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, December 31, 2011

War News for Saturday, December 31, 2011

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, December 30

Reported security incidents
#1: A bomb ripped through a military vehicle Saturday killing two Pakistani soldiers in a village in the restive northwestern tribal area bordering Afghanistan, a security official said. The remote-controlled bomb planted on a roadside hit a patrol party leading a convoy of security forces at Boya village, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town of troubled North Waziristan tribal district.

#2: A car bomb outside the home of a former lawmaker killed 13 and wounded 30 in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, said Nazir Kurd, a senior police official there. The lawmaker's son, who was the target of the attack, survived the blast, he said. The slain worked for the son, Shafiq Mangal. His father wasn't home at the time of the attack, Kurd said.

#3: Pakistani gunship helicopters attacked a militant hideout near the Afghanistan border in the Razmak area of the North Waziristan tribal region, killing a militant and wounding eight others, security officials said. The death toll could not be independently verified and militants often dispute official accounts.

#4: Pakistani jet fighters bombed militant hideouts in the Jogi area of northwestern Kurram tribal region near the border with Afghanistan, killing 21 militants and wounding several others, local military officials said.

#5: A roadside mine killed four civilians and wounded one in Trinkot city of southern Uruzgan province on Friday, the interior ministry said in a statement.

#6: Afghan forces, backed by NATO-led Coalition troops, have killed 15 armed insurgents and detained 55 other suspects in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, Afghan Interior Ministry said on Saturday morning. "Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan National Army and international Coalition Forces launched 18 joint operations in Kunar, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Takhar, Baghlan, Kandahar, Helmand, Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Khost, and Herat provinces over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a press release.

Local Security officials in eastern Kapisal province on Saturday said, at least 8 militants were killed and injured following a cleanup operation in Tagab district by Afghan security forces. Tagab district security chief Gen. Shah Agha said, the operations were conducted by Afghan and NATO troops for the past three days and several regions have been cleared from the militants during the operation. According to Gen. Shah Agha, around 1,000 Afghan and NATO troops had participated in the operation. He also said, at least three militants were killed and five others were injured during the operations.