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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

War News for Tuesday, February 18, 2014

'US drones violate Pakistan sovereignty' - expert

Reported security incidents
#1: Officials say six Afghan soldiers and three civilians have been killed in two roadside bomb explosions in the eastern part of the country. Afghan army spokesman Noman Atefi said on February 18 that one of the blasts occurred on February 17 in Alasay district of Kapisa Province as an Afghan army unit was returning from an operation. Separately, a local official, Azad Khan, said a bomb attack in the eastern province of Paktia killed three civilians and wounded seven others on February 18.

#2: Militants in a restive tribal area of northwest Pakistan attacked an army checkpost and killed a soldier just hours after the government cancelled a round of talks with the Taliban, a security official said Tuesday. The checkpost attack came overnight Monday in the Ladha area of South Waziristan.

#3: Masked gunmen kidnapped a six-member polio vaccination team -- a doctor, two local employees of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and three guards -- in northwest Pakistan, an official said. Local administration official Niamat Ullah Khan said the team was seized some 300 kilometres (190 miles) southwest of Peshawar, in Ping village at the border of South Waziristan.

#4: Pakistani Taliban fighters opened fire at an army car and killed a senior officer on Tuesday, the military said, in an attack likely to destroy any prospects of meaningful peace negotiations between the government and the insurgents. "(The) exchange of fire continues," the army's press wing said in a statement, adding the attack took place near the volatile city of Peshawar on the Afghan border. The statement identified the senior officer as Major Jehanzeb and said three militants were also killed.

#5: An Afghan soldier was killed and two others sustained injuries as a roadside bomb struck a military van in Taliban former stronghold Kandahar province on Tuesday, a local official said. "A mine planted by militants struck a military vehicle in Panjwai district today afternoon killing one soldier and wounding two others," deputy to district governor, Juma Gul told Xinhua.

#6: One Taliban militant was killed as clash erupted in Sawki district of the eastern Kunar province on Tuesday, police said. "A group of Taliban rebels attacked a police checkpoint in Sawki district at 02:00 a.m. local time today but police returned fire killing an insurgent on the spot and forcing others to flee," provincial police chief Habibullah Sayedkhili told Xinhua.

#7: A number of people were killed or injured following clashes between two irresponsible armed groups in capital Kabul late Monday. The incident reportedly took place near Khair Khana area and the clashes between the two sides continued for few minutes before Afghan police forces arrived to the area.