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, November 21, 2012

War News for Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a NATO base in Kabul's heavily-fortified diplomatic district on Wednesday, killing two Afghan security guards and wounding two government officials, police said. The Taliban, leading an insurgency against US-led troops and the Afghan government, claimed responsibility and said the target was a CIA office. "One suicide attacker and two security guards were killed in the attack and one security guard was injured," Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi told AFP, dismissing reports that a second bomber was involved. Shrapnel hit a passing vehicle of NATO's International Security Assistance Force but no personnel were injured, a spokesman said. "All ISAF bases in the green zone are secure," he added.

#2: A total of seven Taliban have been killed and 11 others detained by the Afghan police within a 24-hour time, the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement earlier Wednesday. "Afghan National Police (ANP) supported by the army and NATO- led Coalition Forces launched seven joint cleanup operations in Nangarhar, Wardak, Faryab, Kandahar, Zabul, Logar and Khost provinces, killing seven armed Taliban militants and detaining 11 other suspected Taliban over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in the statement.
#3: Separately, a policeman with the ANP and two Taliban militants were killed and a policeman was injured when Taliban raided a police post in southern Helmand province overnight. "Taliban launched an armed attack against a police checkpoint in Musa Qala district mid-night sparking an hour-long fighting which results in the death of a policeman and two Taliban militants," a spokesman for provincial government, Ahmad Zirak, told Xinhua Wednesday morning.

#4: In eastern Logar province, 60 km south of Kabul, another Afghan and coalition forces unit killed several insurgents during an operation in search of a high-ranking Taliban leader and weapons facilitator Wednesday morning, the coalition statement further said. "As the Afghan and coalition security force approached the Taliban leader's suspected location, multiple insurgents armed with rocket propelled grenades and small arms maneuvered against and attacked the combined force. The partnered force returned fire, killing several insurgents and defeating the attack.

#5: At least five people were killed and several others injured in a blast in the Shahbaz Town area of the city (Quetta), Geo News reported Wednesday. CCPO Quetta Mir Zubair said three security personnel were among those killed in the blast. Zubair added that initial investigations showed that the blast was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted on a motorcycle. Following the blast, firing was also reported in the area. Buildings and vehicles in the area were also damaged due to the blast. According to initial reports, the blast targeted a security forces' vehicle.

#6: Two Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed and eight more injured in separate violence-related incidents across the country, the Ministry of Defence announced Tuesday. A defence ministry press release available with the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) stated the ANA soldiers suffered casualties in separate blasts and attacks of the enemy in Nangarhar, Ghazni, Helmand and Laghman provinces over the past 24 hours.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Dale W. Means