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, May 15, 2014

War News for Thursday, May 15, 2014

Afghan election commission formally announces second round of presidential polls --   elections will be held on June 14

Final Afghan vote results released

Results Force Runoff in Afghan Presidential Election

Inside rebel tunnels in Homs -- CNN video

Reported security incidents
#1: A shootout between Afghan and Pakistani border guards killed one Afghan policeman on Thursday in a remote southern region where the border between the two countries is poorly marked, officials said. According to police spokesman Zia Durrani in the Afghan province of Kandahar, the skirmish started shortly after dawn and lasted for about two hours. The two sides engaged in sporadic exchanges, using rifles and firing rockets across the boundary, he said

#2: update An unmanned aircraft fired missiles in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area on Wednesday, killing ten suspected terrorists. According to sources, the drone fired three missiles targeting suspected militants in Nazyan area of Khyber Agency.

#3: Up to 10 people were injured in an explosion Thursday in western Afghan province of Herat, police said. "At around midday, an explosive-laden motorcycle was detonated at the middle of Obe district bazaar. The blast occurred when a police vehicle was running the area, leaving eight civilians and two police wounded," the district police chief Shiraqa Alokozai told Xinhua.

#4: In another development, 10 militants, including three local Taliban leaders were killed when the militants launched an attack against police checkpoints in Gereshk district, southern Helmand province, the provincial government said in a statement, adding no police were hurt in the attack which occurred early Thursday morning.

#5: Eight people, including three police and five militants, were killed Wednesday evening in a skirmish in southern Afghan province of Kandahar, near Pakistan border, source said. "Five militants raided Border Police facilities in Spin Boldak district. Two militants set off their suicide jackets. Three militants were killed by police firing," a police spokesman Zia Durrani told Xinhua. He said three border police were killed while five others got wounded as a result of exchange of the fire lasting for three hours in the district in southern of the provincial capital Kandahar city.