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, February 2, 2012

War News for Thursday, February 02, 2012

Final tally says 2,000 Canadians wounded in Afghanistan

Breakdown of troops in Afghanistan

Pakistan to limit unilateral US actions: Khar

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, February 2

NASA orbiter gives glimpse of moon's far side

Panetta Says U.S. to End Afghan Combat Role as Soon as 2013

Taliban Captives Dispute U.S. View on Afghanistan War

Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban militants armed with guns and grenades ambushed a police patrol in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing three officers and wounding another, police said. The attack took place in Lakki Marwat district, part of the troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that borders Afghanistan. Police said eight to 10 Taliban fighters ambushed a police vehicle, first by hurling a grenade and then opening fire with Kalashnikovs after policemen tried to retaliate. "Three policemen were killed and one was injured. Taliban later escaped," Mohammad Gulzar, the district police chief, told AFP.

#2: Suspected militants killed five policemen in a shootout in the volatile southwestern Baluchistan province early on Wednesday, police said. Some 20 militants attacked the policemen travelling in a car who were heading towards the provincial capital, Quetta.

#3: The suspected militants kidnapped a senior government official in another district of the province. (Baluchistan province)

#4: Two people were killed and several wounded in a bombing in a market on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, government officials said.

#5: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least 7 people were killed and injured following an explosion in eastern Kapisa province. The officials further added, the incident took place after a car packed with explosives went off in Nejrab district of eastern Kapisa province. District police chief for Nejrab Ata Mohammad Nazari confirming the report said, at least 1 Afghan civilian was killed and 6 others were injured following the explosion which took place in a busy market in Nejrab district. Mr. Nazari further added, the explosion took place on Wednesday evening at Chowkandaz area. He also added, the main target of the explosion was the convoy of the coalition security forces.

#6: According to local government officials in western Afghanistan, at least four Taliban militants were killed following armed clashes with the Afghan border protection police forces in western Herat province. Gen. Toryalai Halimyar deputy commander of the border protection forces in the 4th western zone said, the clashes took place last night in Keshk-Robat Sangi district after a number of the Taliban militants attacked a security check post. Gen. Halimyar further added, at least four Taliban militants were killed during the clashes which lasted at least two hours. He all added, Afghan security forces did not suffer any casualties during the clashes and armed Taliban militants fled the area.

#7: In the meantime at least 2 Afghan police service members were killed and three others were injured in a separate incident at Shindand district of western Herat province. Local security officials said, the security forces were killed following a roadside bomb explosion in Azizabad area at Shindand district. Gen. Syed Aqa Saqib provincial security chief said, the incident took place after Afghan security forces were tracing a group of the thieves in Shindand district. Gen. Saqib further added, at least two police forces were killed and 1 of them was injured during the incident.

#8: He also said, at least two other Afghan police forces were injured after an Afghan police Ranger vehicle struck with a roadside bomb in Azizabad area (Herat province) while they were on their way to assist the local residents who had suffered from natural disasters. According to Gen. Saqib, the roadside bombs were planted by Taliban militants.

DoD: Sgt. William C. Stacey