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, April 15, 2014

War News for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Baghdad buttresses defenses ready for wholesale Al Qaeda assault on city

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen have abducted the Afghan deputy public works minister in Kabul, officials say. Ahmad Shah Wahid was on his way to work on Tuesday when five gunmen ran his car off the road in northern Kabul, dragged him into their four-wheel-drive vehicle and sped away, said Gul Agha Hashim, the city's police chief of investigations. The armed men shot and wounded Wahid's driver when he tried to drive away to safety, said the public works ministry spokesman Soheil Kakar.

#2: Two Pakistanis were killed in an explosion in Afghanistan near the Pak-Afghan border, some 200 miles north of the city. "They went to the other side of the border and died in the explosion. It is yet to be known whether they were killed in a hand grenade attack or a landmine explosion," Balochsitan Home Secretary Asad Gilani said.

#3: A 16-inch diameter gas pipeline was blown up in Dera Bugti on Tuesday, suspending gas supply to the Sui plant from five pipelines. An unofficial of the Levies personnel said unknown militants planted explosives in the pipeline of wells No 12, 15, 21, 23 and 29 in the Pirkoh area of Dera Bugti. The explosive device was detonated via remote control, thereby damaging the pipeline and suspending gas supply from the wells to the Sui plant.

#4: Another pipeline was blown up in a remote area of Balochistan’s Dera Bugti district, suspending gas supply to Pir Koh gas plants.

#5: One Afghan soldier was killed in a blast, said the Defense Ministry on Monday. "An Afghan National Army soldier was martyred following an improvised explosive device(IED) attack within the last 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.

#6: A roadside bomb organized by militants struck a vehicle in Khost city, the capital of Khost province 150 km southeast of Kabul, on Monday, killing two people and injuring eight others, all civilians, police said. The tragic incident happened at around 04:00 p.m. local time today when a vehicle of traffic police was passing Balandmanzil line area in Khost city, killing two civilians and injuring eight others," a senior police officer in the city, Faizullah Ghirat told Xinhua.

#7: Dozens of local residents in Hesarak district of Nangarhar province have started armed campaign against the Taliban militants. According to local government officials, heavy clashes were reported between the two sides since early Tuesday morning. He said there are no reports regarding the casualties so far and the local residents are supported by Afghan police forces.

#8: At least seven Taliban militants were killed and six others were arrested during military operations by Afghan security forces in the past 24 hours.

#9: Unknown gunmen shot dead a prominent religious scholar in western Herat province of Afghanistan on Monday night. Local officials in Herat province confirmed that Mir Farooq Hussaini was shot dead in Herat city by unknown gunmen riding a motorcycle.