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

Monday, February 18, 2013

War News for Monday, February 18, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants wearing suicide vests and disguised as policemen attacked the office of a senior political official in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, killing five people, police and hospital officials said. The target of Monday's attack in the city of Peshawar was the office of the top political official for the Khyber tribal area, a major militant sanctuary in the country. The militants were disguised in the same type of uniform worn by the tribal policemen who protect the compound. Four militants opened fire on the policemen protecting the compound and managed to get inside, said senior tribal policeman Sajad Hussain. Once inside, three of the attackers detonated their suicide vests, said Hussain. It's unclear what happened to the fourth attacker. The dead included four tribal policemen and one elderly civilian, said police officer Noor Mohammed Khan. The wounded included four tribal policemen and three civilians, he said

#2: Up to 21 Taliban militants have been killed and 21 others arrested in one-day military operations across Afghanistan, said the country’s Ministry of Interior Affairs on Monday morning. “Afghan National Police (ANP) in partnership with army and the NATO-led coalition forces conducted nine cleanup operations in nine provinces, killing 21 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 21 other armed suspects over the last 24 hours,” the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates. Five other insurgents were wounded in the above raids, it noted.

#3: On Sunday evening, two militants were killed and four others wounded when militants raided a police checkpoint in the country’s northern province of Jawzjan, the provincial police chief Abdul Aziz Ghirat told Xinhua on Monday, adding no ANP service member was harmed in the attack.

#4: Two Taliban insider attack facilitators have been killed in eastern Afghan province of Kunar, the NATO-led coalition forces confirmed on Monday. "Afghan and coalition forces confirmed today the death of the two Taliban insider attack facilitators, Mahmood and Rashid, during a security operation in Ghaziabad district, Kunar province, Wednesday," said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a press release.

#5: At least eight militants were killed when warplanes pounded suspected hideouts of Taliban insurgents in Upper Orakzai on Sunday. A security forces’ official claimed that three hideouts of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were destroyed in raids in Tambo Sar, Mir Kalam Khel and Lando Qamar areas of Mamozai, killing eight militants. This was the 10th raid on the TTP in the region since the beginning of 2013. Around 84 suspected militants have been killed and over 28 hideouts destroyed in these attacks, the official said.

#6: Four Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were injured in a roadside bomb blast in Razmak subdivision of North Waziristan Agency on Sunday. An official of the security forces said around noon four FC personnel on foot patrol were scanning the Sarobi area for IEDs when a low intensity IED exploded and injured them.

#7: According to local authorities in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan a group of unknown gunmen attacked the vehicles of a de-mining organization in this province. Arghis district chief in southern Kandahar province Abdul Ghani said unknown gunmnen on Saturday attacked the vehicles of DAFA de-mining organization and torched one vehicle.