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

Monday, July 14, 2008

War News for Monday, July 14, 2008

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an explosion in northern Afghanistan on Friday, July 12th. No other details were released. The Pak Tribune is reporting that Hungarian explosives expert Captain Krisztian Nemes was killed by a bomb on Saturday in Baghlan province, Afghanistan, according to the Hungarian Defense Ministry said.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a roadside bomb attack in southern Helmand province on Sunday, July 13th. No other details were released.

NATO is reporting the deaths of nine ISAF soldiers in fighting in northeast Afghanistan on Sunday, July 13th. 15 other soldiers were wounded in the attack. The Washington Post is reporting that the attack was in the village of Wanat in Kunar Province.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Force – West Marine in a non-combat related incident in Al Anbar province on Sunday, July 13th. No other details were released.

July 11 airpower summary:

Airpower Summary for July 12:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Three people were killed including a traffic policeman when a hand-grenade was thrown at gathering in the Alawi district in central Baghdad, police said. Thirteen people were wounded, including four traffic policemen.

Diyala Prv:
#1: "The three Sahwa fighters were passing on the main road in the village of al-Makhifa, Abi Saida district, east of Baaquba, when an IED went off near their vehicle, leaving them wounded," the source, who is from the joint security coordination center in Diala province, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: In another incident, the same source said policemen, in association with local residents, found on Monday morning three decomposed unidentified bodies in the district of al-Muqdadiya.

#1: One handcuffed, blindfolded body was found with gunshot wounds to the head in Mahaweel, 60 km (35 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Sulaimaniyah Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb targeted members of the Border Guard near Peshta border point between Iraq and Iran, 150 km to the southeast of Sulaimaniyah City injuring one officer and one guard who were taken to hospital for transportation.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Monday kidnapped two high ranking army officers, a brigadier and a deputy intelligence officer, on the highway near Himreen Mountains, south of Kirkuk, a security source revealed. "Two high ranking officers, one of them working as deputy Iraqi army intelligence officer and the other a brigadier, were abducted on Monday noon by unidentified armed men," Staff Major Shwan Hama Gharib told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI). "The gunmen set a trap on the highway along Himreen Maountains, near al-Rashad suburb, 35 km southwest of Kirkuk," he said.

#1: Five bodies with gunshot wounds were found near Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said.

#2: Policemen killed a suicide bomber when he approached their checkpoint in eastern Mosul, police said.

#3: Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman in a drive-by shooting at a bus-terminal in eastern Mosul, police said.

#4: Four shepherds were shot dead on Monday near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police said. Unidentified gunmen killed the four outside Mosul, a mixed city 370 kilometres (230 miles) north of Baghdad which the US military says is the last urban bastion of Al-Qaeda militants in the violence-wracked country.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Roadside bomb attacks in Iraq yesterday killed at least five people, including three policemen in the former Sunni rebel bastion of Fallujah, police said. The policemen were killed when two bombs exploded outside the home of a local police captain in Fallujah, a police officer said. Four people were also wounded in the near simultaneous explosions.

#1: Meanwhile, police said a roadside blast Sunday killed six Afghan private security guards escorting a supply convoy for NATO-led troops in the south. Provincial police Chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said two other guards were wounded in the attack in Gereshk district of Helmand province. Insurgents regularly attack NATO and U.S. military supply convoys in the country.

#2: Private TV channels reported that 12 security personnel were killed when the militants attacked a convoy of security forces in Hangu area in North West Frontier Province. PTV and private TV channels said there are reports of the killing of commandant of paramilitary 'Frontier Corps' Karim Khattak. PTV said that death toll could be higher as fighting is still continuing. Mayor of District Hangu earlier said that six security men and two Taliban were killed in the clashes erupted after Taliban surrounded a convoy of security forces at Zargari, a small village in the area. Correspondents said that several civilians, including children, were also killed and injured in the fighting.

#3: Taliban militants claimed responsibility Monday for the abduction of an Afghan senator who was snatched at a gunpoint 70 kilometres (40 miles) from capital Kabul. Abdul Wali, a member of the Upper House of the parliament from the province of Logar adjoining Kabul, was kidnapped Sunday as he was driving with his two guards and driver, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb planted by insurgents struck a military vehicle of the U.S.-led Coalition forces in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province Monday wounding a soldier, a local official said. "It was 4 a.m. (2330 GMT) when a military convoy of the Coalition forces was passing Tanai district and a vehicle ran over a mine planted by Taliban rebels as a result the vehicle was damaged and one of its occupants received injuries," Mohammad Gulzad, the governor of Tanai district, told Xinhua.

Casualty Reports:

Cpl. Mark Fuchko lost both his legs below the knee and he suffered a shattered pelvis when the armoured vehicle he was driving, while in operations in the Kandahar province in Afghanistan, was struck by one of the largest improvised bombs the Canadians have faced to date.

Martyn Compton was burned in an ambush in Afghanistan: he lost his hair, hose and ears and was told he will most probably never walk again. Two years ago, British soldier Martyn Compton was seriously injured in an ambush in Afghanistan, which burned his entire face, Daily Mail writes. Three months later, he work up from a coma, but the attack`s consequences remained visible. He lost his ears, nose, and hair and was told he would most probably never walk again.

Fred Goss, of Rio Rancho, was working as a contractor in Iraq when he was badly injured and the man working with him died after a bomb blast underneath them in June. It happened on Friday, June 13. Gaus was working as a senior mechanic in Iraq. He had the responsibility of recovering damaged military and civilian vehicles out in the battlefield. An improvised explosive hit the semi-sized wrecker Gaus and his partner were riding in and tore it to pieces. "This part of my face was opened up," Gaus said. For now, Gaus said he keeps the wheel chair and walker close with at least three months of recovery ahead.

U.S. Army Sgt. Mary Dague, a 2003 graduate of Superior High School, lost both arms defusing a bomb while serving with the 707th Explosive Ordnance Disposal in Iraq last November. Last Nov. 4 in Iraq, Dague picked up a partially defused homemade bomb to be transported to a secure area and detonated. It slipped from her arms and exploded. A protective vest she wore saved her life and that of the team leader behind her. Besides losing both arms, Dague suffered burns and bruises to her face, a fractured occipital bone, abrasions to a cornea, pinhole punctures in both eardrums, and sand blasted into her ears that was not fully flushed out until surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.