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, June 27, 2008

War News for Friday, June 27, 2008

#1: Iraq's Higher Judicial Council says a senior judge has been assassinated while he was headed home in Baghdad. Spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar says masked drive-by shooters shot and killed Judge Kamil al-Showaili Thursday afternoon on eastern Baghdad's Canal Highway. Bayrkdar says al-Showaili was the head of one of Baghdad's two appeals courts. The spokesman has not identified any particular group as responsible for the slaying.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb exploded killing one shepherd, injuring two others in the area between Khanaqeen and Sharban to the northeast of Baquba Thursday evening.

Jurf al-Sakhar:
#1: Gunmen fired at a police checkpoint, wounding a policeman in Jurf al-Sakhar, 60 km (38 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iraqi police found the body of an Iraqi citizen in Mahaweel, 60 km (38 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A home-made bomb planted in the road killed two members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol and wounded three others in Shirqat city, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police captain Muhammad Jamil said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: The handover of security control in Iraq's Anbar province to Iraqi forces has been put on hold, the U.S. military said on Friday, blaming a sandstorm forecast to hit the region. The sandstorm could have prevented officials flying to Anbar for Saturday's handover ceremony, the U.S. military said, explaining the delay.

#1: Militants beheaded one man and shot the other after telling the crowd in Pakistan's Bajaur tribal district that the pair had passed information to US forces in Afghanistan that led to a deadly missile strike in May. An AFP correspondent who witnessed the executions said more than 5,000 people had gathered at a patch of open ground 10 kilometres (six miles) west of Khar, the main town in Bajaur, to watch. ‘There was a public execution by militants of two people who were kidnapped two days ago by Taleban on spying charges,’ a local security official told AFP.

#2: After the executions the Taleban started firing in the air in jubilation, but when some shots were fired from within the crowd it sparked a brief gunbattle, witnesses said. ‘Firing broke out and in this incident two people were killed -- one died on the spot and one later on his way to hospital,’ local tribal police chief FazAl e-Rabi told AFP.

#3: NATO said its forces also fired back at militants who launched rockets at two of its bases in neighboring Kunar province Friday.Afghan officials said one girl was killed and several other civilians injured by rockets that hit the homes.

Craig Lundberg, 22, was a lance corporal in the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster when he was blinded during a rooftop battle with insurgents in Basra in March last year. A rocket-propelled grenade exploded when it hit the body armour on his chest, leaving him with arm and facial injuries. ON March 23, 2007, Lance Corporal Lundberg was commanding a section of the second Lancs battle group reconnaissance platoon during Operation Python in Al Qurnah, south southern Iraq. The platoon was one of three strike groups tasked to arrest a number of armed insurgents in the town. Blinded by fragmentation in both eyes and bleeding profusely from his left arm, LCpl Lundberg fought to remain conscious.

Marcus Kuboy, 30, He was an infantry medic when a bomb ejected him from his truck more than a year ago. The explosive killed the driver, who was sitting directly in front of Kuboy. Days later he came to in a hospital in Germany.

Staff Sergeant Travis Strong, 30, was injured during his second tour of duty in Iraq when the vehicle he commanded was hit with a device similar to an improvised explosive device. Strong's legs were amputated after the accident.

Evan Morgan was serving in Iraq when he was injured Jan. 1, 2005. He lost both his legs and an eye in the attack. He spent more than 15 months in the hospital.