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, August 29, 2013

War News for Thursday, August 29, 2013

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in western Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 28th.
NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in esatern Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 28th. (see #1 below)

Flattened Afghan village reflects on US bombardment

Reported security incidents
#1: Seven people were killed in an attack claimed by the Taliban on a base operated by Polish and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan. Ghanzi province's deputy governor said the attackers detonated an explosive-laden truck at the rear of the base and a car bomb at the main gate, before a six hour gunbattle inside involving up to 10 of the 15 assailants. Four policemen and three civilians were killed, and 10 Polish soldiers and 52 Afghan security force members and civilians had been wounded by the time the fighting ended around 10 p.m., Ahmadullah Ahmadi said.

The ambush raised the death toll from Taliban strikes on Wednesday to more than 30, including a US soldier, four policemen and three civilians who died when insurgents tried to storm a NATO-Afghan base in the eastern city of Ghazni. In Wednesday's attack in Ghazni, about ten insurgents attacked a base that houses the provincial reconstruction team, one of the units that deploys foreign military and civilian staff to help development projects. After a suicide bomb was detonated at the entrance, some insurgents managed to enter the base before being shot. Ten Polish soldiers were wounded.

#2: Taliban insurgents have killed 15 police on a key highway in western Afghanistan, officials said Thursday, the latest in a growing number of rebel attacks as NATO-led troops withdraw. "Highway One" is Afghanistan's main national road, connecting the cities of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif. "A convoy of police who went to inspect a highway patrol unit were caught in a Taliban ambush on Wednesday," Farah province spokesman Abdul Rahman Zhuwandi told AFP. "There was fighting between them in which 15 national police were killed and 10 wounded, while several Taliban were also killed."

#3: A 24-year-old Navy SEAL from Billings is recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., after being critically wounded in Afghanistan by a makeshift bomb.

#4: Three US-led soldiers have been wounded in a bomb attack that hit a tank in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar. Afghan security sources said the attack was carried out in Daman District overnight. Local officials say the tank hit a roadside bomb.