Afghanistan War

Calling a U.S. gunship attack on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, a "blatant breach of international law," Doctors Without Borders is calling for an independent international investigation into the attack that killed 22 people and wounded 37 more. The group views the airstrike as a war crime.

Twelve of those who died were staff members of the Paris-based charity, which says the attack went on for 30 minutes after it contacted both Afghanistan's and the coalition's military leaders.

The international aid group Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is calling for an international investigation into what it calls a war crime in Afghanistan — Saturday's U.S. airstrikes that killed 22 people, including medical staff and patients at the organization's hospital in Kunduz.

The U.S. airstrike this weekend that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 22 civilians, was requested by Afghan forces, according to the top U.S. general in Afghanistan.

Gen. John Campbell, addressing reporters Monday at the Pentagon, said Afghan forces advised they were taking fire from Taliban insurgents and asked for U.S. air support. Campbell said he wanted to correct initial reports suggesting U.S forces were under threat and that the strike was carried out on their behalf.

A day after the Taliban seized control of the city of Kunduz, a military operation is underway to try to retake the provincial capital in northern Afghanistan. The U.S. carried out an airstrike to aid coalition and Afghan forces, according to NATO.

The fall of Kunduz is seen as "the Afghan Taliban's biggest victory since they were ousted from power 14 years ago," NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

Philip filed this report for our Newscast unit:

After his son died fighting in Afghanistan, Phil Schmidt became a walking memorial.

"At the age of 52, I got my first tattoo. So I've got a total of five of em, and I'm not done," says Schmidt, who lives in New Mexico.

Schmidt has tattoos of his son Jonathan's face, and of his son's medals, and the date that he fell in combat, Sept. 1, 2012.

Jonathan Schmidt should have been coming home from Afghanistan that month. Instead two Army officers arrived at Schmidt's home bearing the news that Jonathan had died in a firefight.

A new book that documents an attempt to rescue an Idaho soldier in Afghanistan will not likely interfere with efforts to bring him home. That’s according to at least one national security expert. The controversial book is getting attention because it describes the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. It also says in 2009, Navy SEALs went after Bowe Bergdahl’s captors too.

An Army combat engineer has become the 12th Washington-based soldier to die in Afghanistan this year. The pace of deaths has picked up in recent weeks as the summer fighting season begins.

The Army says Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb was killed by an improvised explosive device. He was on his fourth deployment, but his first to Afghanistan.

McNabb is just the latest soldier from Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord to die in Afghanistan. May was the deadliest month so far this year with six soldier deaths.

The cemetery at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be the site of a Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen service members. A University of Washington graduate is among the latest Washington-based soldiers to die in Afghanistan. Army records indicate eight soldiers from the Army post near Tacoma have been killed in action so far this year.

Parents of captured Idaho soldier want prisoner swap

May 9, 2012

The Idaho parents of the only U.S. soldier in Taliban captivity say they want the Obama administration to negotiate a prisoner swap to bring their son home. Bob and Jani Bergdahl broke their long silence in new interviews, hoping to build public pressure for a deal.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — A top military commander speaking at the base of the soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians says the Army is adequately dealing with mental health and other issues related to multiple deployments.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A U.S. official says the American who killed 16 Afghan villagers Sunday is a soldier from Washington who was assigned to a remote special operations site.

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, added that the suspect is married and has two children. He served three tours in Iraq, and had been serving his first deployment in Afghanistan since December.

U.S. officials say the soldier acted alone, leaving his base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on sleeping families in two villages.

Associated Press

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at state buildings be lowered to half-staff Thursday in memory of a Longview soldier who died Dec. 20 while serving in Afghanistan.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Kelso Eagles for 21-year-old Mikayla A. Bragg.

Northwest News Network

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A young Army private from Boise has been sentenced to a maximum of seven years in a military prison for murder and other crimes while deployed to Afghanistan. Private First Class Andrew Holmes admitted to shooting an unarmed 15-year-old Afghan boy.

Department of Homeland Security

Former U.S. Senator from Washington state, Slade Gorton,  says the killing of bin Laden is proof that intelligence agencies in the United States have improved.  Gorton sat on the 9/11 Commission, which investigated the terrorist attacks.

Rolling Stone magazine has published several more grisly photographs related to the war crimes case unfolding at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The release comes just one week after a German magazine was the first to publish photos. The Army had sought to keep the pictures under wraps for fear they could trigger a backlash against U.S. troops.

Last week’s photographs showed soldiers posing with a dead Afghan named Gul Mudin. Rolling Stone now reports he was an unarmed 15-year old boy, the first of three victims allegedly killed by members of a rogue platoon from Western Washington.

Austin Jenkins / N3

A Washington-based soldier has been sentenced to 24-years in prison for killing unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. Specialist Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of premeditated murder and other crimes.

The Defense Department is deploying about 700 soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to Afghanistan next summer to support combat operations.

The department said Friday the I (First) Corps Headquarters will serve as the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Headquarters.

In a press release, Joint Base Lewis-McChord public affairs noted a historic aspect to the assignment: