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, July 10, 2014

War News for Thursday, July 10, 2014

5 reasons the new Afghan civilian casualty report is awful

Ground Battles in Afghanistan Contribute to Surge in Civilian Casualties, U.N. Says

District falls to Taliban control in Ghor province

Reported security incidents
#1: A new wave of violence has swept through Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan, as a government building came under attack yesterday. Quoting Dawa Khan Menapal, a spokesman for Kandahar government, Reuters reported that 11 assailants were involved in the raid. Two attackers detonated explosives they had attached to themselves, while the rest continued a gunfight with security forces. All insurgents were killed by security forces, but the attack also left two policemen and four civilians dead.

#2: The Taliban shot and killed six people working for a demining company in western Afghanistan, police said on Thursday, a day after the United Nations said the number of civilian casualties in the country jumped by a quarter in the first half of 2014. "The Taliban killed six de-miners from the Halo Trust landmine clearance organisation while they were on an operation in Kohsan district of Herat. They abducted three people," said Abdul Rauf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.

#3: The Pakistani military has seized control of 80 percent of Miranshah, the capital of the remote tribal region of North Waziristan, where the military launched an operation against Islamist militants last month, a general said on Wednesday.

#4: The U.S. Thursday carried out a drone strike killing at least four suspected militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, where Pakistani troops are conducting a military offensive against militant groups, Pakistani officials said.

#5: Unidentified militants killed five paramilitary soldiers today in an attack on a Frontier Corps (FC) post in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province. Five soldiers were killed in the attack which happened at Duki area of Loralai district, Radio Pakistan reported.

#6: At least two policemen were killed on Wednesday night after suspected terrorists attacked a patrol vehicle in Peshawar, according to a senior police officer. “A police van was on routine patrol when it was attacked in the Wahidabad area of Chamkani,” said Ejaz Khan. He said three men, believed to be affiliated with terror outfits, targeted the police and killed two officers on the spot. “One attacker was killed after police retaliated,” he added.

#7: Jets bombed insurgent hideouts in the North Waziristan Agency and killed at least 13 militants on Tuesday, the military said. The strikes were carried out at Degan village, a stronghold of Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal district.

#8: At least five persons were injured today in a bomb attack in northwest Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The bomb was planted on a motorbike on the Railway Road near a bank in Bannu city, police said. Five people were injured in the attack.

#9: About 33 militants have been killed and 20 others wounded in Afghan army's operations carried out in the country since early Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

#10: Four armed insurgents were killed in an operation conducted by ANA forces in Pakita province last night.

#11: An explosion took place in capital Kabul early Thursday morning leaving at least one person dead. The incident has took place in Karte Parwan area of Kabul city after a magnetic bomb planted in a police vehicle went off. A security official confirmed that a policeman was killed and another one was injured following the blast.