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, February 20, 2014

War News for Thursday, February 20, 2014

Police identify 2 Americans found dead on Maersk Alabama -- 'Captain Phillips' ship -- The two men worked for Trident Group, a Virginia-based maritime security services firm. The company's president, Tom Rothrauff, said the men were former Navy SEALs.

Reported security incidents
#1: Pakistani air force jets bombed militant hideouts in the country's volatile northwest Thursday, officials said, after government efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Pakistani Taliban broke down earlier this week. A Pakistani military official and two intelligence officers said Thursday that 15 suspected militants were believed to have been killed in the air strikes. The air strikes hit villages in the North Waziristan tribal region late Wednesday, a hotbed of militant activity that borders Afghanistan to the west, as well as the Khyber tribal region on Thursday morning.

#2: A suicide bomber was killed and one person injured when a blast rocked Kabul Thursday, the country's interior ministry said in a statement released here. A man who strapped an explosive device to his body blew himself up in Charahi Sarsabzi area at 9.15 a.m. today. Meanwhile, an eye witness speaking on condition of anonymity disputed the claim of the interior ministry, insisting two persons were killed and four others were injured in the suicide attack that caused panic among the war weary Afghans.

#3: The ministry of interior on Thursday in a statement quoted a Dr. Abdullah’s campaigner, Fazel Sancharaki as rejecting any insurgents’ armed attack on his convoy in eastern Nangarhar province. The ministry said the incident took place at about 4:40pm in Kulkin Tonal area on the Sarubi-Kabul highway, where the assailants were forced to leave the area after failing to impose life loss on a district police convoy patrolling the site.