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, April 15, 2008

War News for Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Photo: Wounded Iraqi veteran William "Bill" Campbell and dog Pax.

Cervantes and I have been in contact with Sergeant Campbell for a couple of weeks, and we decided that I should highlight him on today's post. He has come home with PSTD and traumatic brain injuries from his experiences in Iraq. He has set up a blog as a way to write about his experiences and come to terms with his own injuries. In my opinion it is a wonderful first person account of the war from an insiders' view. You are all welcome to visit his site and read these posts and comment too.

His blog can be found here.

Please do not troll or spam his comments. If all you have is negativity please don't comment.

Here's what he wrote for this introduction:

Using the name ce4460, my combat ID while in Iraq, I write a blog at the suggestion of my psycologist. I re-enlisted for one year knowing that I fall under the stop loss policy while in country. I was sent to Bagdad and endured hardships that many that go to Iraq face. When I returned home I began a new battle with mental heath issues. I was diagnosed with PTSD and TBI as well as a few other problems. My blog is about healing. It is an honest dialog about personal experience during war. But it is also much more. Because experience leads one to war, I describe milestones in my life that I believe put me on the road to Iraq. Further, because war profoundly changes a person, I talk about my experience after returning. My blog is not about taking a position on the war. I will leave that to others. Please feel free to visit my blog and comment with healing heart.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in a northeastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, April 14th. No other details were released.

Security incidents:

#1: the U.S. military said six "enemy fighters" were killed in fighting near Baghdad's Sadr City early Tuesday. A U.S. military spokesman confirmed six troops took small arms fire during an operation in Sudayra outside Sadr City early Tuesday and killed three "enemy fighters" in self-defense. Troops continued to endure attacks, called in air support, and three more fighters were killed. There were no civilian casualties, the military said.

An Interior Ministry official said six "Iraqis" were killed and 26 were wounded in overnight airstrikes.

#2: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed two street sweepers in central Baghdad's Watheq Square, the official said. The blast, which happened at 7:30 a.m., also wounded two street sweepers and two police officers, the official said.

#3: Another roadside bomb, which exploded in southwestern Baghdad's Bayaa neighborhood, wounded a woman and child Tuesday morning, the official said.

#4: Three people were killed and eight wounded in car bomb attack in central Baghdad, police said. The target was an Iraqi police convoy.

An Iraqi Interior Ministry officer escaped unhurt when a car bomb explosion struck his convoy in central Baghdad on Tuesday, a ministry source said. "A car bomb parked near the al-Wathiq Square in Karrada neighborhood detonated in the afternoon near the convoy of Maj. Ali Sabri, an Interior Ministry director," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Sabri escaped the attack unhurt, but civilian was killed and eight people were wounded, including five of Saberi's guards, the source said.

#5: Clashes also broke out later Tuesday in Sadr City, leaving four militiamen killed and 15 others wounded, Iraqi police and hospital officials said.

#6: Two civilians were injured when mortar shell hit al Dolai neighborhood in west Baghdad around 5:00 p.m.

#7: Around 12:00 p.m. three mortar shells hit the Green Zone in downtown Baghdad.

Duyala Prv:
#1: At least 34 people have died in the suicide car bombing that rocked a restive Iraqi provincial capital on Tuesday, a medical source told CNN. Women and children are among the dead in the bombing, which happened outside a crowded restaurant near the courthouse and other government offices in Baquba, the medical source and a resident told CNN. Col. Ragheb al-Omeiri, Diyala military operations command spokesman, said the suicide car bombing also wounded dozens of people.

The bomb exploded outside the office of the provincial government in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

The death toll from a car bomb explosion in the city of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province on Tuesday, rose to 40 with some 70 others injured, a provincial police source said. A car bomb parked outside the courthouse building in a crowded area in downtown the city of Baquba, detonated at about 11:30 a.m. local time (830 GMT), burning at least two minibuses carrying passengers and four police vehicles, the source said. The powerful blast also caused damages in nearby buildings, including the court's building, he said. Policemen and civilians, including women and children, were among the casualties, the source said, citing a report from the main Hospital of Baquba.

#1: A U.S. Hummer vehicle was destroyed on Tuesday by an improvised explosive device (IED) while it was heading towards the central part of the city," a security source said. "An IED went off near a U.S. army patrol in al-Dhubbat neighborhood, central Diwaniya, severely damaging a Hummer vehicle," the source, who asked for anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. "U.S. soldiers cordoned off the scene while helicopters were flying overhead," the source said, not giving more details.VOI tried to contact the U.S. side to no avail.

#1: Gunmen attacked a small town near the southern city of Kerbala, killing five people including two women and wounding six others, police said. The attack forced 150 people to flee. The attackers then blew up 14 houses, police said. Kerbala is 110 km (68 miles) southwest of Baghdad.

#1: One civilian man was killed and two others wounded by gunmen fire in central Basra on Tuesday, a police source said. "Unidentified gunmen opened fire at three people in a private vehicle in Sahat al-Tayaran, central Basra, instantly killing one man and wounding two others," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. The source did not reveal more information about the incident or the identity of the people attacked.

#2: Gunmen wounded an aide to the country's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in a drive-by shooting in Basra in southern Iraq, police said. The aide's bodyguard was killed.

#1: Gunmen stormed an apartment and killed three women and a man on Monday in Mosul, police said.

militants attacked a house in Khadra district in the norther city of Mosul, killing four Iraqis of the same family, security sources told dpa.

#2: Gunmen killed a female lawyer and her sister in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb in western Mosul.

#4: A roadside bomb wounded four policemen when it struck their patrol in eastern Mosul, Brigadier-General Khalid Abdul-Sattar said.

#5: A girl was killed inside her schoolroom by a stray bullet in eastern Mosul, police said.

#6: Two car bombs went off simultaneously on Tuesday near Mosul University, injuring 19 persons, including four policemen, a police source said. “A suicide bomber detonated a car crammed with explosives targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol, while the second car bomb went off a few minutes after the second explosion,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.“The two explosions injured 19 persons, including four policemen,” he added.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Iraqi police say at least 14 people have been killed in a car bombing in the former insurgent stronghold of Ramadi. Police Lt. Col. Jubair al-Dulaimi says the attack occurred outside a kebab restaurant around lunchtime west of the city center. Al-Dulaimi says 14 other people were wounded in Tuesday's blast.

#1: Police in southern Afghanistan say two policemen were killed and three others wounded Tuesday in a roadside bomb attack in Kandahar province. Police official Sahib Jan says a remote-controlled bomb blew up a police vehicle near the Spin Boldak district.

Casualty Reports:

Staff Sgt. Thomas Knudsen wounded in a roadside bombing in Iraq last june and was driving the lead vehicle of a combat support convoy when the blast blew through his truck. Knudsen suffered fractured legs and a fractured skull.

Jamie Raymond was injured in Afghanistan four years ago and now a local disabled veteran is being ordered to go back. But, he tells us he is not fully recovered. he will travel to Georgia next month for a physical and mental exam to see if he can be deployed to Iraq. Raymond was injured when a rocket hit him in 2004. He lost hearing in one ear, had knee surgery.