone did not regenerate properly. In January, doctors will cut out a large piece of the left side, including the joint, and install the prosthetic replacement.