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, June 20, 2013

War News for Thursday, June 20, 2013

NATO is reporting the deaths of four ISAF soldiers from an indirect fire attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, June 19th. News reports that a mortar/rocket attack in Bagram air base killed four soldiers.

Taliban demanding five senior operatives before opening peace talks. - snip - The Afghan Taliban are ready to free a U.S. army soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay as a conciliatory gesture, a senior spokesman for the group said Thursday.

Talks between U.S., Taliban on Afghan war expected 'in the next few days'

Family identifies Carson soldier killed in Afghanistan

Scrapping equipment key to Afghan drawdown - snip - Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants ambushed an army convoy in northwest Pakistan late on Wednesday killing six soldiers and wounding two others, military officials said. The vehicles were patrolling the Matani area, 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Peshawar - the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province - when they came under attack. "Militants used rockets and small arms and an exchange of fire continued for about 15 minutes," a military official said.

#2-3: At least three people including one national directorate for security (NDS) personnel and a teacher were killed, when a roadside mine went off in Jalalabad, the capital city of eastern Nangarhar province, an official said Thursday. The incident took place early this morning, when a mine blew up in Zoorabad area of the city leaving three people killed, police chief spokesman, Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal told Wakht News Agency.

In the same area, another mine blast killed one people and wounded two others including NDS personnel the vehicle of whom struck the mine said an eyewitness on condition of anonymity.

#4: According to local authorities in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan, at least nine Taliban militants were killed following a US airstrike in this province. The officials further added that the airstrike was carried out in Pul-e-Alam district on Wednesday night. Deputy provincial security chief Gen. Raees Khan Abdul Rahimzai confirming the report said the militants were killed in Alozai area in Pul-e-Alam district. Mr. Abdul Rahimzai further added Afghan national army soldiers also arrested at least six Taliban militants from the same area. He said at least eight Pakistani Taliban militants and seven Afghan militants were killed in a separate operation at Baraki Barak district.

#5: According to local authorities in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, at least five Afghan Local Police (ALP) officers were killed following an insider attack in this province. The incident reportedly took place in Greshk district at Zambuli area check post after an Afghan Local Police (ALP) officer shot dead his five comrades.