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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

War News for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, July 17th.
NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, July 18th.

Reported security incidents
#1: A NATO helicopter crashed Wednesday in western Afghanistan, injuring two troops serving with the U.S.-led military coalition, NATO said. No other information was disclosed about the crash in the relatively peaceful west. The crash is under investigation.

#2: A bomb ripped through a vehicle in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt on Wednesday, killing thirteen civilians including two children, officials said. The bomb exploded in Sepoy village in Orakzai district, said senior administration official Zakir Hussain. "It was remote-controlled bomb planted on the road. The bomb exploded near a pick-up van carrying passengers," Hussain told. The blast killed seven people on the spot while six others succumbed to their injuries after reaching the hospital.

#3: Up to nine Afghan army soldiers were killed and seven others injured on Tuesday night when Taliban launched an attack against army checkposts in southern Helmand province, a provincial official said Wednesday.

#4: Up to 25 Taliban insurgents have been killed in joint military operations in different provinces within the past 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said Wednesday morning. "Afghan police, army and NATO-led coalition forces carried out 25 cleanup operations in 18 provinces over the past 24 hours, killing 25 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 21 other suspects," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates. Eight other armed militants were injured in the above raids, the statement said without saying if there were any casualties on the side of security forces.

#5: According to local authorities in northern Samangan province of Afghanistan, a convoy of oil tankers and other NATO supplies were burnt at Rabatak area in this province. Provincial security chief Gen. Khalilullah Andarabi confirming the report said the convoy included 18 oil tankers and 4 other trucks of NATO supplies. Gen. Andarabi further added the incident took place early Wednesday morning around 3:00 am local time. He also said at least two drivers of the oil tankers and the trucks were injured following the incident.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Carl E. Hammar

DoD: Sgt. Erik N. May

DoD: Spc. Sergio E. Perez Jr.

DoD: Spc. Nicholas A. Taylor