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

Saturday, August 2, 2008

War News for Saturday, August 02, 2008

July 31 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Jihad, west Baghdad. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Four members of a neighbourhood patrol unit were killed and four others wounded when an improvised bomb exploded east of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A local morgue in Kut City received two unknown bodies that were pulled out of a river in northern Wassit province, a medic said on Saturday. "On Saturday, al-Zahraa Hospital's morgue in Kut received two bodies belonging to unknown civilians, which were fished out of a river in al-Hafriya district (105 km north of Kut)," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq­.

#1: A man was shot dead on Friday in the town of Kifl, 150 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A police force found two unidentified bodies in eastern Mosul a security source said. "The bodies, which showed signs of having been shot in the head and chest, were found together in the area of al-Maarid, eastern Mosul," the source, who declined to have his name published, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: The U.S.-led coalition says more than a dozen militants have been killed in a clash and airstrike in southern Afghanistan. The coalition says militants ambushed an Afghan and coalition patrol in Uruzgan province on Friday. It says the joint patrol fired back and called in airstrikes, which killed over a dozen militants. There were no casualties among the Afghan and coalition troops.

#2: The Interior Ministry says three Taliban militants were killed when a bomb they were planting in eastern Afghanistan exploded prematurely.

#3: Mohammed Ghias Haqmal, the district chief of Marawar district in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province, was kidnapped by Taliban militants on Friday night, Shafiq Hamdam who works for the international troops in east Afghanistan told Xinhua.

#4: Shafig Hamdam also said that an attack on a logistic convoy in east Afghanistan on Friday left one civilian dead and wounded three others including one Afghan soldier.

Casualty Reports:

Army Spc. John Humphrey, 23, was severely wounded July 15 when an improvised explosive device detonated while his unit was conducting combat operations in Kn’an, Iraq. John now is recovering in the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. On Thursday, he had his fourth surgery; the explosion caused damage that required partial amputation of both his right arm and left leg. John and two other soldiers entered a house and one opened a door wired with an IED on the other side. The explosion killed one of the soldiers and left John with severe wounds. In addition to the damage to his arm and leg, Sean said John has 12 or 13 different shrapnel wounds. In Thursday’s surgery, doctors took muscles from John’s back to replace lost muscles in his arm and skin from his leg for a skin graft.

Army Pfc. Alex Knapp, 22, served in Iraq, and returned home a double amputee. He was injured in March while serving with the 230th Military Police Company, when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. He lost both his legs above the knee in the explosion.

Marine Sgt. Eddie Ryan was shot twice in the head in a sniper attack in April 2006 on a rooftop in Al Qaim,a town northwest of Baghdad. Ryan was shot below the jaw and above the eye. Though he was able to get off of a life support system in less than a month, Ryan has had to undergo intensive and costly physical therapy