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 30, 2014

War News for Thursday, January 30, 2014

Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan

Military Plans Reflect Afghanistan Uncertainty

Reported security incidents
#1: Three Danish soldiers have been injured in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province when their car was hit by an improvised explosive device placed in another vehicle.

#2: Two police officers were killed on Thursday in a suicide car bombing in eastern Afghanistan while another suicide attack was foiled by security men in another area of the same province, officials said. According to provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a car bomber targeted a police and intelligence compound in Nangarhar province’s Pachir Wagam district, killing two policemen and injuring four others in the blast. Also on Thursday, a suicide bomber was shot by officers as he tried to attack the home of a member of Afghanistan’s parliament in the city of Jalalabad. Provincial spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal said the bomber’s suicide vest detonated when he was shot. The blast killed only the bomber.

#3: An influential cleric who supported the Afghan Taliban in their war against U.S.-led forces has been shot dead in Quetta, officials said on Thursday. “Two unknown gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Maulana Abdullah Zakiri” as he was on his way to a mosque on Wednesday night, said senior police official Abdul Razzaq.

#4: A bomb destroyed a pickup truck at a petrol pump in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing one person and wounding 12 others, police said. The explosion took place in the Naseerabad district of Balochistan province.

#5: Ten militants were killed and 20 others injured in an ongoing military operation conducted by Afghan security forces in southern Afghan province of Helmand, authorities said on Thursday.

At least 37 Taliban militants were killed during joint military operations by Afghan national security forces.