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, December 30, 2014

News of the Day for Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Oh yeah, that'll work: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction  politely asks anybody who has information about US funds being stolen, wasted or abused to help recover the money.

Meanwhile, the war goes on. Pro-government militia commander Faizullah is killed by an IED in Ghazni, along with 3 of his men.

The Defense Ministry says 8 Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in the past 24 hours, without providing specifics. However, one incident has been reported, a suicide car bomb attack on a base in Maidan Wardak, which killed 2.

The Interior Ministry claims 36 insurgents killed, but as usual I don't link to it because they don't mention police casualties, which we only find out about in the aggregate, based on monthly or quarterly summaries. However, it appears that the police do more than fight Taliban. Elders from Nijrab, Kapisa, come to Kabul to protest police brutality, claiming among other grievances that 6 police gang-raped a 12 year old girl.

A report emerges that madrasa students killed an Afghan soldier on Sunday as he was praying at a mosque in Baghdis. Apparently the school promotes extremism, and is among many unregistered private religious schools.

No surprise, the Taliban are claiming that the end of the NATO combat mission represents victory for their cause.

"We have not been defeated. We have not signed any agreement with the United States to conclude the war, then where is the sense that America put an end to the war? This means that the US and its allies have been completely defeated and are fleeing from the battlefield," Taliban spokesman Zabiul Mujahid said. . . .

In a statement on Monday, the Taliban said that the withdrawal of ISAF showed that perhaps the countries that invaded the country finally realised that the mission in Afghanistan was "the most idiotic decision of modern history".

Canadian former diplomat and current think-tanker Daryl Copeland sums up:

As coalition members rush for the exits, there have been many attempts to explain what went wrong, which by my reckoning includes just about everything. That said, few in positions of authority are admitting failure. Clearly, among responsible senior officials, more than a few of whom managed to eke a promotion or two out of the war, there is no appetite for a searching retrospective.
While awaiting the attribution of some form of culpability for the wilful blindness which plagued the ISAF mission, it may be useful to look ahead with a view to identifying some of the main winners and losers.

Copeland's losers are the United States, NATO, and the Afghan people. His winners are China, Russia, and drug traffickers. 





Monday, December 29, 2014

Required reading for Monday, December 29, 2014

James Fallows, in The Atlantic, discusses the relationship between the American military and American polity. It's a lengthy piece, that covers many important issues and makes many important points. It defies summary, but here's a key pull quote:

If I were writing [a history of the temper of our times], I would call it Chickenhawk Nation, based on the derisive term for those eager to go to war, as long as someone else is going. It would be the story of a country willing to do anything for its military except take it seriously. As a result, what happens to all institutions that escape serious external scrutiny and engagement has happened  to our military. Outsiders treat it both too reverently and too cavalierly, as if regarding its members as heroes makes up for committing them to unending, unwinnable missions and denying them anything like the political mindshare we give to other major public undertakings, from medical care to public education to environmental rules. The tone and level of public debate on those issues is hardly encouraging. But for democracies, messy debates are less damaging in the long run than letting important functions run on autopilot, as our military essentially does now. A chickenhawk nation is more likely to keep going to war, and to keep losing, than one that wrestles with long-term questions of effectiveness.

We support our troops, even revere them. But the utter, unalloyed failure of the 13 year, $1.5 trillion intervention in Iraq is forgotten. We keep shoveling in money and sending other people's children off to distant lands we know nothing about, only to fail, again and again. And we don't question any of this. Read it.

Also, David Wood in the Puffington Host (which I don't link to on my other blog because it is a wretched hive of quackery and and woo, but this isn't about health and they're credible on other issues). The NATO mission utterly failed to create a functioning logistical infrastructure for the Afghan National Army. Excerpt:

Out in the field, trucks and armored vehicles and weapons broke down or wore out and there were no spare parts, or mechanics, to fix them. Neither was there a process for turning in broken gear, so commanders would simply order new ones and leave the old broken stuff rusting out back. When the IG's gumshoes went to check out the problem they found units with 150 to 200 percent more vehicles than they were authorized because so many were broken. . . .

Some 200,000 weapons were missing from the central depot, according to an investigation by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction.


And so on. Very depressing.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ceremony in a basketball court at NATO headquarters marks the formal end of the NATO combat mission. However, while remaining NATO forces will have a formal mission of providing training and "assistance" (whatever that means) to Afghan forces, a separate U.S. force will continue to provide security, logistical support, and engage in "counterterrorism." In other words a limited combat role for U.S. forces will continue. Five thousand Americans will remain with the NATO contingent of 12,000, while 5,500 U.S. troops will remain in the separate, combat role. In other words, no, the U.S. war in Afghanistan is not over. (And I'll still be here, too.)

Sticky bomb injures 2 people in Kabul. Bakhtar does not describe the target. However, this likely refers to this same incident, in which TOLO says 3 members of the Ulema council of central Maiden Wardak were injured.

Bomb in a shop in Laghman province kills 2 people, including a tribal elder who was the apparent target. Two are also injured.

Police in Helmand province say they have a arrested a woman who was planning a suicide attack on a police checkpoint.

Police say they have also thwarted a planned attack in Kandahar and arrested 5 militants.

Update on the NATO airstrike in Logar on Friday, that killed civilians. Originally reported to have killed 3 and injured 2, the casualty total is now given as 5 killed and 6 injured. They had been involved in a violent dispute over land but local authorities had arranged a truce. NATO apparently mistook them for insurgents. NATO, of course, has not commented. (Great way to end the combat mission, guys!)

Police spokesperson says 9 militants killed in Kapisa province. No mention of police casualties, and no comment from Taliban.

TOLO reports on the plight of refugees displaced by fighting in Dangam district of Kunar.

NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, Maurits Jochems, warns that international aid to Afghanistan may be cut off if corruption is not controlled.

WaPo reports on heavy casualties among the Afghan police, who are engaged in combat roles usually reserved for the military. Note that most of these deaths are not reported as they happen. I do not link to Interior Ministry releases because they give Taliban body counts but do not mention police casualties. We only get yearly reports to the effect that there are thousands of them, but they largely go unmentioned in daily news reports. That means you aren't getting the real picture even here.

“The police have lost something like 3,200 this year, so most of the casualties belong to the Afghan National Police,” [Karl Ake Roghe, the outgoing head of EUPOL, the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan] told The Associated Press. By comparison, some 3,500 foreign forces, including at least 2,210 American soldiers, have been killed in the 13 years since the war began."

In Iraq, meanwhileA high ranking general in Iran's Revolutionary Guard is killed in Samara. Meanwhile, Iran's loyal allies in the fight against IS, the United States, carries out 12 airstrikes against IS targets, striking a "tactical unit," vehicles, and an oil refinery, in both Iraq and Syria. That's according to Radio Liberty. Reuters say there were 39. Whatever. (Probably referring to different time frames, but not clear.)








Saturday, December 27, 2014

War News for Saturday, December 27, 2014


US plagued by doubts as it exits Afghan war


Reported security incidents
#1: Afghanistan's Nato-led foreign force mistakenly killed three civilians in an air strike, Afghan officials said on Saturday.

#2: Four people were killed and two others wounded after a roadside bomb hit a vehicle in the southern Kandahar province Friday night, a local official said on Saturday. "A mine planted by militants struck a car in Dand district Friday evening, leaving four persons including three security personnel and a civilian, dead," spokesman for Kandahar provincial government Samim Khapalwak told reporters. Two other civilians sustained injuries in the blast, he added.

#3: Pakistani warplanes and ground forces killed 39 militants as part of a continuing operation in a volatile tribal region near the Afghan border, the Pakistani military said. The airstrikes were carried out Friday evening in the Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal region, an army statement said Saturday

#4: One suicide bomber was killed while another blew himself up during a security forces’ operation in Pakistan’s Balochistan province Saturday morning.

#5: In a joint operation conducted by Afghan security forces 6 insurgents were killed in Kapisa province yesterday.

Friday, December 26, 2014

War News for Friday, December 26, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan officials said that a Nato air strike on Friday killed five civilians and wounded six others, just days before the US-led military coalition ends combat operations in the country. Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not immediately confirm the strike on Logar province, south of the capital Kabul, but always stresses that it tries to avoid civilian casualties.

#2: A US drone strike killed at least four militants in Pakistan's restive tribal region near the Afghan border Friday, Pakistani security officials said, the second such incident in a week.

#3: Two armed insurgents were killed and five others detained in a clash with Afghan security forces in Baghlan province. The clash occurred in Dahan-e-Ghoori district of that province while armed insurgents attacked on the base of security forces.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

War News for Thursday, December 25, 2014


Afghan Leader Tells U.N. Agency to Relinquish Control of Funds, Officials Say

Clearing Operations Starts In Two Districts of Nangarhar


Reported security incidents
#1: A drone strike killed three anti-government gunmen, including a Pakistani, and wounded two others in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday.

#2: Two Afghan anti- government militants were killed as their explosive device exploded prematurely in the country's eastern Laghman province on Thursday, said a statement released by the provincial government.

#3: In the latest incident, two Afghan soldiers were killed and two others injured as a bomb blast targeted a military vehicle in Qarghayi district, Laghman province on Thursday morning, spokesman for provincial government Sarhadi Zawak said.

#4: Two armed insurgents were killed and five others detained in a clash with Afghan security forces in Baghlan province. The clash occurred in Dahan-e-Ghoori district of that province while armed insurgents attacked on the base of security forces.

#5: A local police commander with two other policemen were martyred in explosion of a mine in Logar province yesterday. The incident occurred in Hesarak region, Pul-e-Alam capital of that province, while a policeman wanted to defuse a mine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

War News for Wednesday, December 24, 2014


U.S. has Spent $1.6 Trillion on Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

''A new chapter in Afghan-NATO ties''

Four including Chinese killed in AJK dam accident

US Navy investigating soldier who claimed to have shot Bin Laden

For first time, ISIS downs and captures coalition pilot -- a Jordanian

Afghan cabinet formation in final stage

Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Omar is in Karachi city of Pakistan


Reported security incidents
#1: Deputy Mayor of Ghani Khail district, Nangarhar province was shot dead by unknown gunmen today.

#2: At least 22 Taliban militants were killed and 7 others were wounded following counter-terrorism operations conducted jointly by Afghan national security forces.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

War News for Tuesday, December 23, 2014


At least 60 journalists killed in 2014: Report

Taliban Push Into Afghan Districts That U.S. Had Secured


Reported security incidents
#1: More than 130 militants have been killed and injured in the mountainous Dangam district of the eastern Kunar province over the past 24 hours as clash goes on in the area, an army spokesman in the province said Tuesday. He also confirmed that one Afghan soldier had been killed and four others injured since Monday.

#2: Two persons, both civilians were injured as a blast targeted a military vehicle in Kunduz city, the capital of Kunduz province, 250 km north of Kabul on Tuesday, spokesman for provincial government said.

#3: Three rockets were fired on Farah province this morning. Jawad Afghan Farah acting governor Spokesman said BNA, three rockets were fired on central regions of Farah province which caused financial damages but there were no human loses.

#4: An explosion rocks Kabul city at 4:00 am this morning in relevant areas of 10th precinct. Col. Najibullah Samsoor director of police chief in 10th precinct told BNA correspondent, the explosion took place in Qala-e-Fathullah region, but there were no casualties or damages for residents.

Monday, December 22, 2014

War News for Monday, December 22, 2014


Pakistan to execute 500 militants


Reported security incidents
#1: At least 28 militants have been killed in Afghanistan, the defence ministry said on Monday.

#2: The Afghan army has waged an offensive in Dangam district of eastern Kunar province, where has been the scene of fierce clashes within the past 10 days, an army source said on Monday.

#3: An Afghan official says seven policemen were killed in a northern province after their checkpoint came under attack by insurgents. Abdul Manan Raoufi, police operational chief of Jawzjan province, says that along with the seven killed, five other policemen were wounded in the attack late Saturday in a village in the province's Qashtepa district.

#4: Finnish military personnel and Afghan security officials came under gunfire in northern Afghanistan on Saturday. The attack went on for some twenty minutes, commander Pekka Kortelainen told Yle from a military base in Mazar-i-Sharif. Kortelainen said that the attackers were rebels, and had not yet been apprehended on Sunday evening.

#5: A prosecutor of Kunar province Appeal Court was martyred by explosion of a mine yesterday.

#6: As a result of mines explosion 5 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in the country. Ministry of National Defense press office spokesman stated BNA, 5 ANA forces were targeted by mines explosion, while they were busy in their routine duties in different parts of the country.

#7: Five children who were playing close to landmine embraced martyrdom after they pulled the wire attached to it in western Farah province.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, December 21, 2014

Roadside bomb kills 7 civilians in Kunar, including 2 little girls. The UN reported Friday that 3,188 civilians have been killed and 6,429 injured by the end of November, a record high since they started keeping a tally in 2009. [Why nobody was counting before that I can't say -- C]

Seven police officers are killed and 5 injured in an attack on a checkpoint in Jawzjan province. [This is in northern Afghanistan; there has been little reported violence from the area previously. -- C]

An Afghan soldier is killed by a sticky bomb in Jalalabad. A separate incident in the same city injures a civilian.

Afghan journalist Zubair Hatami, who was injured in the Dec. 11 attack on the French Institute in Kabul, dies of his injuries.

Taliban dispute UN's assertion that they are responsible for 75% of civilian casualties.

Four prisoners released from Guantanamo and sent to Afghanistan include Taliban leader Mohammad Zahir, who was a top intelligence official with the organization. More detail here. It is not stated what their status will be in Afghanistan; presumably they will be under some form of observation or restriction. The Afghan government has agreed to their repatriation. More on this from the Afghan perspective here. There is hope this will contribute to peace negotiations.

A group of 20 insurgents in Badkhshan province surrender their weapons and pledge to live peacefully.

Police in Sar-e-Pul say they are looking for a group of 10 women  who are engaged in bomb making and trying to recruit other women to insurgency. Purportedly they were trained in Pakistan. [No teling how credible this is -- C]

In Iraq,  Kurdish forces have entered the town of Sinjar after opening an evacuation corridor for Yazidi refugees trapped on the nearby mountain. Kurdish president Masoud Bazani has toured positions on Mt. Sinjar, indicating that the area is secure. However, fighting continues in the town.

Shafaq News is a Kurdish media operation which has recently gone on-line in English. I can't yet assess their credibility, but they are claiming additional successes in Tel Afar, including the capture of 20 villages in collaboration with Iraqi national government forces. However, a separate somewhat confusing report from Shafaq says that many of the Turkmen inhabitants of the area are fleeing the fighting to the IS stronghold of Mosul.

The U.S. will sell $3 billion worth of tanks and armored vehicles to Iraq. War is still good business.










Saturday, December 20, 2014

War News for Saturday, December 20, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF civilian from a non-combat related injury an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, December 19th.


Pakistan hangs two militants after Taliban school massacre


Reported security incidents
#1: At least five have been killed in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan by a US drone strike Saturday targeting a compound used by suspected militants, a security official reported, according to Sputnik.

#2: At least five militants were killed Saturday in a clash between security forces and militants in Pakistan’s Peshawar city. According to officials, the clash took place near Darra Adam Khel town, leaving five militants, including key commander Mustafa alias Manan of Darra Adam Khel Taliban, dead, Dawn online reported. Two security personnel were also injured in the  clash.

#3: At least 22 armed oppositions were killed following clearing operations led by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during the last 24 hours in different parts of the country

#4: Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for eastern Laghman province says Taliban insurgents fired numerous missiles at Dawlat Shah District on Friday. “One of the missile landed at a civilian house which killed one girl and injured six other members of the same family” He said.

Friday, December 19, 2014

War News for Saturday, December 1, 2014

I don't have time for a post today -- whisker

Thursday, December 18, 2014

War News for Thursday, December 18, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: At least two people were killed and three policemen injured when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in Afghanistan's capital Kabul Thursday, the police said.

#2: Security forces on Thursday found three mutilated dead bodies from the Killa Saifullah district of Balochistan, private media reported. All three victims are said to have received bullets from a close range.

#3: Six armed Taliban including a commander of them were killed in an operation conducted by ANA forces in Herat province.

#4: A group of five Taliban insurgents were killed following a premature explosion in western Herat province.

#5: Qais Qaderi, spokesman for active governor of Kapisa says an explosion occurred in front of the provincial police headquarters that injured 3 policemen and 2 shopkeepers this morning. He added that the explosives were placed in a motorcycle and the apparent target was the police.

#6: At least seven Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in the latest wave of violence across the country

#7: 2 explosions took place near National Directorate of Security (NDS) office in the main city of northern Baghlan province on Thursday. Ahmad Javid Basharat, spokesman for Baghlan police say the IEDs were placed near the NDS office but detonated as the vehicle of Sayed Ali Gawhar, ex-nominee for the provincial council of Baghlan, was passing through the area of Bagh-e-Qahwa Khana in the city. Basharat said no was killed or injured in the explosions but the vehicle was slightly damaged

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

War News for Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban militants detonated a suicide bomb and stormed a bank in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least six people as the country endures a rise in violence while US-led NATO troops pull out. The attackers forced their way inside after the bomb exploded at the entrance of the Kabul Bank branch in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the insurgency-racked province of Helmand. "The blast at the gate was a suicide attacker blowing himself up to open the way for others to enter the building," Omar Zhwak, provincial spokesman for Helmand, told AFP. "The fighting is still ongoing. Our latest report show six people, including three police, have been killed and seven wounded.

#2: A U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan killed four Pakistani Taliban and seven other insurgents, a district official said Wednesday. Mahlem Mashuq, the governor of Sherzad district in Nangarhar province, said the drone's missiles hit a pickup truck killing all 11 occupants on Tuesday afternoon

#3: A Taliban shadow governor was killed along with seven militants during a military operation in northern Afghanistan's province of Badakhshan overnight, said a police source on Wednesday morning.

#4: 34 insurgents were killed, 27 wounded and 12 others arrested during the clearance operations across the country.

#5: An explosion occurred in 3rd precinct of Jalalabad city this morning. Dr. Homayoon Zaheer head of public health department of Nangarhar province told BNA, two policemen were wounded in the incident and have been taken to hospital, but security organs said nothing about the incident.

#6: Clashes between locals and armed Taliban entered its 3rd day, chief of Kunar provincial police department BG. Abdul Habib Sayed Khail told BNA adding that as a result of this clash a number of residential houses in Dangam district were also set ablaze.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

War News for Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban insurgents launched a massive attack against local security forces in eastern Kunar province and Afghan army units have been deployed to repulse the assault, officials said Tuesday. Fighting broke out Sunday in Dangam district near the Pakistani border when fighters allied with the Pakistan-based Tehrik-i-Taliban attempted to infiltrate Afghanistan, Kunar province’s police chief, Abdul Habib Saidkhail, said. About 2,000 insurgents are involved in the fight.

#2: Taliban gunmen have stormed a military-run school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least 84 people in the worst attack to hit the country in over a year.

At least 130 people were killed and 122 injured on Tuesday in an attack by Taliban militants on a Pakistani high school, a provincial official said.

#3: Eight Afghan and Pakistani Taliban insurgents including a commander of them were killed in drone attack of NATO forces in the east of the country late yesterday night. The insurgents were targeted in suburb of Waigal district bazaar of Nooristan province and killed.

#4: Five armed Taliban including a Pakistani fighter were killed and 11 others wounded in a clash in Nangarhar province this morning. The clash occurred in Pecheragam district while a group of insurgents attacked on a military base in Bamakhail region.

#5: Afghan National Policeman was martyred by Taliban militants in Baghlan province last night. Gohar Khan Babori district governor of Baghlan Markazai told BNA, the policeman, while patrolling the area shot dead by Taliban rebels in Chawk Amam Qetaba region of the district.

#6: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in the latest wave of violence, defense officials said Tuesday.

Monday, December 15, 2014

War News for Monday, December 15, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: At least 14 armed oppositions were killed following Afghan security forces clearing operation in Dangam district, Kunar province.

#2: Afghan National Security Forces discovered and detonated a road side mine in Bagrami area, Kabul city this morning.

#3: A civilian was martyred and another wounded in a roadside mine explosion in Laghman province this morning.

#4: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD), said the Afghan soldiers were martyred in the past 24 hours.

#5: Officials say a number of insurgents have been killed and injured in the battle with the security forces following a massive attack at Dangam district of eastern Kunar province which is still ongoing. Provincial police chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhil said only four soldiers have suffered injuries in the exchange of fire. The number of the insurgents is said to be in hundreds

#6: Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, spokesman for Nangarhar police says a group of gunmen attacked a security checkpoint in Ghurband area of Chaparhar district last night leaving four attackers killed and four policemen injured. Mashriqiwal said exchange of fire took place between police and assailants following a suicide attack at the checkpoint where a number of attackers also suffered injuries.


DoD: Sgt. 1st Class Ramon S. Morris

DoD: Spc. Wyatt J. Martin

Sunday, December 14, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, December 14, 2014

Note: Whisker has announced that he will cease posting here at the end of this month. I hope he will continue to post from time to time. I will keep the blog going. U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan; there are at least 3,000 U.S. troops (that we know of) in Iraq, as well as agents of our militarized CIA. U.S. aircraft, with both live and remote pilots, continue to blow people up in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. As long as the U.S. is lethally active in those places, we bear responsibility for the fate of people there, and it is a duty of citizenship to know what is going on. I won't be able to post here every day, but I'll do my best to stay on top of major events, and give thorough weekend updates. -- C

Local security forces say Pakistani Taliban have launched an offensive in Afghanistan's Kunar province. Not a lot of details so far. As is often the case, there are claims of Taliban casualties but no word on Afghan casualties.

Fighting between two armed groups in Kunduz leads to 1 civilian death and 1 injury when a mortar lands on a house. TOLO gives no explanation of the nature of the groups or their dispute.

Six students are injured by a bomb placed near a school in eastern Nangarhar province.

A local official says Taliban commander Mullah Momen is killed in Helmand province, along with 8 of his men and two Afghan police.


President Ghani makes a defiant speech amid a wave of insurgent violence.

In IraqIslamic State fighters capture the town of Wafa in Anbar, killing 19 police and trapping others in their headquarters. IS now controls three towns west of Ramadi. The mayor says the police ran out of ammunition. "We are trapped inside the police 18th brigade. Islamic State managed to surround us today. If no government forces were sent to help us then we will be exterminated," the mayor, who was with the police forces that withdrew from al-Wafa, said by telephone.

Britain will send hundreds more troops to Iraq.

Human Rights Watch says Iraq's courts are handing down politicized sentences, calls for two political opponents of former PM Nuri al-Maliki, whose confessions HRW says were obtained under torture.

Scott Peterson of CSM says Sunni tribes pay a heavy price for opposing IS:

As Sunni tribes have been forced to choose sides – pro-IS or anti-IS, with many shades of gray in between – new divisions have brought accumulating blood feuds and a scale of slaughter in Anbar Province that is tearing at Iraq’s Sunni social fabric like never before.
Local leaders say IS intimidation is undermining the ability of any tribe to fight back, by using sleeper cells and systematic cleansing of anti-IS figures within the tribe.

Iraq asks for delay in final reparations payment to Kuwait  as falling oil prices and conflict have drained its treasury.

IS shoots down an Iraqi helicopter in Samarra, killing two pilots. (IS has MANPADs, (shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles) probably looted from Libyan stockpiles, making operating helicopters near their forces very hazardous.)

The International Criminal Court will consider hundreds of cases of torture by British troops in Iraq.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

War News for Saturday, December 13, 2014

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from an enemy attack an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, December 12th. News reports that a roadside bombing targeted a NATO convoy near Bagram Airfield, Parwin province late on Friday night.


Four new polio cases spotted, number ascends to 280

Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag (CNN Interview)

Amid Details on Torture, Data on 26 Who Were Held in Error


Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban fighters have killed at least 12 workers clearing mines in the country's south, according to an Afghan police spokesperson, but the group has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Farid Ahmad Obaid said the attack happened on Saturday at the Shorab camp in Helmand province, the Associated Press news agency reported.

#2: Afghan authorities said a senior official of the country's Supreme Court has been shot and killed in the capital, Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack that killed Atiqullah Rawoofi, the head of the secretariat of Afghanistan's Supreme Court. Farid Afzali, chief of Kabul police's criminal investigation unit, said the attack occurred early on Saturday morning near Rawoofi's home in a northwestern Kabul neighbourhood.

#3: Meawnhile, a suicide attack in the Afghan capital on Saturday targeted a bus carrying army personnel. Reports said the bus was burnt down. At least 14 people were reportedly injured, the ministry of defence told Al Jazeera.

#4: Police in northern Afghanistan said on December 12 that three militant commanders linked to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan were killed as a result of an overnight police operation in Baghlan Province.

#5: Militants killed a policeman and injured another two in Balochistan's troubled Khuzdar district on Saturday morning. Muhammad Ibrahim, a police official told Dawn that militants opened fire at a police check post at Zero Point Khuzdar killing one personnel on the spot. Injured policemen were shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for treatment.

#6: Pakistan police foiled a major terror attack Saturday in central Punjab province killing at least four suspected Taliban militants, officials said. "In the exchange of fire, we killed four militants. Two police officials were also injured by two grenades hurled at them by the militants," he said.

#7: At least eleven Taliban insurgents were killed following operations led by Afghan National Security Forces in different parts of the country.

Friday, December 12, 2014

War News for Friday, December 12, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: A teenage suicide bomber attacked a French-run high school in Kabul on Thursday, walking into a packed auditorium during a theater performance and killing a German citizen, Afghan officials said. Salangi said 10 Afghan citizens were also wounded in the attack, including journalists covering the event.

A renowned Australian Afghan musician has been wounded in a Taliban suicide attack on a cultural performance in Kabul

#2: A bomb planted on a motorbike exploded in Sibi city (Balochistan) on Thursday, wounding at least 10 people, police and administration officials said. “At least 10 people have been injured in the blast … in Sibi city,” said district police chief Anwar Khetran. A senior government official in Quetta confirmed the incident and causalities.

#3: At least 17 militants were killed following military operations in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, local security officials said Friday.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

War News for Thursday, December 11, 2014


US transfers control of final prison to Afghanistan


Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Afghan troops Thursday morning, killing at least five soldiers. The Afghan Defense Ministry said 12 others, including civilians, were injured in the attack.
The suicide bomber approached the vehicle on foot on the outskirts of Kabul, the first suicide attack in the capital in more than a week

#2: Five high school students were killed by a NATO airstrike Thursday in Parwan province, police said.

#3: 5 armed oppositions were killed in clearing operation led by police forces in Almar district, Faryab province.

#4: Reports suggest that a huge number of Taliban insurgents last night attacked the main city of Shindand district in Herat province and took cover in civilian homes from where they started a gun battle  with the security forces. Eye witnesses say the city was completely occupied by the insurgents. But security officials only confirm the fighting with the insurgents and reject the reports that the city was fully occupied.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

War News for Wednesday, December 10, 2014


A 3-star general explains why America lost the global war on terror

CIA report's most shocking passages

After Senate Report’s Release, Political Divide About C.I.A. Torture Remains

Reported security incidents
#1: Pakistan Army said on Wednesday it had killed 11 militants in air strikes in a troubled tribal district near the Afghan border. The raids took place Tuesday evening in Tirah area of Khyber district

#2: Two Afghan army soldiers and eight militants have been killed within the last 24 hours, said the country's Defense Ministry on Wednesday morning. "Over the past 24 hours, eight Taliban militants were killed and six others detained following army operations in six provinces out of the 34 Afghan provinces," the ministry said in a statement.

#3: 5 armed oppositions were killed in clearing operation led by police forces in Almar district, Faryab province.

#4: A clearing operation under the code name of (Khaibar) started in Laghman province.

#5: 12 armed Taliban insurgents including six commanders of them were killed in NATO air raid in Nooristan province last night.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

War News for Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Suicide attacks on military base kill 7 in Yemen


Reported security incidents
#1: Militant group Jundullah killed a polio vaccination team member in Pakistan's Faisalabad city Tuesday.

#2: Pakistani security officials said a U.S. drone strike on a Taliban compound in North Waziristan has killed at least four militants, including a wanted senior al-Qaida leader, and wounded two others. The strike took place in the Khar Tangi area of Datta Khel district in the North Waziristan tribal region

#3: Public Relations Officer (PRO) and Frontier Corps (FC) spokesman Balochistan Khan Wasey was injured in a firing incident on Quetta's Double Road area on Tuesday morning, police said. Police sources told Dawn that Khan Wasey was travelling in his car when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle, injuring him seriously.

#4: Local officials of the Haska Mina district of eastern Nangarhar province say 4 civilians who were kidnapped by unknown gunmen 3 days ago have been killed.

#5: The Interior Ministry of Afghanistan says that 15 rebels were killed, 3 wounded and 4 arrested in past 24 hours in clearance operations jointly conducted by Afghan National Police and personnel of the National Directorate of Security.

Monday, December 8, 2014

War News for Monday, December 8, 2014


U.S., NATO ceremonially end Afghan combat mission....Monday’s ceremony was the first of two that will draw a formal close to NATO’s combat mission by Dec. 28. (Note: the 28th will be my last post -- whisker)



Reported security incidents
#1: At least two foreigners have been killed in Afghanistan in a fresh rocket attack on the US-controlled Bagram air base, near the capital, Kabul. Local officials confirmed that Bagram air base, located next to the ancient city of Bagram in eastern Parwan Province, came under attack on Monday morning. The strike is the second rocket attack on Bagram in less than 48 hours. The Taliban militants fired rockets on the air base Saturday night

#2: Two Pakistani policemen tasked with guarding polio vaccinators were shot dead in the country’s northwestern region on Monday, an official said. The attack took place in a remote area of Buner district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

#3: At least four civilians and two policemen were killed in a suicide attack on the police headquarters' of Maiwand district of southern Kandahar province on Monday, local officials said. Six others including three policemen were injured in the attack. The attack ended after an hour, when five suicide bombers attacked Maiwand police headquarters and began clashing with security forces, Ahmad Zia Durani, spokesman for the police chief, said. "The suicide bomber detonated his explosive at the gate of the headquarters, making way for the four others," Durani said. "Four other insurgents were killed by security forces." He added that the director of the criminal department, a police officer, and four civilians were killed and six others including a policeman were injured in the attack.

#4: 19 armed oppositions were killed in several clearing operations led by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during the last 24 hours in various parts of the country.

#5: Two mine planters were killed following their own mine blast in Khost province yesterday.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, December 7, 2014

One Afghan soldier is killed and 3 are injured by a mine in Kandahar. Officials blame the Taliban.

U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan kills 5 militants, including one Umar Farooq, who is said to have been the commander of al Qaeda operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

A second drone strike in Kunar province is said to have killed 9 Pakistani Taliban.

Unknown attackers toss a hand grenade at a wedding party in Balkh, killing 4 and injuring 12.

Taliban attack a police outpost in Helmand province, killing 5. Taliban casualties are unknown.

Afghan security forces rescue 5 police who were taken prisoner a month ago in an attack on outposts in Warduj, Badakhshan. A total of 20 personnel were captured at that time; efforts are underway to rescue the remaining 15.

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel makes an unannounced visit to Kabul on Saturday. Hagel and president Ghani speak at a press conference, don't say anything particularly revalatory.

Senior Taliban commander Latif Mehsud is returned to Pakistan. He was captured by U.S. forces last year. This is part of a prisoner exchange signaling better relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. [However, this tale is odd. It appears the U.S., who held him, flew him to Islamabad. This suggests the U.S. is now more willing to trust the Pakistanis, but what it has to do with Af/Pak relations is not clear to me. -- C]

WaPo's Sudasan Raghavan discusses the bad security situation  on the Kabul-Jalalabad road, the "Valley of Death." 

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

War News for Saturday, December 6, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: Police spokesman Abdul Manan Rauofi said the convoy attack happened Friday night in Jawzjan province. Rauofi said Taliban militants killed the officers and wounded four in the assault on the patrol in the province's Aqcha District.

#2: In Laghman province, two suspected U.S. drone strikes killed four Taliban fighters, said Sarhadi Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

#3: A policeman was martyred following clashes in Nimroz province yesterday. National Security Directorate officials in the province told BNA correspondent, a policeman was martyred, while clashes occurred between NSD personnel and Taliban militants in Khash district, Nimroz province.

#4: 10 Afghan National Army soldiers were martyred following complot of their two colleagues in Badghis province last night. The incident was happened in Bala Murghab district, while two National Army forces with cooperation of a group of Taliban militants attacked on his colleagues’ checkpoint and martyred all of them.

#5: At least seven Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following militants direct fire and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack.

#6: An explosion took place in southern Kandahar city earlier today without incurring any casualties to civilians or security forces.

Friday, December 5, 2014

War News for Friday, December 5, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: Three persons, including a woman and a girl, were killed in a roadside blast in Nawagai tehsil of Bajaur Agency on Thursday, official sources said. They said unidentified militants had planted the explosives on a roadside in Karkanai area in Nawagai tehsil that went off around 11:30 am

#2: A suicide attacker who wanted to attack on police forces in Shindand district, killed by police forces. According to security forces, the attacker was resident of Balabalok district, Farah province, wanted to attack on police security post in Shozra region, killed by police forces.

#3: A policeman lost his life in explosion of a mine in Urozgan province late yesterday night. The incident occurred in Chakajou region, Khas district, Urozgan province while police forces were patrolling in the area.


DoD: Staff Sgt. Matthew R. Ammerman

Thursday, December 4, 2014

War News for Thursday, December 4, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an enemy attack an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 3rd.


Polish ISAF mission wraps up in Afghanistan

U.S. Army wants a new gun


Reported security incidents
#1: At least one person was killed and 10 wounded Thursday in an explosion in Pakistan's Quetta town, media reported. "The bomb was planted in a car near Sabzi Mandi in Quetta town of Balochistan province," Dawn online reported citing police official Imran Qureshi.

#2: A roadside blast apparently targeting a security forces convoy occurred in District Turbat of Balochistan on Thursday. According to police, Frontier Corps convoy was on a routine patrol in a suburban area of Sangani Sarmin in Turbat when suddenly a blast occurred as they approached their camp.

#3: Afghan police backed by the army have killed 53 Taliban militants in a series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Thursday.

#4: A police and three attackers were killed in attack of armed insurgents on a security post in Urozgan province last night. The incident occurred in Anarjou region, Dehraod district while, a group of armed Taliban attacked on a police post. Dost Nayab acting governor spokesman of Urozgan said BNA, in the attack, a police official and three insurgents lost their lives.

#5: At least three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following roadside bomb explosion, defense officials said Thursday.

Danish MoD: Oberstløjtnant Ove Kjærsgaard Hansen

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

War News for Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Reported security incidents
#1: At least 15 militants were killed today when Pakistani military jets pounded their hideouts in aerial strikes in the country's restive northwestern tribal region.

#2: In the latest militants attack, a group of militants raided a police checkpoint in Darzab district at Jauzjan province with Shiberghan as its capital, 390 km north of Kabul, on Wednesday, leaving four police dead, provincial police chief Faqir Mohammad Jauzjani said. "The armed insurgents attacked a police checkpoint in Darzab district at 02:00 a.m. local time today killing four police personnel," Jauzjani told Xinhua.

#3: A US drone strike left at least 12 militants dead in eastern Nangarhar province.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

War News for Tuesdayy, November 2, 2014


A U.S. Air Force pilot was killed when an F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed in a non-combat-related incident November 30 at approximately 11 p.m. Eastern. The aircraft was returning to its base in the Middle East shortly after take-off. The crash did not occur in Iraq or Syria.


Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan army officer says that six soldiers have been killed in the north-western province of Badghis after insurgents launched several attacks on guard posts. Gen. Douod Shah Wafa, the commander of the Afghan National Army in the province, says Taliban gunmen used machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades to attack the posts in Bala Murghab district early on Tuesday morning.

#2: In eastern Afghanistan, an official says an American drone killed five insurgents in Shirzad district in Nangahar province.

#3: According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) targeted militant hideouts near Miranshah, the headquarter of NWA, early today and killed 17 militants including some foreigners.

#4: Separately seven militants were killed injured in the gunfight between security forces and militants in Khyber Agency on Tuesday morning. ISPR said that the fighting erupted after about 50-60 militants ambushed a security forces check post in the Akkakhel area of Tirah Valley. The exchange of resulted in the killing of seven militants. Six other militants also sustained injuries in retaliatory action.

#5: In a mine explosion in Kandahar province a police was martyred and four others wounded yesterday. Samim Khepwalk Kandahar acting governor spokesman told BNA, the incident took place in Arghistan district, while police vehicle struck a roadside mine during their patrol.

Monday, December 1, 2014

War News for Monday, December 1, 2014


Iraq's army weakened from within by 50,000 'ghost' soldiers


Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban suicide attackers killed the South African leader of a foreign aid group, his son and daughter and an Afghan worker in an assault on the agency's Kabul offices, authorities said Sunday, as the city's police chief resigned in the wake of the latest insurgent attack there.

AFP reports that 46-year-old Werner Groenewald, his 17 year-old-son Jean-Pierre and his 15-year-old daughter Rhode were killed yesterday during a Taliban attack targeting foreigners in Kabul.

#2: An Afghan official says a suicide bomber detonated his payload at a crowded funeral, killing two police and seven civilians. Taj Mohammed Taqwa, chief of the Burka district in the Baghlan province north of Kabul, says the attacker appeared to be targeting police and local officials, including him, who were among some 1,000 people attending Monday's funeral.

#3: Units of police backed by the army have killed 11 Taliban militants during series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Monday.

#4: Mine blast target a convoy of Afghan military forces in Logar province today. The incident occurred in Pul-e-Alam city capital of Logar province. A local official of Logar in a contact with BNA said that in the incident, the military forces of Logar and acting governor office have been targeted. He said nothing about the possible losses of the incident.