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, January 22, 2014

War News for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Edward Balli, Salinas native and soldier, killed in Afghanistan -- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli

U.S. Military Eyes Afghan Force of 10,000, or a Pullout

Reported security incidents
#1: At least six Pakistani police officers were killed Wednesday while escorting a Spanish tourist as he cycled through the highly volatile southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said. The cyclist and his escort of local tribal police were ambushed in Mastung district, some 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of the provincial capital Quetta.

#2: As many as 47 militants were killed in the evening of Jan. 20 and early hours of Jan. 21 in North Waziristan following Taliban bomb attacks on security forces, according to a military official who asked not to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak publicly. Another 14 were killed yesterday in the northwestern Khyber region near the Afghan border. Three Germans, 33 Uzbeks fighters and and a few Taliban commanders were killed in strikes on militant hideouts in North Waziristan, the official said.

#3: a bomb rigged to a bicycle exploded next to a police patrol on its way to guard a polio vaccination team. Six officers were killed as well as a boy who was nearby, said officer Shafiullah Khan. The blast happened in the Charsadda district, just outside the provincial capital of Peshawar. The bomb also wounded 11 people, four of them tribal policemen, Khan said.

#3: According to local authorities in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, at least 14 Taliban militants were blown up by their own explosives in this province.

#4: At least 14 Taliban militants were killed and 4 others were injured following joint military operations by Afghan national security forces during the past 24 hours.

#5: The Afghan security forces foiled coordinated suicide attacks in western Nimroz province of Afghanistan, after three suicide bombers were shot dead on Tuesday afternoon.