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, September 13, 2012

War News for Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: Military operations carried out by the Afghan police, army and the NATO-led coalition forces have claimed the lives of 15 Taliban militants in different Afghan provinces within the past 24 hours, authorities said Thursday. "Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan army and intelligence agency in collaboration with the coalition forces launched 13 joint cleanup operations in Kapisa, Baghlan, Jowzjan, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Wardak, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika and Helmand provinces over the past 24 hours," the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement issued here. "As a result of these operations, 15 armed Taliban were killed, four wounded and 10 others were arrested by the ANP," the statement said, adding that the joint forces also found and seized weapons and explosive during the above raids. The statement did not say whether there were any casualties on the side of security forces.
#2: At least five people were killed as a blast hit a vehicle in Pakistan's northwest Landi Kotal area close to the Afghan border on Thursday morning, reported local media Express. The blast took place at about 8:30 a.m. local time when a roadside planted remote-controlled bomb hit a vehicle in the Zakha Khel area of Landi Kotal, a main town in the country's northwest trial area of Khyber Agency, said the report. Details about the bombing attack are not immediately available as it occurred in the remote areas close to the Afghan border.

At least four members of tribal peace militia were killed in a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Khyber Agency, Geo News reported. Official sources said a remote-control detonated bomb struck the pro-government tribal peacemakers in Tirah Valley near Landi Kotal during the early hours of Wednesday.

#3: In another development, a mortar fired from unknown location hit a house in the Akka Khel area of Khyber Agency earlier this morning, killing four people and injuring two others.

#4: The Taliban on Wednesday shot dead an influential figure, hours after kidnapping him in the Shireen Tagab district of Faryab province, an official said. Ghayas Arab, a pro-government tribal elder from Qara Sheikhi area, was kidnapped along with another man from the Lab Shor village, the district chief told Pajhwok Afghan News.

#5: A government official says gunmen have killed seven road construction workers in southwest Pakistan. Javed Ahmad says the shootings took place today in Mastung district in Baluchistan province. Ahmad is a local official in Mastung, which is located about 20 miles east of the provincial capital, Quetta.