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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

War News for Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The DoD is reporting the death of Sgt. Ahmed K. Altaie. He was previously listed as missing/captured (MIA) and on Saturday, February 25th reclassified as dead. He was was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen wearing military uniforms have stopped a bus in northern Pakistan, ordered selected passengers to get off and then killed 18 of them in an apparent sectarian attack, police said. The victims were all Shiite Muslims, a minority in Pakistan that is frequently targeted by extremists from the majority Sunni community, said lawmaker Abdul Sattar. A spokesman for a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for the killings. Around 27 other people on the bus were spared. The incident in the remote Kohistan region. The attack took place in the mountainous village of Harban Nala, which is 211 miles north of the capital Islamabad. The area, part of the famed Silk Road linking northern Pakistan to China, is populated by Sunni tribes. Police officer Mohammad Azhar said the bus was travelling from Rawalpindi city to Gilgit when the gunmen attacked.

#2: In the volatile Nawzad district of Helmand province a group of seven Taliban militants died while trying to cut a pipe bomb and fit it into a vehicle yesterday, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP. “The explosive-packed pipe detonated killing a Taliban commander along with six of his fighters,” he said.

#3: On the same day, seven people, including six women, were killed in an explosion in Nawa district of the same province inside a house used by a local Taliban commander Mullah Manan, a senior security official said. “We have intelligence that the Taliban commander was making bombs inside the house,” Mohammad Ismail Hotak told AFP.

#4: Four soldiers and 10 militants were killed in a skirmish between Pakistani forces and a group of militants in the Seplatoi area of the South Waziristan tribal region late on Monday, security officials said on Tuesday.