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

Monday, May 20, 2013

War News for Monday, May 20, 2013

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Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber has killed at least 14 people in northern Afghanistan's Baghlan province, including a senior local politician, police say. Haji Rasool Khan Mohseni was the head of the provincial council. Police officials told the BBC that an attacker wearing military uniform detonated a suicide vest at the gate of the council's headquarters in Baghlan's capital Pul-e Khomri. At least five people were injured in the attack.

#2: Unidentified gunmen attacked two empty trailers returning from Afghanistan in Jamrud Tehsil of Khyber Agency on Sunday morning, official and tribal sources said. The sources said the gunmen opened fire on the trucks near Ali Masjid in Jamrud. The trucks overturned and sustained damage as a result of the attack. However, the occupants of both the vehicles escaped unhurt in the ambush, the sources added.

#3: Similarly, three time bombs planted on the Jamrud and Landikotal bypass roads were also defused before it could go off. It was learnt that two water-coolers packed with explosives had been placed on the Landikotal bypass road near the offices of the Communication and Works Department while the other bomb was planted on Jamrud Bypass Road to target the Nato supply line.

#4: Gunmen attacked a polio vaccination team in Bajaur district on Monday, killing a policeman who was providing security, officials said. The attackers opened fire as the team was going to administer polio drops in Kalam town in Bajaur district, one of the seven tribal areas along the Afghan border, local administration official Suhail Ahmed Khan said.

#5: Seven insurgents have been killed in joint operations in eastern Afghan provinces, said the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Monday. "Afghan National Security and Coalition Forces killed seven insurgents, detained four suspected insurgents, discovered two weapons caches and found and safely cleared eight improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours," the ISAF's Regional Command-East said in a press release. The raids were conducted in Khost, Paktiya, Paktika, Nangarhar and Wardak provinces, the release added.

#6: A plane with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) made hard landing in Logar province 60 km south of Kabul on Sunday, a statement of the alliance released here said. "An International Security Assistance Force C-130 had a hard landing in Logar province, Afghanistan today," the statement added. The statement without providing more details stressed that, " There are no casualties, and there was no indication of insurgent activity in the area at the time."