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

Thursday, March 7, 2013

War News for Thursday, March 07, 2013

US to equip Afghan army with drone capabilies: Gen. Mattis

Reported security incidents
#1: At least five suspected militants were killed during a security forces operation in the northwestern tribal region of Orakzai. The militants were killed in the tribal region’s Ghundamela area after which security forces took control of the insurgent hideout.

#2: Separately, in Orakzai’s Nadirmela area, a remote-control bomb attack targeted a security forces vehicle, killing one security man and wounding three others.

#3: Pakistani security forces swooped down militant hideouts in Orakzai Agency, killing at least 12 and taking control of one their bastions in the region, FP News desk reported on Thursday. Sources said that five militants were killed in clashes as troops advanced in Ghunda Mela to take control of their stronghold. Seven others were killed when forces launched operation in Nadir Mela after a blast struck security forces’ vehicle which killed one soldier and injured three others.

#4: Two people were wounded as two bomb blasts rocked Herat city, the capital of Herat province 640 km west of Kabul, on Thursday, police said. The first blast took place next to the office of provincial governor and close to a sport stadium at 11:10 a.m. local time and the second one happened a few minutes later on the road leading to the Herat airport, deputy to Herat police Abdul Hamid Hamidi said. "In both the incidents the terrorists planted explosive devices on two motorbikes and detonated by remote control which injured two people, both civilians," Hamidi told Xinhua. The first blast near a sport stadium where a public gathering was supposed to be held left two injured, but the second blast targeted a police van on the road harmed no one, the official stressed.

#5: According to local authorities in western Farah province of Afghanistan, at least 12 Afghan national police officers were killed or injured following an explosion in this province. The officials further added the incident took place in Khak-e-Safid district, killing at least 3 police officers and injuring 9 others. A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Taliban militants had planted a land mine inside the field of opium in Khak-e-Safid district. He said the blast took place while Afghan police officers were busy with destroying the opium fields, killing two Afghan police along with an Afghan national army officer. In the meantime the security official in Farah province said at least 3 militants were killed and 5 others were injured following a separate gun battle in this province.