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, May 3, 2013

War News for Friday, May 03, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: A U.S. military aircraft is missing after taking off Friday in Kyrgyzstan, a Kyrgyz official said. The plane is from the Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan, according to Kylychbek Dosumbetov, the nation's Transport Ministry press secretary. A section of the airport is a U.S. air base that serves as a supply hub for forces in Afghanistan.

A U.S. military transport plane (refueling) carrying fuel crashed on Friday near the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, an official from Kyrgyzstan's Emergencies Minister said. "(The plane) caught fire in the air and crashed," the official said. The plane disappeared from radar near the Kyrgyz village of Chaldovar, 90 km (55 miles) from the U.S. airforce base at Manas in Kyrgyzstan, which U.S. forces maintain for operations in Afghanistan.

#2: Four militants, including a senior insurgent leader, were killed Friday when Afghan forces and the NATO-led coalition troops launched an operation in northern province of Baghlan, according to coalition statement issued here. "An Afghan and coalition security force killed a senior insurgent leader, Jamal, who had ties to both the Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Three other insurgents were killed and two insurgents detained during the operation in Burkah district, Baghlan province, today," the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

#3: In addition, the joint forces also killed four insurgents and detained 12 other suspects during separate operations in eastern and southern provinces earlier in the day and Thursday, according to the statement.

#4: Units of Afghan national police have killed nearly five dozen Taliban militants across the conflict- ridden country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Thursday.