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, May 17, 2012

War News for Thursday, May 17, 2012

Overnight U.S. drone strike kills 2 al-Qaida leading members in Yemen

Reported security incidents
#1: A group of suicide bombers armed with explosive-laden vests, automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades stormed a government compound Thursday in western Afghanistan, killing at least seven people, officials said. One of attackers first blew himself up at the gate of the governor's complex in Farah province, then three others fought their way inside, said Raouf Ahmadi, the regional police spokesman. An ensuing two-hour gunbattle with the police left all the attackers dead, Ahmadi said. He said six policemen and one civilian were also killed in the attack, while another 12 people were wounded.

#2: Elsewhere, Taliban militants attacked a NATO supply convoy overnight in Herat province. Provincial police spokesman Raouf Ahmadi said one police officer, two security guards and a militant were killed in the fighting.

#3: Two police officials were killed while two were injured on Thursday morning when unknown assailants opened fire on them on the Eastern Bypass in Quetta. According to a police official, the deceased – both police constables – were identified as Murtaza and Sanaullah, while ASI Muhammad Hussain and Constable Deen Muhammad were injured. The officials were on a routine patrol when the attack took place. The assailants fled the scene after the attack.

#4: Afghan defense ministry following a statement on Thursday announced at least 5 Afghan national army soldiers were killed or injured in three separate incidents. The statement further added an Afghan national army soldier was killed following armed attacked by militants at Wardaj district of north-eastern Badakhshan province. In a separate incident two Afghan national army soldiers were injured following militants attack at Mano district in eastern Kunar province and another Afghan soldier was injured in southern Helmand province, the statement added. Afghan defense ministry officials following the statement also said Afghan national army soldiers killed a roadside bomb planter in eastern Khost province.

#5: Afghan Interior Ministry officials following a statement on Wednesday announced at least 14 Taliban militants were killed following clashes with the Afghan national police forces in eastern Paktia and north-eastern Badakhshan provinces of Afghanistan. The source further added the clashes took place at Haji Aryoub district around 1:30 am local time between Taliban militants and Afghan border police forces. Taliban militants ambushed a patrol convoy of the Afghan national police forces and at least 9 militants were killed in cross fire, Afghan interior ministry official said adding that Afghan security forces also seized 9 AK-47 rifles and some other weapons and ammunitions.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Israel P. Nuanes