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, June 24, 2008

War News for Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Multi-National Division – Center Soldiers from small arms fire attack near Salman Pak on Monday, June 23rd. Three other soldier were wounded in the attacks.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Coalition forces soldiers (Multi-National Division - Baghdad) from an explosion inside the District Advisory Council building in a southern neighborhood of Sadr City district on Tuesday, June 24th. two civilians serving with Coalition forces soldier were wounded in the attack. One Coalition forces soldier and three DAC members were also wounded in the attack. CNN is reporting that "a direct hire civilian employee of the Department of State and a Department of Defense civilian employee." were also killed and ten Iraqis were wounded in the blast. ABS-CBN is now reporting that one of the civilians is an Italian citizen.

The Sheffield Telegraph is reporting the death of a British a security guard. David Mathews suffered horrific injuries to both his legs when an explosive device hit the side of the armored vehicle he was travelling in. An Iraqi interpreter travelling with him was killed instantly. David died at an American military hospital a few hours later. AEGIS colleague Roger Day, travelling in the front of the same vehicle, described in a statement how their heavily armored vehicle, known as a REVA 4x4, was hit from the side by an explosive device.

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from small arms fire in Upper Sangin Valley, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, June 24th. No other details were released.

USA Today is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a mine in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. No other details were released. Three other soldiers were killed. No other details were released and we assume this to be an American soldier.

June 22 airpower summary:

June 23 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An explosion rocked a municipal building Tuesday in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, killing six Iraqis, two U.S. soldiers and two civilian U.S. Embassy employees, an embassy official said. The embassy official said the American civilians include "a direct hire civilian employee of the Department of State and a Department of Defense civilian employee." The blast occurred during a meeting of the district advisory council in Sadr City, and U.S. troops were in the area, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. The U.S. military confirmed the deaths, saying an American-led coalition soldier and three council members also were wounded. Ten Iraqis were wounded in the blast, an Interior Ministry official said.

#2: Unknown gunmen shot down the chairman of Baghdad's Abu Dasheer municipal council in front of his house, local eyewitnesses said on Tuesday. "Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the council's chief, Mahdi Atwan, in front of his house in Abu Dasheer neighborhood, southern Baghdad, killing him on the spot," an eyewitness told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq.

#3: Around 8 a.m. a roadside bomb targeted civilians near Al Andalus square in central Baghdad injuring one civilian.

#4: U.S. forces killed one gunman and captured 12 others on Monday in various operations in different parts of northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

#5: One mortar round fell on al-Kamaliyah area, eastern Baghdad, injuring two civilians.

#6: Three unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today; one in Slaikh, one in Bayaa and one in Abu Disheer.Three unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today; one in Slaikh, one in Bayaa and one in Abu Disheer.

#1: Two members of a U.S.-backed Iraqi neighbourhood patrol were killed and four others were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle on the outskirts of Balad town, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen opened fire upon the Mayor of one of the villages in Rashad district, to the southwest of Kirkuk. The Mayor was killed instantly.

#1: U.S. soldiers killed three people of the same family and arrested two other members in a raid on a house in western Mosul on Tuesday, police said. "The house raided by the U.S. forces was in al-Uraibi neighborhood, western Mosul. The raiding troops killed three and detained two, all members of the same family, without any apparent reason," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: Unidentified gunmen kidnapped four Mosul University students while heading for their final exams in the western part of the city on Tuesday, police said. "Unknown gunmen boarding two civilian vehicles kidnapped four University Mosul students, residents of al-Anbar province, in al-Shifaa neighborhood, western Mosul, on Tuesday," the source, who asked not to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. "The kidnappers released two of the four a short while later."

#3: Militants shot dead an off-duty police lieutenant studying law in the University of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, as he left the campus, police said.

#4: Police found the body of a tax department employee, who had been shot, in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Coalition warplanes swooped down on militants withdrawing from a firefight with police into the mountains of eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing 15 of them, officials said. Ismatullah Alizai, the police chief of Paktia province, said no one was hurt in the initial battle at the government headquarters in the town of Sayid Karam.First Lt. Nathan Perry, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said an unmanned drone identified the retreating gunmen and "close air support was used to engage and kill" them. Alizai said 15 militants were killed. All the bodies as well as four wounded fighters were at a local hospital, he said.

#2: Meanwhile, police said a female officer was shot dead by two assailants on a motorcycle in western Afghanistan. The gunmen fired three bullets into the officer's torso as she walked home from work on Monday in Guzara district of Herat province, police spokesman Raouf Ahmadi said.

#3: At least 19 people were killed and more than a dozen injured in fresh clashes in militant-dominated north-west Pakistan, media reports said on Tuesday. Fierce fighting erupted between troops loyal to top Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and pro-government tribesmen on Monday when militants attacked the members of a peace committee in the town Jandola, the gateway to the restive South Waziristan tribal district. Up to 12 people were killed and 10 others were wounded in ensuing gun battles that continued during the night, the English-language DawnNews television channel reported. Both sides used heavy weapons and rocket-propelled grenades to take out each other's targets.

#4: Meanwhile, six bodies of men believed to be involved in criminal activities were found near a market in Ghaljo area of the Orakzai tribal district, officials said. "Pro-Taliban militants had kidnapped the six men last month as part of their anti-vice campaign," an official in the local administration said. All the victims were shot dead.

#5: Suspected militants torched a column of trucks carrying military supplies just south of the Afghan capital on Tuesday. Afghan officials said an unknown number of men riding motorcycles and armed with guns and rockets attacked the supply convoy near Saydabad, a town in Wardak province about 40 miles (70 kilometers) from Kabul.

Insurgents have torched a column of trucks carrying military supplies south of Kabul. Afghan officials say an unknown number of men riding motorcycles and armed with guns and rockets attacked the supply convoy Tuesday near Saydabad, a town in Wardak province 70 kilometres from Kabul. Local mayor Fazel Karim Muslim says more than 40 trucks carrying food, water and fuel were damaged. Most of them were burned. He adds that one person in the convoy was killed and three others wounded. Muslim says the attackers fled when Afghan and foreign security forces, including aircraft, reached the scene. Associated Press Television News video shows blazing trucks standing three abreast on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, black smoke billowing into nearby mud-walled villages. Bulldozers pushed the smouldering wrecks off the melting asphalt, toppling several of them sideways into the desert as a helicopter gunship circled overhead.

Casualty Reports:

Kevin Kammerdiener, 19, of East Brady is hospitalized at an Army hospital in San Antonio, where he was taken after being wounded May 31. He remains in a coma with severe head injuries and burns suffered when a suicide bomber drove into his Humvee in Afghanistan.

Juan Castaneda Jr. had only been in Iraq for two weeks when he was sent on the patrol that would earn him a Purple Heart. It was noon on Aug. 31, 2006, in Ad Dawr when the caravan of four patrol Humvees rolled past a market and into a narrow street. The Army specialist was a backseat passenger in the last vehicle when two grenade explosions blew out the Humvee's doors. The soldier sitting in front of Castaneda, a truck commander, was killed. Castaneda had shrapnel wounds and a collapsed eardrum, which cost the 22-year- old soldier the hearing in his left ear.

Sgt. Richard Massimino, his back was fractured while he was riding in a Humvee during a mortar attack. However, his injuries this time were too severe for him to continue his fight for freedom as a Marine. Although Massimino walks with the help of a cane, he has to spend about 40 percent of his time in a wheelchair.