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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

War News for Wednesday, September 18, 2013

High rate of spinal injuries among troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan

Afghanistan commitment to human rights waning -U.N.

Clashes in capital Kabul as security forces hunt suicide bombers

Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban assassins riding motorbikes have gunned down a senior election official in northern Afghanistan, raising fears the presidential vote due in April will trigger a surge in violence. Amanullah Aman, the head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Kunduz province, was killed by two gunmen outside his home in Kunduz city as he left for work on Wednesday.

#2: At least five Pakistani citizens were killed Wednesday when Afghan border security forces opened fire in an area near the Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan, security officials said. According to Levies officials, who wished not to be named since they were not authorised to speak to the media, Afghan forces opened indiscriminate gunfire in the Pak-Afghan border area of Qamar Din, around 350 kilometres from Zhob city. The sources said at least five people were killed and up to 20 others injured in the incident.

#3: At least two militants were killed as security forces repulsed an attack on a check post in Dattakhel Tehsil of North Waziistan tribal region on Wednesday, the military said. One soldier was also wounded in the attack, security sources said.

#4: Three policemen were killed and seven police officers wounded Wednesday in a shooting incident in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, said the authorities. "Following an argument inside the Khanshin district police station, a firing took place at around 11:00 a.m. local time. As a result three officers were killed and seven others wounded," the district governor Anwar Khan told Xinhua.

#5: Fifty-five Taliban militants were killed and 37 wounded in separate joint military operations since early Tuesday, said the Afghan Interior Ministry Wednesday morning. "Afghan National Police, army, National Directorate for Security (NDS) and the coalition forces conducted several joint clean up operations in surrounding areas of Balkh, Badakhshan, Kunar, Nangarhar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Logar, Paktiya, Helmand, Kapisa and Herat provinces, killing 55 armed Taliban and injuring 37 others over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement presenting daily operational updates.

#6: According to local authorities in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, at least six Taliban militants were killed following a US drone strike in this province. Provincial security chief Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Kheli confirming the report said the airstrike was carried on Tuesday evening in Chapa Dara district.

US/DoD: Staff Sgt. Randall R. Lane