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, June 7, 2012

War News for Thursday, June 07, 2012

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a helicopter crash in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, June 6th. News reports that a NATO helicopter was shot down in Ghazni province killing two American soldiers.

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghanistan's president said Thursday that 18 people killed in a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday were all civilians. NATO has so far said it has no records of civilian deaths from the pre-dawn strike Wednesday on a house in Logar province. The NATO and Afghan troops were going after a local Taliban leader when the international coalition says they came under fire and called in an airstrike on the house.

#2: Another 20 civilians were killed when a pair of suicide bombers struck within minutes of each other outside the sprawling NATO base in the southern city of Kandahar. Underlining the challenge facing security forces, two suicide bombers detonated their explosives in a parking area outside the sprawling NATO base in Kandahar which has been repeatedly attacked. The Taliban appeared to be targeting companies that provide sup-plies to NATO. Eight of the 22 killed worked for companies that supply equipment to the base. A bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up in an area packed with truck drivers and other civilians waiting to get into the facility. As people gathered at the site of the blast, another bomber walked into the crowd and detonated his explosives, said Ahmad Faisal, a spokes-man for the provincial governor.

#3: Eight persons including two children were killed while dozens injured in a blast outside a seminary at Sariab Road in Quetta, Geo News reported Thursday. According to sources, an event was taking place at Jamia Islamia Miftah-ul-Uloom when a blast occurred outside the seminary. The explosive device was strapped to a bicycle present beside the seminary gate. As a result of blast, eight persons including two children were killed while dozens were injured, hospital sources told. The bomb was detonated outside the Islamic seminary as a degree ceremony for students was being held inside, DIG Operations Qazi Abdul Wahid told reporters.

#4: Afghan army and police, backed by the NATO-led coalition forces, have eliminated 26 Taliban insurgents during cleanup operations within the past 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Thursday morning. "The joint forces conducted nine cleanup operations in Laghman, Takhar, Kandahar, Helmand, Logar and Herat provinces, killing 26 armed Taliban insurgents over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.