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

Thursday, August 14, 2008

War News for Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of three U.S.-led coalition soldiers in a blast in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, August 14th. No other details were released.

The National Post is reporting the identity of Jackie Kirk who was one of three International Rescue Committee employees who died in a small arms fire attack near Kabul, on Wednesday, August, 13th.

The Province is reporting the identity of Shirley Case who was one of three International Rescue Committee employees who died in a small arms fire attack near Kabul, on Wednesday, August, 13th.

The Trinidad @ Tobago Newsday is reporting the identity of Nicole Dial who was one of three International Rescue Committee employees who died in a small arms fire attack near Kabul, on Wednesday, August, 13th.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The first roadside bomb, in the southeastern district of Zafaraniyah, killed the policeman and wounded nine others — six pilgrims and three policemen, a police official said.

#2: The second roadside bomb, in the central Alwiya district, wounded eight pilgrims, all males in their late teens and early 20s, another police official said.

#3: In Baghdad, meanwhile, a policemen was killed and five were wounded when a car bomb hit their patrol on Thursday, an official said.

#4: A roadside bomb killed one person in western Baghdad's district of Mansour on Wednesday, police said.

#5: Two bodies were found with gunshot wounds in Baghdad on Wednesday, police said.

#6: A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded seven in Karrada district, central Baghdad, police said.

#7: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy near al-Ghadeer Bridge, eastern Baghdad at 11 a.m. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A blast targeting a police patrol in Iraq's restive Diyala province killed two policemen and injured six people, a security source said Thursday. The bomb struck a police patrol in Baquba, the capital of Diyala, located some 60 kilometres north of Baghdad, an anonymous security source told Voices of Iraq news agency.

A car bomb targeting a police patrol near the restive city of Baquba, about 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Baghdad, killed two policemen and injured six, they said.

#2: Also near Baquba, a bomb hidden in a field killed a 10-year-old girl, a security official said.

Iskandar iya:
#1: Iraqi police say at least 15 people have been killed and 40 wounded when a female suicide bomber blew herself up among Shiite pilgrims south of Baghdad. Police spokesman Capt. Muthanna Khalid says the woman detonated her explosives belt in Iskandariyah.

Salman Pak:
#1: A roadside bomb killed one policeman and wounded five people, including two policemen, in Salman Pak, 30 km (20 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded five employees of Baiji oil refinery, police said. Baiji is 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: The body of a murdered policeman was found in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: In other incidents of violence Thursday, gunmen shot dead an off-duty policeman and army soldier in separate incidents in the northern city of Mosul.

unidentified gunmen killed an Iraqi policeman and a soldier during their vacation in the northern city of Mosul, a police source said Thursday. Gunmen shot and killed an Iraqi policeman near his house in the New Mosul area in the west of the city, an anonymous police source told Voice of Iraq news agency.

#2: In a parallel incident, some gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi soldier and his companion as he was also on vacation. The soldier was shot dead and his companion was injured.

Gunmen killed a father and wounded his son when they stormed their house in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.

#1: A rocket landed outside the international civilian airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Thursday, but there were no casualties, the NATO-led force said. Rocket attacks in Kabul are relatively rare and cause few, if any, casualties, but are a reminder that Taliban insurgents are able to threaten security even in the heavily guarded capital. The rocket landed in front of the civilian terminal, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. Another rocket was also fired, but it was not clear where it landed.

Two rockets were fired at Afghanistan's main international airport in Kabul Thursday, injuring two civilians but causing little damage, the interior ministry said. One of the rockets, fired from a nearby mountain, landed on empty ground near the main runway but caused no casualties, the ministry's press office told AFP. The other landed at an outer entrance to the heavily secured airport and wounded two passers-by, it said.

#2: Taliban militants have killed 15 policemen and injured 15 others in the past two weeks in their assaults in southern Afghan province of Helmand, said an official on Thursday. Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, the provincial police chief told Xinhua Taliban rebels in recent two weeks carried out several attacks and mounted pressure on Afghan police forces elsewhere in the unrest Helmand provinces. "Clashes have left 15 police dead and 15 more wounded," Andiwal said. "Police forces have retreated from Marja district after fierce battle with the militants." Meanwhile, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, the purported Taliban spokesman told Xinhua via phone from an unknown hideout that the outfits ambushed Marja district center Thursday morning and took control of the district government compound after four hours of fighting.

Casualty Reports:

Justin Reynolds, 25, was honorably discharged as a lance corporal after two tours in the Iraq war. He was injured in February 2006 when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb, leaving his legs full of shrapnel. Doctors said they believe he contracted a virus when wounded or shortly after and that virus has attacked his brain, leaving him aware but incapacitated. Robert Reynolds said his son is unable to talk, is partially paralyzed and cannot walk.

Marine Sgt. Courtney Rauch suffered severe injuries in Afghanistan after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated under a Humvee in which he was riding. lost his left foot and will have a leg amputated at the knee, according to his mother. Mrs. Rauch also reported that both of her son’s legs were broken. There was damage to his right foot and his toes had to be pinned in place. The explosion occurred on Aug. 3. Family found out about it the following day. Rauch was transferred from a hospital in Germany to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland on Aug. 8.

Mario Lopez Jr., 23, has suffered severe injuries in Afghanistan. he and six other soldiers were injured when a roadside bomb went off underneath their vehicle. Lopez lost his right arm and was burned over 40% of his body.