Posts tagged: Afghanistan
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A 22-year-old southwestern Idaho man was among five soldiers killed over the weekend in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan. Specialist Thomas Paige Murach of Meridian died Saturday in Maiwand in southern Afghanistan, not far from the border with Pakistan. Military officials say Murach was among five soldiers from Fort Bliss in Texas serving in the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division who died in the attack. Murach died alongside Spc. Kevin Cardoza of Mercedes, Texas; 1st Lieutenant Brandon James Landrum of Lawton, Okla.; Staff Sgt. Francis Gene Phillips the Fourth of Meridian, N.Y.; and Spc. Brandon Joseph Prescott of Bend, Ore. Murach's family members issued a statement Monday after the announcement, saying Murach was “passionate about everything he did,” and saying, “Tom loved being an Army infantryman and he never complained about the difficulty of his duties. He believed in the mission the Army performs, and he saw the value of that mission and the impact he was making in Afghanistan.”
Click below for a full report from the Idaho Statesman via the AP.
An Idaho soldier from Preston has been killed in Afghanistan, falling when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. Private First Class Cody O. Moosman, 24, had joined the service in 2010; his family said he'd wanted to join the Army since he was in the third grade. Click below for a full report from the Associated Press.
Idaho Sen. Jim Risch described the situation in Afghanistan as “a Rubik’s cube on steroids” this morning while participating in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in which committee members questioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen about the Obama Administration’s new Afghanistan strategy. “As polarized as this country is … this is an issue that we all really, really need to pull together on,” Risch said. “There are no good choices. There are only choices to be made that are in the best interest of the American people.”
Risch asked whether the officials had considered speeding up the troop withdrawal from Iraq beyond the schedule the president already has announced; they said no. “I’d encourage that we keep an eye on that,” Risch said. He also questioned whether the July 2011 date the administration has set for beginning to pull troops back out of Afghanistan, after a 2010 buildup of 30,000 additional troops, is a “hard date” rather than a target. Gates responded that it’s a “firm date that the president has established” for beginning troop withdrawals, but said, “The pace of that withdrawal … will be conditions-based.”
Mullen noted, “This date has also been described as arbitrary - it’s not arbitrary at all.” The date marks the third summer that Marines will be in the Helmand province, he said. At that point, “We will have a clear indication which way this is going.”
All four members of Idaho’s congressional delegation issued statements tonight in response to President Obama’s announcement that he’ll send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Also, the Idaho Statesman’s Washington, D.C. reporter, Erika Bolstad, reported tonight that the troop buildup drew “grudging respect” from the Idaho delegation; you can read her full story here. Below are the full statements from Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Reps. Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson.
Idaho’s congressional delegation - Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Reps. Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick - has issued the following joint statement about the capture of an Idaho soldier, Hailey native Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, by Taliban forces in Afghanistan:
“Out of respect for Private First Class Bergdahl and his family, we have been declining to comment on his capture by the Taliban. With the Pentagon now confirming his identity, we add our thoughts and prayers with others for his reunion with family, friends and Army colleagues. Private Bergdahl represents Idaho and his nation courageously. We remain ready to assist in whatever manner his family and the U.S. military so chooses.”