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

Friday, March 22, 2013

War News for Friday, March 22, 2013

Wounded Iraq vet ending struggle

Afghan spy chief secretly visited Pakistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A member of Afghanistan's government-backed militia programme has shot and killed five of his colleagues, an official has said. The shooting happened on Thursday morning in a remote part of Badghis province's Qadis district, provincial government spokesman Mirwais Mirzakwal said.

#2: A U.S. drone attack in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan tribal district killed at least three suspected militants early Friday, an intelligence official said. The strike took place just after midnight in Datta Khel area west of the region's main town of Miranshah, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "A pair of missiles hit a vehicle shortly after midnight" Wednesday night he said, without providing any further details or the identity of those killed.

#3: A bomb planted on a motorbike killed eight people and wounded another 15 on Friday, Express News reported. The bomb, detonated by remote control, exploded near a bus station in the remote town of Dera Allah Yar, around 170 miles (270 kilometres) southeast of Quetta, the provincial capital. “At least six people have been killed and more than 15 injured. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle,” police official Qamar Ul Hasan told AFP. Hasan said the target of the attack was yet not clear.

#4: One person was killed and four were injured when unknown militants attacked Nato containers in Peshawar and the Khyber tribal region on Friday, FP News desk reported. According to Hayatabad police, the militants attacked a Nato container in Peshawar in which one person was killed and three others were injured. “One of the injured is in a critical condition,” hospital officials said. Moreover, in Khyber’s Jamrud area, a Nato container was attacked and its driver was injured. The vehicles were badly damaged in both incidents.

#5: According to local authorities in north-eastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan, Afghan security forces took control of various security check posts during clashes with the Taliban militants. Security check posts including “Barabara and Ghano” were under the control of Taliban militants during the past one week, which was confirmed by security officials in Wardoj district. Wardoj district governor Dawlat Mohammad Khawar said heavy clashes took place between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants which started at 8 pm on Thursday night and continued until 3 am on Friday morning. In the meantime provincial governor spokesman said a vast military operation was conducted in Wardoj district which resulted in death of 43 Taliban militants and control of the security check posts were taken by Afghan security forces. There are no reports if Afghan security forces and civilians have suffered any casualties during the clashes.