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

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

War News for Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the death of another soldier from a suspected IED explosion in the Upper Sangin Valley, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, June 24th. No other soldiers were wounded in the attack.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of three Multi-National Division - North Soldiers in a roadside bombing in Ninewah Province on Tuesday, June 24th. An Iraqi interpreter were also killed in the attack.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Seven civilians were wounded in a car bomb explosion that ripped through downtown Baghdad, an informed security source said on Wednesday. "An explosives-rigged car parked near Murattebat al-Saeha, 52nd Street in downtown Baghdad's al-Karada area detonated on Wednesday afternoon, wounding seven civilians," a spokesman for Baghdad operations command, Major General Qassem Ata, told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq.

#2: U.S. forces said a military convoy was fired on from a civilian vehicle near Baghdad airport. U.S. soldiers destroyed the vehicle, killing three occupants, they said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: One Iraqi soldier was killed and three more were wounded on Wednesday in a booby-trapped house explosion in south of Baaquba, a security source said."A force from the 5th division waged a crackdown operation in a house in al-Mulla Eid village in Bahraz district, south of Baaquba," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

Khan Bani Saad:
#1: A member of Sahwa council was killed in clashes between Sahwa members and insurgents in Khan Bani Saad town 15 miles southwest of Baquba city around 7:00 a.m.

#1: The fighting in the south broke out before dawn near Nassiriyah, 200 miles south of Baghdad, as Iraqi forces were conducting house-to-house searches for Shiite militants. Nassiriyah police chief Brig. Gen. Sabah al-Fatlawi said 14 suspects had been arrested but that sporadic clashes were continuing.

#2: Seven people were wounded in a tribal fight between two sub-tribes south of Nasiriyah city on Wednesday morning. Iraqi army got involved supported by US helicopters to control. The security forces arrested 16 people including seven wounded.

#1: U.S. forces said they killed two suspected al Qaeda members near Samarra, about 110 km (70 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: The assistant director of the Kirkuk public hospital survived an attempt on his life on Wednesday morning when an explosive charge went off targeting his motorcade in central Kirkuk, said a police source. "An improvised explosive device, went off targeting the motorcade of Dr. Sabah Amin al-Dawdi in al-Kournish region in central Kirkuk, injuring his driver," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. "Al-Dawdi was not hurt in the attack," he underlined.

A roadside bomb targeting Kirkuk's health director exploded in the city 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The health director escaped unhurt but his driver was wounded, they said

#1: Two persons, including a child, were killed and 70 more were wounded in a suicide truck bomb attack in the city of Mosul on Tuesday night, a police source said. "A suicide bomber blew up a booby-trapped truck targeting the Khazrag police station in Bab al-Hadied region in central Mosul at 8.30pm on Tuesday, killing two people, including a child and a policeman, and injuring 70, most of them are civilians," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. Eight policemen, including two officers, 12 children and 16 women were injured in the blast and rushed to al-Jumhouriya and Mosul public hospitals for treatment," the source added.

#2: The director of the Mosul municipality and his driver were killed on Wednesday morning by unknown gunmen in northern Mosul, a security source said. "Unidentified armed men showered Engineer Khaled Mahmoud and his driver with bullets in al-Baladiyat region in northern Mosul, killing them instantly," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#1: Militants killed at least a dozen tribal elders in northwest Pakistan, a day after the victims were kidnapped, police told CNN Wednesday. The bodies of at least 12 to 15 members of a local 'jirga' -- or gathering of tribal elders -- were recovered near the town of Jandola, which adjoins the South Waziristan tribal district, police said. Pakistan's state-run news agency put the number of victims at 28 and said they had been lined up and shot dead. The victims were part of a 30-member committee, formed by the Bhittani tribe in the area to work toward peace in the largely lawless region, the Associated Press of Pakistan said.

#2: Coalition airstrikes killed 22 militants who were attacking two towns in eastern Afghanistan, and explosions killed two more foreign soldiers in the south, officials said Wednesday. The U.S.-led coalition said Afghan police called for help when insurgents armed with rockets and guns attacked government offices in the Sarobi and Gomal districts of Paktika province on Tuesday night. "When coalition air support arrived, the 22 militants who attacked the district centers were positively identified and killed," a coalition statement said. Ghamai Khan Mohammadyar, spokesman for the provincial governor, said police had counted the bodies of 22 "enemy fighters" on the battlefield. He said no Afghan forces were killed and claimed that the surviving militants had fled toward the Pakistani border.

Many of those killed were Pakistanis, Samoon said, adding that the injured rebels were from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Casualty Reports:

Lance Cpl. Keith Elsass, 20, has endured nine surgeries, two skin grafts and has had as many as 103 stitches to try to recover from his wartime wounds. Elsass returned to the United States from Afghanistan in May after a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Humvee he was driving. He was one of three soldiers injured in the fiery attack. Out of nowhere, a rocket propelled grenade struck the Humvee. In the driver's seat, Elsass managed to move the vehicle out of the danger area. But he was injured, pinned in. "The men assisted me," Elsass said. "They cut me free." Shrapnel had gorged his body — mainly his legs.

Lance Cpl. Justin Rokohl, 21, emerged from an 11-hour back surgery Monday, and if all goes well he could be flown Friday to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The family was told shortly after Rokohl made it out of surgery that he was not paralyzed, originally thought to be a possibility. A titanium rod more than a foot long was inserted into his back. suffered numerous injuries in a roadside bomb blast that tore through his Humvee on Friday as he and his unit were delivering mail in southern Afghanistan. He broke both feet, both heels, the tibia, fibula and femur on both legs and multiple vertebrae after the explosion blasted him dozens of feet in the air from his post as top machine gunner, his father said. His right leg is in the worst shape, but he still has good circulation to both feet. Doctors haven't had a chance to set his legs, and currently he has external metal plates that run down each leg restricting movement.

Portray Woods A roadside bomb blew away part of Portray Woods' skull, blinded his left eye and paralyzed his right side, leaving little hope that he would ever walk or talk again. Woods, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, said his own comeback is ongoing. Once right-handed, he now writes with his left and is learning to use a prosthetic right arm and hand.

Scott Stephenson was injured in Iraq in December 2006. An attack on his vehicle left him with burns over 80 percent of his body and one of his legs was amputated below the knee. Stephenson subsequently had two strokes, leaving him with limited use of his left arm.

Navy Corpsman Christopher was seriously wounded in Iraq. In September, Braley was struck by a piece of shrapnel from a roadside bomb. The shrapnel went through his eye and into his brain. Since then he has endured several surgeries. The last was to place a titanium plate in his head.

Neil Duncan, a U.S. Army veteran underwent surgery to remove excess scar tissue and repair scars on his face. Duncan was injured while on patrol in Afghanistan. An IED went off under his humvee. The young soldier also lost both of his legs and uses prosthetics to get around.

Sgt. Justin Paul Clenard, was on foot patrol in Kanihar Monday morning when a mortar round hit the ground just beside him.The Marine lost his right leg and his left foot, the senior Clenard said. His vital signs were stable Tuesday afternoon, but he was in critical condition at the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, his father said. Doctors are trying to stabilize him so he can be moved to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

Army Spc. Freddy Meyers, 21, On May 3, 2007, Meyers was manning the machine gun in a Humvee when a sniper's bullet ripped across the top of his head, pushing fragments of his skull into his brain. When he awoke from a drug-induced coma, Meyers could not talk to his wife and parents at his bedside. He could not walk. Now, when he takes off his black beret, a scar is visible in the shape of a horseshoe from the back of his head to his forehead. The scar marks where doctors removed a large piece of his skull to relieve the pressure on his swollen brain.