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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

War News for Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: Seven civilians were killed aboard a U.S.-contracted cargo plane that crashed shortly after takeoff from Bagram air field in Afghanistan on Monday, according to the international military coalition. The cause of the crash has not been determined, Capt. Dan Einert, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, told The Times Tuesday morning. Einert said there was no indication of enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.

Five of seven people killed in the crash of a civilian plane at an airfield in Afghanistan were from Michigan, an official of a Florida-based air cargo company said Monday night. The plane crashed just after taking off Monday from Bagram Air Field, north of the Afghan capital. The U.S.-led military coalition said it was investigating what caused the crash. The Boeing 747-400 was carrying vehicles and other cargo, according to an official of Orlando, Fla.-based National Airlines. Those killed were four pilots, two mechanics and a load master, who is responsible for making sure that the weight and balance of the cargo is appropriate, said company Vice President Shirley Kaufman.

#2: Eight Taliban militants were killed and two others made captive as fighting flared up late Sunday in Kohsan district of Afghanistan's Herat province, 640 km west of Kabul, provincial police chief Rahmatullah Safi said Monday. "Units of police launched operations against Taliban militants in Kohsan district late Sunday night. The operations lasted for few hours during which eight rebels had been killed and two others were captured,"Safi told Xinhua.

#3: Five Afghan police were killed after Taliban militants stormed a checkpoint of Border Police Force in Badghis Province 555 km northwest of Kabul late Sunday night, spokesman of provincial administration Sharafudin Majidi confirmed Monday. "The Taliban rebels attacked a checkpoint of Border Police Force in Balamurghab district late last night, leaving five policemen dead," Majidi told Xinhua. Another policeman was injured in the offensive, he added. Some Taliban militants were also killed in the firefight, the official said, but he did not give an exact figure.