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, January 19, 2012

War News for Thursday, January 19, 2011

Russian Says Western Support for Arab Revolts Could Cause a ‘Big War’

'Pakistan to re-open NATO routes to Afghanistan'

Afghans wage anti-US rally in Kunar

Wilmington Marine Wounded in Afghanistan - 27-year-old Corporal Josh Sams stepped on an IED in Afghanistan on Wednesday. both legs were amputated.

Rice Lake man dies in Afghanistan - On Monday night, Darrell and Jan Walker received a phone call from their daughter-in-law confirming every parent's worst nightmare. The helicopter their son Todd and two other men were flying in had been shot down in Afghanistan. All three men were killed. Todd flew helicopters for 27 years all across the world. He had spent the last year in Afghanistan, working with AAR Airlift and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Area man dies in Afghanistan - A Clay County man died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan earlier this week. AAR Airlift Spokesman Chris Mason confirmed to The Brazil Times Wednesday Michael Clawson, 51, Brazil, was one of three crew members killed in the accident, which took place in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, at approximately 10:45 a.m., local time, Jan. 16. According to reports, AAR Airlift was in Afghanistan doing work for the United States Department of Defense. AAR Airlift is a unit of AAR Corp., based in Wood Dale, Ill.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, January 19, Jan. 18th.

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber in a car blew himself up in front of an airport in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least six civilians, police said. The blast occurred at the Kandahar International Airport.

#2: Taliban fighters also attacked a police checkpoint in the Now Zad District, also in Helmand Province. At least two police officers and 12 Taliban fighters, including a local commander identified as Mullah Abdul Baqi, were killed in the ensuing gun battle, said Dawoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor. Another two officers were wounded, he said.

#3: In Nad Ali District, which authorities had declared largely cleared of insurgents over the past year, a roadside bomb on Wednesday killed the district head of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence service, along with a member of the district council, or shura, and two other people, according to Mr. Ahmadi, the governor’s spokesman. The bomb was planted near the home of the security directorate chief, Wali Mohammad, and struck his car as he arrived there at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Mohammad Ismail Hotak, the head of the Operation Coordination Center in the province. Also killed were shura member Gul Agha, a security directorate agent, and a civilian, Afghan officials said.

#4: In the second incident, which took place an hour earlier on Wednesday, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeted a joint Afghan police and International Security Assistance Force patrol in Kajaki District, northern Helmand Province. The explosion took place in a crowded bazaar area, killing three police officers and ten civilians, and wounding 22 other people, according to Mr. Ahmadi.

#5: A senior Afghan official said on Wednesday that NATO forces killed five civilians, including one woman and two children, during a night raid earlier this week in northeastern Afghanistan. A NATO statement said the alliance was aware of a military operation in Chawkay district of Kunar province on Monday and was checking into the report. Kunar province governor Sayed Fazelullah Wahidi said the raid occurred Monday night. He said coalition helicopters fired into a compound, killing two militants and five civilians, including a woman and two children.

#6: Twenty Afghan civilians, including 13 children and six women, were killed by a roadside bomb in Khoshamand district of southeastern Paktika province, said Brigadier Josef Blotz, senior spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

#7: Twelve Taliban insurgents were killed and six others wounded when a homemade bomb they were making exploded in a compound in Ghormach district of northern Faryab province on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said.

#8: One civilian was killed and ten others wounded when a rocket hit their home during a battle between foreign troops and Taliban militants in Koshk district of western Herat province, the provincial governor's spokesman, Sadiq Behrozyan, said. It was not immediately clear who had fired the rocket, he said.

#9: Four Afghan policemen on patrol were killed when a roadside bomb ripped through their vehicle in southern Zabul province, said Abdul Razziq, a senior provincial police official

#10: At least three police men were injured in a suicide blast that hit a police check post in northwestern Pakistani city of Nowshera on Thursday, reported local Urdu TV Geo. According to the report, the blast took place at about 02:20 p. m. (local time) in Akora Khattak area of Nowshera, a city some 50 km east of the provincial capital Peshawar in northwest Pakistan. The police was checking the vehicles at a check post located at the entering point of the city when a suicide bomber blasted himself injuring at least three policemen including an official. The report said that police received a tip-off by intelligence sources that a suicide bomber may target some sensitive area in the city on Thursday so the police were checking all the vehicles entering in the city.

#11: According to local authorities in northern Afghanistan, an Afghan intelligence, National Directorate for Security official was critically wounded following a roadside bomb explosion in northern Kunduz province. A spokesman for provincial police chief Syed Sarwar Hussaini confirming the incident said, the incident took place after the vehicle of the Afghan intelligence official struck with a roadside bomb wounding him critically.