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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

War News for Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pakistan Slow to Rebuild Swat Valley a Year After Offensive

Reported security incidents

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban fighters launched a pre-dawn attack on a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, triggering a firefight with foreign and Afghan forces that left eight militants dead. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said its troops and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stationed at Jalalabad airport came under attack, but that none of their forces were killed. "The forward operating base received small arms fire from an unknown number of insurgents and after gaining positive identification of insurgent fighting positions an ANA and ISAF quick reaction force was sent to the area," it added. "Initial reports indicate no ANA or ISAF servicemembers were killed." One of the attackers was wearing a suicide vest, ISAF said.

#2: Elsewhere a motorcycle bomb exploded in a market in a remote town in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing eight people and injuring 18 others, a district official told AFP. The bombing in Imam Saheb district in Kunduz province was similar to previous Taliban attacks, the authorities told AFP, but could not immediately say who was responsible. "A bomb placed in a motorbike detonated in the middle of a bazaar. Eight people -- two local police and six civilians -- were killed and 18 others, all civilians, were injured," said Imam Saheb district chief Mohammad Ayoub Haqyar.

Later, two policemen and six civilians were killed by a bomb on a motorbike in Kunduz province, local officials said. Another 18 people were wounded in the attack on a crowded market, which appeared to target a local militia leader in Emam Sehab district.

#3: ISAF and Taliban forces were fighting in Kunar province's Watah Pur district, the governor of the eastern province said. An ISAF spokesman confirmed the report of fighting but said he had no details.

#4: An ISAF air strike on a Taliban headquarters in the Now Zad district of Helmand province killed seven insurgents on Friday, ISAF said in a statement.

#5: An ISAF air strike targeting a Taliban senior leader killed several insurgents in the Baghlan-e Jadid district of northern Afghanistan's Baghlan province on Friday, ISAF said.

#6: At least eight Islamist militants were killed in a a shootout with security forces in the northwestern Orakzai region on Saturday, local officials said. Two soldiers were wounded.

#7: Three missiles fired by an unmanned U.S. drone aircraft hit a car in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, killing three militants, local intelligence officials said. There was no independent verification of the incident.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Dakota R. Huse