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, November 20, 2014

War News for Thursday, November 20, 2014

Romania to send 450 new troops to Afghanistan next year

Reported security incidents
#1: Four Taliban militants who attacked a compound housing foreign workers in the Afghan capital were killed Wednesday night in a failed assault there, police said, the latest violence targeting foreigners in the country. One attacker died when he detonated a vehicle packed with explosives near the gate of the Green Village compound in eastern Kabul, police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir said. Police officers killed the other three attackers in a shootout, Zahir said. "There were no civilian or military casualties," Zahir said.

#2: A rocket fired by militants slammed into Afghan eastern Assadabad city, leaving one person dead and injuring six others on Thursday, police said.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

War News for Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Germany and Italy to keep up to 1,350 soldiers in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A grenade attacked killed two policemen and wounded another in Charsadda on Tuesday, police said. The incident happened in the Shabqadar area of the district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Two men riding a motorbike threw a hand grenade on a police vehicle patrolling the area, killing two policeman and wounding another one,” said district police chief Shafiullah Khan.

#2: Security officials said military planes pounded positions of the banned Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Nakai and Kukikhel areas of Tirah valley, killing seven militants and destroying three of their hideouts. The claim could not be independently verified.

#3: Meanwhile, sources in Mehraban Kalay of Tirah valley said that a man was publicly killed by militants on a charge of spying.

#4: A suicide car bomb rocked Shinkai district in the southern Afghanistan's Zabul province on Wednesday, leaving the bomber dead, provincial police chief Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Liwanai said. one police was slightly injured in the blast.

#5: At least 91 armed oppositions were killed following clearing operations led by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during the last 24 hours in several provinces of the country.

#6: In a drone attacks of NATO forces in Kunar province 4 armed rebels killed including two commanders.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

War News for Tuesday, November 18, 2014

850 (German) troops 'to stay' in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A Taliban attack, involving at least one suicide bomber, targeted a foreigners' compound in Kabul early on Tuesday, killing four people in the latest fatal blast to hit the Afghan capital. Two Afghan security guards were among the four killed, said the ministry. Three civilians were also wounded in the attack, which involved three attackers, including the truck's driver.

Read more here:

Read more here:

#2: Also Tuesday, in eastern Khost province, a woman died when the van she was travelling in hit a roadside bomb, said Mubariz Mohammad Zadran, spokesman for the provincial governor. Another 13 people, including children, were wounded.

Read more here:

#3: At least two people, including a child, were killed and five children injured in a roadside blast in the Nasti Kot area of Pakistan's Kurram tribal region on Tuesday, a media report said. According to officials, an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the roadside in the region's Parachinar district, was detonated as a school van passed by, killing the driver and a child, Dawn online reported.

#4: The bodies of four persons killed by gun shots were found dumped in gunny sacks in Risalpur area of Nowshera district here on Tuesday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

War News for Monday, November 17, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Airstrikes and ground clashes between security forces and militants in North Waziristan Agency early Sunday left four soldiers, including an army major, and 34 militants dead. Four soldiers were killed and at least eight were missing after insurgents using rockets and grenades stormed a checkpoint in the remote border region of North Waziristan Agency, security sources said. Eleven men were wounded and between eight and 10 were missing, they said.

#2: An outspoken female Afghan lawmaker survived a suicide bombing attack on her vehicle on Sunday, suffering slight wounds, but three civilian bystanders were killed, a police spokesman said.

#3: In a clash between armed Taliban and security forces in Takhar province, six armed Taliban was killed and 12 others wounded yesterday evening. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that the attack took place by Taliban militants on a police check post in Khwajah Ghar district in northeastern Takhar province.

#4: Nine armed oppositions were killed by Afghan National Army forces operation in Kunduz province last night.

#5: Student of a school and an engineer were martyred and three other students wounded in a blast in Maidan-Wardak province.

#6: Taliban militants launched a massive offensive with the involvement of some 400 fighters against Balablok district in the western Farah province, 695 km west of Kabul, on Monday, gun battle continues, a private television channel Tolo has reported.

#7: Three local police personnel were injured as a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Marawara district of Kunar province on Monday, provincial police chief Abdul Habib SayedKhili said.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, November 16, 2014

Suicide attack in Kabul on the car of Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament and women's rights advocate, kills three people and injures 20. Barazaki escapes injury. Reports NYT's Rob Norland:

During the Taliban era, Ms. Barakzai, 42, helped run underground schools for girls. She had enemies on many sides, including powerful warlords. She famously remarked of her fellow legislators, “Our Parliament is a collection of lords. Warlords, drug lords, crime lords.” er husband, an unsuccessful candidate for Parliament, took a second wife without consulting her. Ms. Barakzai remained married to him, but began campaigning against the practice of multiple wives for Afghan men.

Two Afghan soldiers are killed by a roadside bomb  but the MoD gives no information as to location.

Former president Karzai accuses U.S. of promoting extremism in the region. "Speaking during an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Karzai said senior U.S. officials would tell him that neighboring Pakistan was harboring terrorists responsible for attacks inside Afghanistan but urge him not to raise the issue with Pakistani leaders. He said the United States “has been both encouraging the thief to steal and the house owner to safeguard his house.” [He has a point. -- C] But . . . 

President Ghani meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, where the two subsequently make some non-specific statements about cooperation against extremism.

Update:  U.S. casualty reported yesterday is identified as Sgt. 1st  Class Michael A. Cathcart, of Bay City Michigan. Died Nov. 14 in Kunduz of small arms fire. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

War News for Saturday, November 15, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an enemy attack an undisclosed location in northern Afghanistan on Friday, November 14th.

Reported security incidents
#1: Three Georgian soldiers serving in a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan were injured in a suicide bomb attack. Georgia’s Ministry of Defence released a statement Nov.15 that said three members of the Georgian Armed Forces were patrolling the Bagram Air Base territory when a suicide bomber blew himself up.

#2: At least three Afghan border policemen and 10 militants were killed after Taliban militants attacked security checkpoints in the country's eastern province of Kunar Saturday morning, police said.

Hundreds of armed Taliban attacked on military and civil foundations of Nari district, Kunar province this morning. According to reports, clashes continue between assailants and military forces in several regions of Nari district. Eyewitness said that hundreds of Pakistani and Afghan Taliban militants are involved in the attack.

#3: At least six militants were killed and eight others captured on Saturday during raids in Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province. "The raids took place in the mountainous region of Bolan district where insurgents and militants are believed to have safe hide outs," a security official said.

#4: Three armed commanders of Taliban were killed in clashes of ANA forces in Kapisa province the other day. Qari Sharbat, Qari Neyazullah and Qri Shaker were targeted by ANA forces in different parts of Tagab district and lost their lives. Eight people affiliated to Taliban group were also wounded in the clashes.

#5: former provincial representative of Herat and one of prominent Islamic scholar in the west of the country was killed by unknown gunmen late yesterday night. Shaikh Azisullah Najafi targeted by unknown gunmen and lost his life in Herat city.

#6: At least five militants were killed following a US drone strike in eastern Kunar province on Friday, local security officials said Saturday.

#7: At least 40 Taliban militants were killed and 10 others were injured following military operations in the past 24 hours.

Friday, November 14, 2014

War News for Fridayy, November 14, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Jet strikes killed at least 30 suspected militants and destroyed a number of insurgent hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal region. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), foreign militants were among the 30 who were killed when jet fighters carried out airstrikes in North Waziristan's Dattakhel area. The area is off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to independently verify the exact numbers and identity the dead.

#2: A policeman was killed on Friday when armed men attacked a checkpost in Quetta's Hana area.
Police sources told Dawn that four armed motorcyclists resorted to indiscriminate firing at a police checkpost in the Nasarabad area of Hana.

#3: Unknown gunmen shot dead a prominent cleric in western Herat province of Afghanistan late on Thursday, local officials said.