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 21, 2013

War News for Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Polish MoND is reporting the death of a soldier unreported by NATO. Senior Private Paweł Ordyński died from a roadside bombing north-west of Ghazni, Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 20th. One additional soldier was wounded in the attack.

Military takeover of lethal drone operations under consideration

Reported security incidents
#1: Police say a roadside bomb has killed a district administrator and two of his bodyguards in northern Afghanistan. Thursday's attack in Takhar province came as Afghans were celebrating the first day of the Persian new year, or Nowruz. Police spokesman Abdul Khalil Asir says the bomb went off as the official drove over a bridge near his home in Ishkamish district.

#2: At least twelve people were killed on Thursday by a car bomb at a camp in northwest Pakistan for people displaced by fighting between government forces and Islamist militants, police said. The bomb exploded in the Jalozai camp in Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, an area bordering Afghanistan and a stronghold for insurgents bent on toppling Pakistan's U.S.-backed government. "Food was being distributed among the internally displaced persons when the blast took place," Nowshera police chief Mohammad Hussain told Reuters, adding that 35 people were wounded.

#3: Eight Afghans were killed and eight others sustained injuries as two blasts hit the restive Helmand province in the south and relatively peaceful Takhar province in the north on Thursday, officials confirmed. In the first blast which took place in the premise of a Medressah or religious school in Marja district of the southern Helmand province with Lashkar Gah as its capital 555 km south of Kabul, five people were killed and six others injured, provincial administration spokesman Farid Zirak said. “An explosive device, apparently a suicide vest, exploded inside a Medressah in Shin Ghazak village of Marja district at around 07:00 a.m. local time, leaving five seminarians dead and injured six others,” Zirak told Xinhua.

Pol/MoND: Senior Private Paweł Ordyński