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, December 26, 2012

War News for Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide car bomber targeting a U.S.-operated base in eastern Afghanistan killed at least three Afghans and injured six others Wednesday, officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties among U.S. or North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces. Afghan officials said the attack happened shortly after 7 a.m. near the entrance to Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khowst, a province near the border of Pakistan that is a hotbed of insurgent activity. The bomber detonated a minivan packed with explosives when stopped by Afghan security guards at a checkpoint on a road leading to the base, said Provincial Police Chief Abdul Qayoum Baqizoy. One of the guards and two civilian drivers were killed in the blast, which also injured six other people, he said.

#2: In the meantime a local police official said the assailant struck Wednesday as the convoy was traveling to the airport near the capital of Khost province, which borders Pakistan. NATO command could not confirm the attack and Afghan authorities had no further details.

#3: Two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and three children were injured in two explosions in Shahkas and Sepah areas of Bara and Jamrud on Tuesday, sources said. The first incident was reported in the Shahkas area of Jamrud where an explosive device placed near the resident of a tribesman, Gohar, went off injuring his three children, sources said. Administration officials rushed to the explosion site and collected evidence for a probe, sources said. In the second incident, a security forces' convoy was targeted with a remote-controlled bomb, planted by militants, on the roadside in Sepah area of Bara, sources said. Two FC troops, identified as Nauman Ahmad and Shaman Gul, were injured and moved to a military hospital. A tank was also destroyed in the explosion, sources said. Meanwhile, a militant was killed and another wounded in a shootout between two militant groups in Maidan, a far-flung area of Tirrah Valley, sources said.

#4: Two militants were killed and four persons, including two security men, received injuries in separate incidents in Khyber Agency on Tuesday, sources said. They said that a militant was killed and another injured in a firing incident in Loe Shalman area of Landi Kotal. In another incident, two security personnel were injured in a roadside blast in Bara. In Tirah, an activist of banned militant group Ansarul Islam killed his colleague Farooq Khan and injured another.