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

Monday, February 10, 2014

War News for Monday, February 10, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from a non-combat related injury in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, February 10th.

Reported security incidents
#1: An explosion has hit the eastern part of the Afghan capital and damaged at least two vehicles. There was no immediate word on casualties. A witness says Monday's blast was a suicide attack on a convoy of foreign military vehicles. Police and ambulances rushed to the scene near the Pul-i-Charkhi prison. Two civilian vehicles lay overturned and nearby shop windows were shattered from the force of the explosion. A local shopkeeper named Jameel, who uses only one name, says he saw two NATO vehicles leaving the prison and a car slamming into the second one.

#2: Pakistani officials said separatist rebels have blown up three gas pipelines, leaving millions of households not able to heat their homes. Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited officials said the militants attacked the Punjab province pipelines late Sunday. Punjab is Pakistan's wealthiest province and the power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

One woman died in explosions when separatists from south-western Pakistan blew up three major gas pipelines, cutting supplies to millions of domestic and industrial consumers.

#3: At least four women were killed in Peshawar city in the north west when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside their house, police official Ihsan Shah said. The attacker was reportedly aiming to detonate the explosives at a funeral service but entered the house after he was spotted and challenged by the police.

#4: At least 17 soldiers were injured when a bomb blast targeted a security forces convoy in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan on Monday, local media reported. The incident took place when a roadside bomb struck a convoy of paramilitaryFrontiers Constabulary (FC) in Tali area of Sibi district.

#5: Up to six militants were killed and five others wounded in southern Afghanistan's province of Helmand, an army source said on Monday. "Three Taliban militants were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) they were planting to target security forces went off prematurely along a main road in Nad Ali district overnight," General Mohammad Nasim Sangin, commander of 3rd Brigade of the 215 Army Corps in Helmand told Xinhua. He said three militants were killed and five others wounded after the Taliban launched an armed attack on an army patrol in the neighboring Nahr-i-Saraj district late Sunday. No army personnel was hurt in the attack, he noted.

#6: Afghan police backed by the army have killed 17 Taliban militants during a series of operations across the conflict-hit country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement on Monday. "The national police backed by the national army have carried out a series of operations in Nangarhar, Laghman, Zabul, Maidan Wardak, Khost, Paktika and Helmand provinces leaving 17 armed Taliban insurgents dead," the statement said.

#7: Local authorities in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan announced Monday that an aircraft has crashed in Dai Merdad district. Provincial governor spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani, confirming the report, said that the incident took place late Sunday evening in a mountanous region.