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, January 23, 2014

War News for Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Gun battles between Taliban militants and police have left six insurgents dead and injured nine others in the northern Saripul and Faryab provinces Wednesday night, local officials said Thursday. "Taliban rebels raided a police checkpoint in Saripul city Wednesday night but police returned fire killing four rebels on the spot and injuring nine others," provincial police chief Noor Habib Noor told Xinhua. In similar conflict which took place in Qaisar district of the neighboring Faryab province on the same night, police had killed two Taliban militants, the police spokesman in Faryab province, Sayed Masoud yaqubi, said.

#2: Five Minnesota National Guard soldiers from the Litchfield, Minn., unit have been wounded in an attack in Afghanistan. The soldiers were injured Monday, at 10:30 a.m. Afghanistan time, during an attack on Forward Operating Base Pasab in Kandahar Province, according to a statement from Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard.

#3: Five people were killed and many others sustained injures in a blast near Kohat Road, Peshawar, Express News reported on Thursday. The explosion took place near a pick-up stand in the Scheme Chowk area, however, the exact nature of the blast is not known as yet.

#4: Armed militants opened fire and killed five civilians in the eastern Laghman province on Thursday, a local official said.

DoD: Chief Warrant Officer Edward Balli