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, August 23, 2012

War News for Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pakistan black marketers cheer NATO supply reopening

Turkish soldiers kill 16 PKK militants after convoy attack

32 killed as flood wreaks havoc in Pakistan

Reported security incidents
#1: Officials in Pakistan say militants have shot dead three police officers in Pakistan's troubled northwest. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killings, but police said Taliban militants are suspected. Police said the militants fired on a patrol and fled. The attack occurred in the Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, along the Afghan border.

#2: An Afghan army vehicle has hit a roadside bomb in northern Afghanistan, killing three Afghan soldiers and wounding three others. Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Afghan National Police in northern Afghanistan, says the explosion occurred around 3 a.m. Thursday as the soldiers were patrolling in Baghlan province.

#3: According to local security officials in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, heavy casualties were incurred to Taliban militants following clashes with the local residents in this province. Provincial National Directorate of Security NDS chief Syed Amir Shah Sadat confirming the report said clashes between Taliban militants and local residents started after Taliban attacked villagers of Koh-Nesf in Andar district. Mr. Sadat further added local residents clashed with the Taliban militants which continued for several hours. He said dead bodies of two Taliban militants among several killed or injured were left in the area.

#4: Afghan police have killed over a dozen Taliban militants and arrested 11 others during series of operations over the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Thursday. "Units of police in conjunction with the national army and the NATO-led coalition force during series of cleanup operations in Kabul, Kunduz, Kapisa, Kandahar, Logar, Zabul and Ghazni provinces have killed 15 Taliban militants and arrested 11 others over the past 24 hours," said the statement. However, it did not say if there were any casualties on the security forces.

#5: According to local authorities in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan, a convoy of the NATO-led International Coalition Security Forces struck with a roadside improvised explosive device in this province. The officials further added the exact details regarding the casualties as a result of the today’s incident are not known yet. The incident took place early Thursday morning in Khanqa area in Bagram district. Bagram district chief Abdul Shakoor Qudoosi said the incident took place while NATO troops were patrolling in the area. He said a vehicle of the NATO troops was damaged following the blast.