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 11, 2013

War News for Monday, February 11, 2013

Taliban struck Prince Harry's Afghan base after troops 'let down their guard' - Commanders at Camp Bastion had become preoccupied with halting deadly insider attacks by members of the Afghan forces and believed a frontal assault by the Taliban was unlikely.

With New Control, General to Focus on Withdrawal in Afghanistan

Withdrawal of US military equipment begins from Afghanistan - Pakistan's custom officials on Sunday said that withdrawal of US military equipment from Afghanistan has begun as the first convoy of around 25 containers left for Karachi via Torkham border.

Twelve containers of the foreign forces entered Pakistan on February 6, eleven on February 7 and two on February 8 on the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham,” a customs official at Torkham told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).

The U.S. moved 50 shipping containers into Pakistan over the weekend, said Marcus Spade, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The containers were the first convoys to cross into Pakistan as part of the Afghan pullout, he said.

Reported security incidents
#1: Units of Afghan police have killed nearly three dozen Taliban militants during series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Monday. “Police have launched eight cleanup operations in parts of Kunar, kapisa, Wardak, Kandahar, Logar, Khost, Paktia and Helmand provinces over the past 24 hours during which 34 Taliban rebels have been killed, five injured and six others made captive,” the statement added. However, it did not say if there were any casualties on police. Taliban militants fighting the government have yet to make comment.

Afghan government forces during operations against Taliban militants in Marja district of Helmand province 555 km south of Kabul eliminated nearly a dozen Taliban fighters, a local official asserted. "Afghan police in coordination with the units of national army launched operations against Taliban rebels in Marja district today morning and so far 11 armed rebels have been killed," Wilad Hakimi, the police chief of Marja district said. The operation, he said, would continue for next two days to ensure law and order there in Marja district.

#2: One Afghan policeman was wounded Sunday morning when a police mobile was struck by a roadside planted bomb in Kunduz, the capital city of northern province of Kunduz. "An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off when a police vehicle was running in Zakhil area wounding one policeman at around 8 a.m. local time," a witness named Mohammad Harif told Xinhua.

#2: Roadside bomb hit a vehicle of Afghan army in the eastern Nangarhar province 120 km east of Kabul on Monday, leaving one person dead and injuring another, a local official said. "A mine planted by militants on a road in Khogyani district, struck a vehicle of national army in Mimla village at around 10:00 a.m. local time today killing a soldier and injuring another," a security official Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal told Xinhua.

#3: According to local security officials in eastern Ghanzi province of Afghanistan, an explosion rocked eastern Ghazni city on Sunday evening. Provincial security chief Gen. Mohammad Hussain confirming the report said the incident took place after an explosive device planted near the provincial high peace council office went in Alberuni street at the center of Ghazni city. He said there are no reports regarding the casualties as a result of the explosion. In the meantime Hafizullah Amiri member of the provincial council said at least three security guards of the high council office were injured in the blast.