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

Friday, November 28, 2014

War News for Friday, November 28, 2014

U.S. seeks to build lean Iraqi force to fight the Islamic State

Reported security incidents
#1-3: Four police officers were killed and dozens of civilians injured Friday in three attacks, officials said, as a spate of deadly violence continued across Afghanistan.

#1: In the southern province of Helmand, a suicide bomber detonated a truck laden with explosives near a police checkpoint in the Nawzad district, killing four police officers and wounding five others, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, where the incident took place.

Tens of suicide bombers attacked on a military base in Shorabad district, Helmand province this morning. At first a suicide bomber exploded his improvised explosive device near entrance gate of military base and later on tens others with their heavy and light weapons clashed with militaries. A military commander of Helmand said BNA, the security forces succeeded to kill several assailants but clashes continue there so far. Yet, no casualties reported in the incident.

#2: A bomb went off inside a mosque during Friday prayers in the eastern province of Nangarhar, injuring more than 30 worshipers, according to provincial police. Seven of the injured were reportedly in critical condition.

#3: In the usually peaceful northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, a bomb planted inside a cart wounded three civilians, police spokesman Sher Jan Durrani said.

#4: Taliban fighters staged an attack Thursday evening in an upscale district in the Afghan capital Kabul, injuring a Nepali guard. Witnesses described multiple explosions and bursts of gunfire in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, which contains numerous foreign embassies and compounds housing international agencies and companies — as well as the homes of some senior Afghan government officials. Kabul Police Chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir said there were three explosions followed by extended gunfire. A Taliban spokesman said the intended target was a guesthouse in the district occupied by foreigners. The spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, refused to give further details, adding only that the target of the attack was, "enemies."

#5: Three armed militants were killed and another arrested in clashes by security forces in Maidan-Wardak province. The clashes occurred during several operations of security forces in different region of Sayeedabad and Chak districts of Maidlan-Shaher. According to media office of Maidlan-Wardak province, in the clashes three armed militants lost their lives and another arrested

#6: Taliban militants have kidnapped at least ten civilians in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the civilians were abducted late on Wednesday evening between Balkhab and Kohistanat districts.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

War News for Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: At least one British diplomat was killed Thursday after a large explosion damaged a convoy of foreign embassy cars in Kabul, police said. The suicide attack killed five people and wounded 33 others, including at least four children, said Hashmat Stanikzai, Kabul's police chief. An explosive-laden car was detonated as a foreign embassy convoy was passing by in the 9th District police zone, said interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi.

#2: A Shia cleric was killed in a drive-by shooting in Islamabad on Wednesday, a private news channel reported. According to the police, Allama Nawaz Irfani, a prominent leader of Majlis Wahdat ul Muslimeen (MWM) , was targeted on way to Islamabad from his home town Parachinar in the limits of Golrah Police Station.

#3: At least five Taliban militants were killed following military operations by Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers in southeastern Ghazni and Southern Helmand provinces.

DoD: Sgt. Maj. Wardell B. Turner

DoD: Spc. Joseph W. Riley

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

War News for Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Command Sgt. Maj. killed in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A US drone strike killed at least eight suspected militants in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt on Wednesday, security officials said. The unmanned aircraft hit a compound in Kund Sar village, 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region which borders Afghanistan

#2: Gunmen opened fire on a team of polio vaccinators in Pakistan's restive southwest on Wednesday, killing four of them and forcing authorities to halt an immunisation drive, officials said. The incident happened on the eastern outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province.

#3: "Up to 35 militants were killed and 11 others injured during military operations and clashes in three provinces over the past 24 hours,"the ministry's spokesman General Zahir Azimi said in his twitter account. Three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing attack over the same period, Azimi said.

#4: A roadside bomb struck a military vehicle in Uruzgan province, southern Afghanistan, on Wednesday, killing an Afghan soldier and injuring another, a local official said.

#5: At least three Taliban insurgents were killed following a drone strike by NATO-led coalition forces in eastern Laghman province.

DoD: Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

War News for Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from an enemy attack an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, November 24th. News reports that either a magnetic or a roadside bombing attack was carried out in Kabul killing two American soldiers and wounding an undetermined number of civilians.

Reported security incidents
#1: Early on Tuesday, a remote-controlled bomb exploded on the city's outskirts as a bus carrying Afghan army personnel passed by, said Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry. Seven of the bus passengers were injured.

#2: A later blast shook houses in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of the city, which is home to embassies, international media offices and aid groups, but there were no casualties, police said. a grenade blast in the diplomatic quarter caused no casualties but led to the arrest of a suspect, officials said.

#3: At least three militants were killed and several others reported injured in US drone attack here on late on Monday. Sources said that unmanned US spy plane targeted a compound in Nazian area near Pak-Afghan border. Four missiles were fired on the compound resultantly it was razed to ground.

#4: In another blast which occurred at 05:00 p.m. local time in Dasht-e-Archi district of the northern Kunduz province on Monday six persons, all civilians, were killed and five others injured, police said. "Anti-government militants placed explosive device inside the cavities of a motorbike and exploded it in the bazaar of Dasht-e- Archi district at around 05:00 p.m. local time Monday as a result six civilians were killed and five others injured," police spokesman in the province Sayed Sarwar Hussaini told reporters.

#5: 37 armed oppositions were killed following several clearing operations led by Afghan security forces in different parts of the country in the last 24 hours.

#6: At least three policemen martyred in a roadside mine explosion in Logar province this morning.
Deen Mohammad Darwaish Logar Acting governor spokesperson reported BNA; the incident took place while national police forces went to Dehnaw district to investigate the death case of Haji Den Mohammad Nabi a tribal elder of Mohammad Agha district. Darwaish added, their vehicle hit a roadside bomb while returning from the mentioned district and caused martyring of 3 police.

#7: Mine blast in Maiwand district of Kandahar province killed 2   Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and wounded 4 others.

Monday, November 24, 2014

War News for Monday, November 24, 2014

British personnel leave southern Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed at least 50 people during a volleyball tournament in the country's east. The match in the Paktika province district of Yahya Khel had drawn a large crowd. At least 80 more people were wounded in the attack and are being treated in various medical facilities in Kabul, the capital.

#2: Taliban gunmen wounded a polio health worker in northwest Pakistan on Monday, at the start of a fresh campaign to vaccinate children against the crippling disease, officials said. Two attackers fired bullets at the vaccinator as he came out of a health center in Shabqadar district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

#3: At least 40 Taliban militants were killed and 15 others were injured following military operations by Afghan national security forces in various provinces of the country.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament) overwhelmingly approves Bilateral Security Agreement with U.S. and the Status of Forces Agreement with NATO. The agreement allows U.S. forces to be stationed in Kabul, Parwan, Balkh, Kandahar, Paktia, Herat, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces, and exempts foreign troops from Afghan law.

Khaama press has a slightly different vote count, for some reason, and incorrectly calls the vote "unanimous" although there were a few no votes. President Ghani now calls for Senate approval.

Drone strike is said to kill 6 militants in Nuristan province.

District chief and 3 other police are injured by a roadside bomb in Enjil, Herat province.

Taliban attack a police outpost in Ghazni, killing 3.

Three ANA soldiers are killed in a bomb attack but MoD gives no specifics.

Three Taliban killed in a gun battle in Faryab.

Reuters has details on Obama's announcement that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan will continue in 2015. According to Afghan commanders, Afghan forces are not capable of defeating the Taliban on their own. "The Taliban said it is undeterred by the U.S. announcement. 'They will continue their killings, night raids and dishonour to the people of Afghanistan in 2015. It will only make us continue our jihad,' Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujajhid said."

Update: Suicide bomber attacks the crowd at a volleyball match in Paktika province.
 At least 45 people are reported killed, 50 to 70 injured, some in critical condition. The attacker is said to have arrived on a motorcycle. Although public safety officials were present, most of the casualties are said to be civilians.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

War News for Saturday, November 22, 2014

US 'to expand' 2015 Afghanistan combat role

Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan official says that one soldier and eight insurgents have been killed in an attack on an army base in the country's volatile east. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the assault Saturday in Afghanistan's remote Nuristan province along the country's mountainous border with Pakistan lasted almost three hours. He says a large number of insurgents tried to overrun the base, but were turned back.

#2: Meanwhile in eastern Nangarhar province, police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal said a car bomb killed one civilian and wounded two in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

#3: Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry "were conducting a security patrol when they were engaged by a lone gunman" on Saturday (15th) in Kabul, Maj. Stephen  Bomar said. "The soldiers subsequently returned fire, killing the gunman." One soldier was seriously injured and two sustained non-life-threatening injuries, he said, adding that "It is U.S. military policy not to release the names of the wounded."

#4: Four militants were killed and five others including a security person sustained injuries as clash flared up in Baghlan province with Pul-e-Khumri as its capital 160 km north of Kabul Friday night, a local official said Saturday. "A group of armed Taliban rebels raided a security checkpoint in Abqul area of Baghlan-e-Markazai district late last night, triggering a gun battle which lasted for a while leaving four militants dead," district governor Gohar Khan Babri told reporters. Five more persons including four militants and a security man sustained injuries in the firefight, he added.

#5: At least 19 Taliban militants were killed and 4 others were injured in military operations conducted by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.

#6: A police official was killed and two others were injured in a magnetic bomb blast in eastern Nangarhar province this morning.

#7: A Taliban bomber blew up himself with own explosives while he was trying to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in Herat province.

#8: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following roadside bomb explosion, defense officials said Saturday. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Afghan soldiers were martyred in the past 48 hours.