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 28, 2014

War News for Monday, July 28, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A tragic incident names as the Khuzdar blast took place in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district this Monday. About seven passengers were injured in a blast that was targeting a bus according to Levies personnel.

#2: A woman was killed and her son as well as three security personnel were injured in a cross firing incident during a search operation in Lower Dir region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

#3: A local police official of Ghoor province survived from Taliban attack. The police official of Tolak district while going to Cheghcheran capital of the province, his vehicle was targeted by armed Taliban. A local official of Tolak district, Ghoor province said BNA; there was no casualty to local police official in the district.

#4: In several clearing operations conducted by National army forces six armed oppositions were killed in different parts of the country. Ministry of National Defense press office spokesman said

Sunday, July 27, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, July 27, 2014

District Police Chief Bismillah Jan of Registan, Kandahar province, is killed along with 5 guards in an attack on his home. Spokesman says 7 attackers also killed. The same spokesperson also says 24 militants and one police officer killed in a separate attack on a check post in Zherai district. [As usual, one has to question such a highly asymmetrical casualty total.]

In another attack in Spin Boldak, militants enter a school next to the home of provincial police commander General Abdul Razziq, and fire on his house. Six attackers are ultimately killed along with a civilian and a border police officer. In this account, however, the police chief of Registan was killed by a roadside bomb. [Fog of war. Most accounts accord with the home attack version.]

Four civilians are killed and 4 injured by a motorcycle bomb in Helmand.

Pakistan artillery fire into Kunar province destroys a home and leaves a 13 year old boy in critical condition.

NYT's Azam Ahmed says Taliban are making territorial gains. Excerpt:

Taliban fighters are scoring early gains in several strategic areas near the capital this summer, inflicting heavy casualties and casting new doubt on the ability of Afghan forces to contain the insurgency as the United States moves to complete its withdrawal of combat troops, according to Afghan officials and local elders. The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.

Their advance has gone unreported because most U.S. forces have left the field and officials in Kabul have largely refused to talk about it. The Afghan ministries have not released casualty statistics since an alarming rise in army and police deaths last year.
 [As readers know, I have been noting the complete absence of army and police casualties in Interior Ministry reports all year. Since we know these reports are bogus, I will link to them only for purposes of mockery. -- C]

Mullah Omar seems to agree. Saying he believes the Taliban are winning the war, "In his Id message, posted on Taliban website, Omar said that the Taliban will continue fighting, adding, “We believe the war in Afghanistan will come to an end when all foreign invaders pull out of Afghanistan and a holy Islamic and independent regime prevails here.” Omar's whereabouts are said to be "unknown," but he is evidently being sheltered by Pakistani intelligence.

UpdateAinuddin Khudairaham, convicted of killing 3 U.S. Marines in August, 2012, is sentence to 7 1/2 years in prison. The light sentence results from a finding that he was under 18 at the time of the attack, and is the maximum sentence for juveniles under Afghan law. The Marines were training Afghan police at Forward Operating Base Delhi in Helmand province. As Kudairaham lacks a birth certificate, his age was estimated by means of a bone scan. Killed were Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, 29, of San Diego; Cpl. Richard Rivera Jr., 20, of Oxnard and Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr., 21, of Oceanside, N.Y.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

War News for Saturday, July 26, 2014

The DoD is reporting the death of Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton, Jr. who died Thursday, July 24th, at the Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

Reported security incidents
#1: This Saturday morning, a suspected militant has been reportedly killed by the security forces in the Jannikhel area of Pakistan's Bannu District. The security forces were reportedly attacked while they were conducting a search operation in the Frontier Region in Jannikhel. The security personnel subsequently responded to the assault with retaliatory firing.

#2: Two ANA officers were targeted by terrorists and killed in Herat province this morning. According to national defense ministry press office to BNA, two ANA officers were going to their work, targeted by terrorists and killed.

#3: Afghan National Army (ANA) lunched two separate operations in which killed 8 armed rebels in Helmand province last night.

#4: An officer of ANA forces was martyred in explosion of a magnetic mine which was placed in a vehicle of ANA forces in Kabul province this morning.

#5: At least 24 militants were killed during military operations by Afghan national army (ANA) soldiers during the past 48 hours.

DoD: Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton

DoD: Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange

DoD: Pfc. Keith M. Williams

Friday, July 25, 2014

War News for Friday, July 25, 2014

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, July 24th.

Last Tornados to go to Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: SLOVAK soldiers in Afghanistan came under fire at the Kandahar Air Field base on the morning of July 24, but none of them suffered injuries.

#2: Taliban insurgents halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road overnight Friday, an official said.

#3: At least two policemen were shot dead by militants Friday in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. According to a police official, the militants attacked the policemen in the New Sariab area of Quetta, Dawn online reported.

#4: A bomb on Thursday killed at least two soldiers in North Waziristan, where the Army is carrying out a major offensive against Taliban militants, officials said. The incident occurred on Thursday evening near the border with Afghanistan just northwest of Miranshah, a statement from the military said. “Two soldiers embraced shahadat [martyrdom] Thursday evening in an improvised explosive device blast in the Ghulam Khan area,” the statement said, issued late Thursday.

#5: At least two people were killed in a roadside Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Kulachi tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Dera Ismail Khan district, Police sources said the explosion on Kulachi-Loni road left two local traders dead. The victims were passing through the area when their motorcycle struck an IED, police sources said, adding that explosives were planted to target law enforcement personnel.

#6: a Frontier Corps (FC) soldier was shot dead in FR Jandola Bazaar. In a separate incident at FR Jandola Bazaar near the South Waziristan tribal agency, an FC soldier was shot dead by unidentified gunmen.

#7: According to BNA, Interior Minister with releasing a declaration said, the terrorist incident occurred at 9:30 this morning that a quantity of explosive materials planted in a motorcycle in Khwaja Ghor district, Takhar province. The terrorist tragedy, in the Ramadan month, martyred six of our compatriots and wounded 28 others.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

War News for Thursday, July 24, 2014

DOD Identifies Units for Upcoming Afghanistan Rotation

Reported security incidents
#1: Two female aid workers who were shot dead by gunmen in western Afghanistan on Thursday were Finnish, according to the charity they worked for. “With deep sadness we confirm that today, July 24th, two Finnish expatriate female staff members of IAM (International Assistance Mission) have been killed in Herat,” the statement signed by acting executive director Heini Makila said.

#2: A bombing in a market in northern Afghanistan killed six people on Thursday. The attack in the market was aimed at a police car but the police escaped unharmed, said Sonatullah Timor, the spokesman for the Takhar provincial government. The bomb, which was placed on a motorcycle, wounded 26 people.

#3: a separate attack in the east killed a local police commander and his bodyguard, officials said. In a separate incident, a suicide bomber detonated his payload at a checkpoint in the eastern Nangarhar province, killing a local police commander and his bodyguard, according to police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal. He said the bomber shook hands with the commander before the explosion. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a media statement.

#3: As many as 20 local and foreign terrorists were killed and four isolated terrorist hideouts destroyed by aerial strikes in Shawal valley on Wednesday as security forces cleared major part of Mirali.

#4: Unknown persons killed the personal secretary (PS) of former Member National Assembly Nasir Khan Afridi, in Peshawar’s Tajabad area on Thursday. According to the police, Bismillah Khan was traveling on Ring Road in Peshawar's Tajabad area when unknown motorcycle-riding gunmen opened fire on him.The attackers fled from the scene after the attack.

#5: Four ANA forces were wounded in a bomb blast in Logar province this morning. The incident occurred in Sheshqala region, Pul-e-Alam city capital of Logar province while a vehicle carrying ANA forces to Kabul.

#6: Seven armed Taliban including a local commander of them were killed in recent clashes in Faryab province last night. In the clashes four militaries were also wounded. The clashes started while tens Taliban fighters with their weapons attacked on several security posts in Ghoormach district.

#7: A heavy explosion rocked Khair Khana area in capital Kabul late Wednesday night. Preliminary reports suggest the blast took place due to a magnetic bomb which went off near a residential house. There are also reports of a blast in Microryan area of Kabul city. However, the security officials have not commented regarding this so far.

#8: At least 19 Taliban insurgents were killed in separate airstrikes carried out by NATO-led coalition forces in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

#9: Taliban militants killed a religious cleric in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, on charges of having links and cooperation with the government. The provincial government media office said Wednesday that the religious cleric – Mawlavi Hashim was initially abducted by Taliban militants on Monday night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

War News for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Taliban beating back Afghan security forces near Kabul

Taliban grab land in Afghan Faryab province after fierce fighting

Reported security incidents
#1: Two Nepali nationals were killed while another was injured when a Taliban suicide bomber exploded an explosives-laden motorbike into an Afghan police compound near Kabul International Airport today. All three were working as security guards for DynCorp.

#2: Thirteen militants were killed and scores of their hideouts were destroyed on Wednesday in air strikes by Pakistan’s fighter jets in the Shawal area of North Waziristan tribal region, ARY News reports.

#3: One Afghan police was killed and three others, including a district police chief, injured in a suicide bombing in Kunduz city, the provincial capital of northern Kunduz province, on Wednesday morning, a source said. "Chardara District police Chief Ghulam Mehoiddin was travelling to his office. A militant detonated his explosive vest on a narrow bridge while the official's car was passing by, killing one police and injuring three others, including Mehoiddin," the provincial police spokesman Sayyed Sarwar Housini told Xinhua.

#4: At least 37 Taliban militants were killed during military operations by Afghan national army soldiers during the past 24 hours.

#5: A transport plane belonging to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) made precautionary landing in western Herat province of Afghanistan. A security official in Herat province confirmed the report and said no casualties were reported following the incident which took place on Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

War News for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A Taliban suicide attacker riding a motorbike killed at least four foreigners in a compound in Kabul today, police said, in the latest blast to rock the capital during an impasse over presidential election results. The attack hit close to the outer perimeter of Kabul airport. “Our initial reports show the explosion took place inside the foreigners’ compound — four foreigners were killed and six were wounded,” Kabul police chief Zahir Zahir told AFP.

#2: Thirty-eight armed oppositions were killed in several clearing operations carried out by Afghan security forces in different parts of the country yesterday. Ministry of Interior press office said BNA, Afghan security forces conducted several clearing operations in relevant areas of Helmand, Farah, Herat, Ghazni, Kandahar, Badakhshan, Parwan and Faryab provinces, in which 38 Taliban militants were killed, 13 injured

#3: Taliban militants after three days of fighting with security personnel have made headway and occupied land in Qaisar district of Faryab province 425 km northwest of Kabul, police said Tuesday. "Taliban rebels attacked security check points in the western part of Qaisar district three days ago, which triggered heavy battle between the two sides and the militants after three days of fighting were able to occupy Shakh area on Monday night," deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Naeem Andarabi told reporters here.

#4: Five Afghan civilians were killed with one civilian wounded Monday evening when Taliban insurgents attacked a vehicle in eastern province of Laghman, authorities said on Tuesday morning. "On Monday evening, armed militants fired on a running sedan along a road in Alinagar district, killing five civilians and injuring one other," the provincial government said in a statement. It said an off-duty policeman was among the killed. The motive behind the attack remained unknown.

#5: In a separate incident, a local leader was shot dead along two other civilians in Lashkar Gah city, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province late on Monday, according to provincial governor spokesman

#6:  Three mine planters of Taliban were killed in explosion of their own mine in Helmand province.

#7: Kabul (BNA) Explosion of a mine blast in 3rd section of Khairkhana area, caused wounding of two civilians. An eyewitness said BNA reporter, the mine had been installed in gate of the wall of meteorology which caused wounding of two civilians.

#7: At least five Taliban militants were killed following a premature suicide blast in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the incident took place late Monday in Sorubi district.

#8: At least three Afghan national army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following separate improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) said Tuesday that the Afghan national army soldiers were martyred in the past 24 hours