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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

War News for Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal, 19, of Riverside, California, died Oct. 23, in Baghdad, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

Reported security incidents
#1: A relatively heavy explosion rocked capital Kabul late Friday night after a rocket landed in Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan area of the city. There are no reports regarding the casualties so far.

#2: At least 37 Taliban militants were killed and 55 others were injured following military operations in the past 24 hours.

Friday, October 24, 2014

War News for Friday, October 24, 2014

Afghanistan Poppy Crop Hits Record High

Two Afghan districts, bordering with Tajikistan, can move under control of Taliban

Russian Held in Afghanistan to Stand Trial in US: Reports

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan police say five people were killed and two were wounded when gunmen opened fire on a car in an attack in one of the country's eastern provinces. Friday's attack took place in Nangahar province as seven civilians were travelling through Khogyani district early in the morning.

#2: Pakistani and Iranian forces have exchanged mortar fire along their porous border.Pakistani officials said Iran fired six mortar shells, which landed near the border town of Mashkail. Pakistan is then thought to have fired back, BBC reported on oct.24.

#3: Operation Khyber 1 is successfully continued in district Bara and Tirah in Khyber Agency. In the duration of eight days since the operation commenced, at least 60 militants got killed and more than 25 injured whereas more than 100 militants including a key commander surrendered to the security forces. 3 security forces’ officers have also been martyred whereas 12 got injured. 6000 families have migrated to fetch for safe havens.

#4: At least three people were killed and 30 others injured when a suicide bomber blew up himself near a vehicle of a religious party's leader in Pakistan's southwestern Quetta city on Thursday evening, officials said.

#5: Five armed Taliban were killed in explosion of their own mine in Ghazni province today.

#6: At least 12 people, including 6 militants and 6 members of the Afghan national security forces were killed following clashes in northern Kunduz province.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

War News for Thursday, October 23, 2014

Taliban Are Rising Again in Afghanistan’s North

Reported security incidents
#1: At least six militants were killed and seven others injured today in fresh clashes between security forces and militants in Pakistan's restive northwestern tribal Khyber region. The latest clash took place in the Sipah area of Bara Tehsil with Operation Khyber I (Khyber one) underway in the region. The operation was formally launched earlier this month.

Meanwhile, two security personnel embraced martyrdom and ten others sustained injuries. The militants killed clashes today were said to belong to banned terror outfit "Lashkar-e-Islam".

#2: Gunmen opened fire at a bus carrying members of a minority Shi’a community in south-western Pakistan on Thursday, killing eight people, police said, in the worse sectarian attack in months. At least five masked attackers riding motorcycles chased the bus on the outskirts of Quetta in restive Balochistan province. They dragged people out and killed them one by one, said police official Imran Qureshi.

#3: Four police were wounded as a car bomb rocked Afghanistan's northern Kunduz city on Thursday, a security official said.

#4: In the latest violent event, a mortar struck a residential area in Gizab district of the southern Uruzgan province on Thursday, injuring four innocent children, a local official said.

#5: At least 5 terrorists were killed and 25 others wounded following clearing operations conducted by Afghan National army forces in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

#6: A police killed his three colleagues in Helmand province last night. A security source who asks not to be named said BNA, the incident occurred in Marja district, Helmand province.

#7: At least ten Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in the latest wave of violence across the country in the past 24 hours.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

War News for Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Roadside bombing kills 3 in Yemen

Reported security incidents
#1: Three persons including two levy personnel injured when a polio eradication team vehicle was targeted with a bomb attack in Bajur Agency on Wednesday.

#2: A gunman shot dead a British national in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, police said Tuesday, as authorities struggle to piece together a motive behind the murder.

#3: At least 30 suspected terrorists have been killed as jet fighters targeted their hideouts in North Waziristan Agency (NWA).

#4: Units of Afghan police backed by the army have killed more than three dozen Taliban militants during series of operations across the strife-torn country over the past 24 hours, Ministry of Interior said in a statement released here on Wednesday.

#5: A number of policemen were injured following a suicide car bomb attack in southern Helmand province early Wednesday. In the meantime, a local security official said the target of the suicide bomber was the police chief for border protection forces.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

War News for Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Government OKs Czech troops to stay in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: At least four Afghan soldiers have been killed in a roadside bomb attack on a bus in the capital. General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, said the blast occurred October 21 while troops were on their way to the ministry in Kabul. Azimi says six more soldiers and six civilians were wounded in the blast, adding that the bomb was detonated by remote control.

#2: Cross-border firing near Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Bajaur Agency this morning has left at least one person dead. The person died in the firing was a civilian. The incident took place when couple of mortar shells were fired from Afghanistan and landed in a house in Charmang Valley. The attack also left the house damaged. Reports say that mortars were fired by the militants, targeting the Pakistani territory.

#3: Three soldiers sustained injuries when the Kunar-based Pakistani Taliban opened fire on them in Mamond tehsil in Bajaur Agency, official sources said on Monday. The sources said militants based in Kunar province of Afghanistan opened fire on the soldiers at the Mamond Ghakhi Pass.

#4: Nearly three dozen Taliban militants have been killed during series of operations across Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, the country's Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Tuesday.

#5: Five mine planters while they wanted to plant road side mine were killed in Paktika province

Monday, October 20, 2014

War News for Mondaay, October 20, 2014

Pakistan's PM adviser visits Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1-2: Hundreds of Taliban militants have launched two attacks in Logar and central province of Ghor in Afghanistan killing at least four soldiers, said local officials.

#1: In Logar province, at least four soldiers died in the east when fighters attacked security posts, reported the BBC.

#2: In the central province of Ghor, at least 500 Taliban militants attacked two villages where the number of casualties remains unclear.

#3: Suspected separatists in Balochistan killed nine laborers on Sunday in what appeared to be an ethnically motivated attack, officials said.

#4: Two border police forces were martyred following armed oppositions ambush in Pashtoon Koot district, Faryab province. The policemen who were riding motorcycle targeted by Taliban militants in Zard Kotal region of the district.

#5: At least 18 Taliban militants were killed following joint military operations by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 yours.

#6: At least five suspected kidnappers were killed following an operation by Afghan National Army (ANA) commando forces in western Herat province.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

News of the Da4y for Sunday, October 19, 2014

One civilian killed, several shops destroyed in a suicide bombing in Jalalabad.

Suicide attack on convoy of Afghan National Army and police in Helmand results in casualties, with conflicting accounts of 2 or 4 deaths of police officers. Five soldiers are also injured.

National Directorate of Security says that Taliban leader Abul Bara Al-Kuwaiti is killed in an operation in Nangarhar. They claim Kuwaiti had "ties to the family" of Ayman al-Zawahiri, whatever that means. (Just as a reminder, Zawahiri, Osama bin-Laden's former second-in-command and current titular leader of the original al-Qaeda organization, is living in Pakistan under the protection of Pakistani security, putative allies of the U.S. No, I don't understand it either.)

Missiles fired from Pakistan injure 1 woman and destroy 5 houses in Kunar province.

Taliban besiege Gizab district, Uruzgan, blocking all routes into the capital. (Gizab is a largely rural area with a population of about 75,000.) "'Most of the schools in the district have been closed," [an anonymous source] said. "If a military operation is not launched in Gizab shortly, the Taliban will take full control of the district," he warned the government."

NDS says it foiled a suicide attack plot in Faryab.

Much attention of late to Anand Gopal's blistering indictment of the U.S. in Afghanistan, No Good Men Among the Living. Hereis the New York Times review by Kim Barker. Excerpt:

It is a devastating, well-honed prosecution detailing how our government bungled the initial salvo in the so-called war on terror, ignored attempts by top Taliban leaders to surrender, trusted the wrong people and backed a feckless and corrupt Afghan regime. . . 

Gopal shows how the Americans messed things up from the beginning. Civilian casualties and night raids bred resentment. The United States also backed the same warlords responsible for atrocities during the ’90s. In the war’s early years, there was no rehabilitation for a former Talib, no re-entry program, no probation, no real way to join the new government. For leaders of the Taliban, unlike other Afghans with a bloody past, there was no way out — except to run or hide.
The American military was also naïve about how things worked in the country. Afghan informants exacted revenge against rivals by calling in raids. Gopal describes how one tribal elder was so successful in uncovering official corruption that he was branded a Taliban spy, which was enough to get him banished to Guantánamo Bay.