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 16, 2012

War News for Thursday, February 16, 2012

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Feb 16

Reported security incidents
#1: A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at a house in Pakistan's northwest tribal region near the Afghan border Thursday, killing six people, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The attack occurred in Spalga village in the North Waziristan tribal area, the main sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Pakistan, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The identities of those killed were unknown.

#2: Twelve people were killed in the second drone strike within 12 hours in North Waziristan on Thursday, security officials said. Officials said that a car was targeted in Khaisoor area of the agency’s Mir Ali town. The attack was confirmed by two other security officials in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan region, known as a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda linked militants. Security officials said several other militants were wounded but the exact number was not immediately known.

#3: A homemade bomb planted in a vehicle exploded in the city of Quetta in the southwestern Baluchistan province, police officials said. There were no casualties.

#4: A militant threw a hand grenade at police officials in the northwestern city of Peshawar, wounding three people, police officials said.

#5: One soldier and eight militants were killed in a skirmish between Pakistani forces and a group of militants in the town of Wana in the South Waziristan tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, intelligence officials said.

#6: A suicide bomber detonated his explosive jacket in the town of Dir Khas in the northwestern Upper Dir district, near the Afghanistan border, killing two people and wounding another five, police officials said. The bomber targeted members of a local pro-government, anti-Taliban militia, officials added.

At least three people were killed and seven others were injured in a suicide bomb attack targeting a gathering of local pro-government peace militiamen in Pakistan's northwest Upper Dir area on Thursday morning, reported local media. Earlier local media reports said that the attack took place in Lower Dir area, but they later changed the venue of the attack to Upper Dir. According to a report by local Urdu TV channel Samaa, the incident took place at about 11:30 a.m. (local time) when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a meeting of local pro- government peace militiamen in Upper Dir area, a district located in the country's northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Three participants of the meeting including a son of a tribal leader were killed right on the spot while seven others sustained injuries.

#7: According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least 3 Afghan civilians were injured following a NATO air raid at eastern Ghazni province. District police chief for Deh-Yak in eastern Ghazni province Faiz Toofan said, at least 3 Afghan civilians including a 7 year old Afghan kid were injured after a missile struck in Alo-Khel village in this district last night.

#8: Several armed insurgents were killed following armed clashes with the Afghan and coalition security forces in northern Afghanistan. According to a statement issued by International Security Assistance Force, fghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban leader in Shirin Tagab district, Faryab province.