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

Friday, April 20, 2012

War News for Friday, April 20, 2012

NATO trucks caused Rs 100 billion damage to roads: Pak

Afghan insurgents post propaganda videos on latest attacks

Russia criticises NATO's pullout from Afghanistan

M-8 helicopter crashes in Kazakhstan

Reported security incidents
#1: A United States helicopter crashed in bad weather in southern Afghanistan on Thursday after it responded to evacuate Afghan police officers wounded in a suicide attack on a police checkpoint, an Afghan official said. Two Afghan officials said the crash killed four Americans. Late on Thursday, however, NATO confirmed only that one of its helicopters had crashed in southern Afghanistan. It said on Friday that its investigation was ongoing, and would not say whether those on board had been killed nor confirm their nationality. Other news organizations reported that the helicopter was an American Black Hawk. The helicopter went down around 9 p.m. in the Garmsir district in southern Helmand Province, according to Mohammad Fahim Gorbati, the district governor. Both Mr. Gorbati and a provincial Afghan security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four Americans had died in the crash.

A Black Hawk helicopter crashed Thursday in southern Afghanistan, killing all four of its crew members, all of them Americans, a U.S. military official said. The crash occurred in bad weather, though the official said, "We cannot yet rule out enemy action."

The Taliban claimed responsibility Friday for downing a Black Hawk helicopter in southern Afghanistan. "Yesterday (Thursday) evening Taliban fighters shot down a helicopter and killed all its passengers in Khanashen Dewalak area near Garmsir, southern Helmand province," a Taliban spokesman wrote to CNN.

#2: Local security officials in southern Helmand province on Thursday announced at least 10 militants were killed following military operations by Afghan national army soldiers. According to a statement released by 215 Maiwand Afghan National Army Brigade media office the militants were killed following a joint military operation by Afghan national army and Afghan national police forces at Washir district of southern Helmand province.

#3: In a separate incident a militant was injured and was detained along with a motorcycle after he ambushed a convoy of the Afghan security forces patrol in Garmsir district.

#4: At least 19 insurgents were killed and detained following joint military operations by Afghan and coalition security forces in eastern Nangarhar and Paktia provinces, ISAF said. According to a press release issued by the International Security Assistance Force Afghan and coalition forces killed 13 insurgent and captured six suspects in eastern Afghanistan during operations throughout the past 24 hours.

MoD: Sapper Connor Ray