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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

War News for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Taliban beating back Afghan security forces near Kabul

Taliban grab land in Afghan Faryab province after fierce fighting

Reported security incidents
#1: Two Nepali nationals were killed while another was injured when a Taliban suicide bomber exploded an explosives-laden motorbike into an Afghan police compound near Kabul International Airport today. All three were working as security guards for DynCorp.

#2: Thirteen militants were killed and scores of their hideouts were destroyed on Wednesday in air strikes by Pakistan’s fighter jets in the Shawal area of North Waziristan tribal region, ARY News reports.

#3: One Afghan police was killed and three others, including a district police chief, injured in a suicide bombing in Kunduz city, the provincial capital of northern Kunduz province, on Wednesday morning, a source said. "Chardara District police Chief Ghulam Mehoiddin was travelling to his office. A militant detonated his explosive vest on a narrow bridge while the official's car was passing by, killing one police and injuring three others, including Mehoiddin," the provincial police spokesman Sayyed Sarwar Housini told Xinhua.

#4: At least 37 Taliban militants were killed during military operations by Afghan national army soldiers during the past 24 hours.

#5: A transport plane belonging to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) made precautionary landing in western Herat province of Afghanistan. A security official in Herat province confirmed the report and said no casualties were reported following the incident which took place on Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

War News for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A Taliban suicide attacker riding a motorbike killed at least four foreigners in a compound in Kabul today, police said, in the latest blast to rock the capital during an impasse over presidential election results. The attack hit close to the outer perimeter of Kabul airport. “Our initial reports show the explosion took place inside the foreigners’ compound — four foreigners were killed and six were wounded,” Kabul police chief Zahir Zahir told AFP.

#2: Thirty-eight armed oppositions were killed in several clearing operations carried out by Afghan security forces in different parts of the country yesterday. Ministry of Interior press office said BNA, Afghan security forces conducted several clearing operations in relevant areas of Helmand, Farah, Herat, Ghazni, Kandahar, Badakhshan, Parwan and Faryab provinces, in which 38 Taliban militants were killed, 13 injured

#3: Taliban militants after three days of fighting with security personnel have made headway and occupied land in Qaisar district of Faryab province 425 km northwest of Kabul, police said Tuesday. "Taliban rebels attacked security check points in the western part of Qaisar district three days ago, which triggered heavy battle between the two sides and the militants after three days of fighting were able to occupy Shakh area on Monday night," deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Naeem Andarabi told reporters here.

#4: Five Afghan civilians were killed with one civilian wounded Monday evening when Taliban insurgents attacked a vehicle in eastern province of Laghman, authorities said on Tuesday morning. "On Monday evening, armed militants fired on a running sedan along a road in Alinagar district, killing five civilians and injuring one other," the provincial government said in a statement. It said an off-duty policeman was among the killed. The motive behind the attack remained unknown.

#5: In a separate incident, a local leader was shot dead along two other civilians in Lashkar Gah city, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province late on Monday, according to provincial governor spokesman

#6:  Three mine planters of Taliban were killed in explosion of their own mine in Helmand province.

#7: Kabul (BNA) Explosion of a mine blast in 3rd section of Khairkhana area, caused wounding of two civilians. An eyewitness said BNA reporter, the mine had been installed in gate of the wall of meteorology which caused wounding of two civilians.

#7: At least five Taliban militants were killed following a premature suicide blast in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the incident took place late Monday in Sorubi district.

#8: At least three Afghan national army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following separate improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) said Tuesday that the Afghan national army soldiers were martyred in the past 24 hours

Monday, July 21, 2014

War News for Monday, July 21, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber targeted a police convoy in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province today, killing two people, a policeman and a civilian, a local official said. The attack took place in the Helmand provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, said Omar Zwak, the spokesman for the provincial governor. He said the explosion also wounded 15 people, eight policemen and seven civilians. The police convoy was en route to the district of Sangin for an operation there, he added.

#2: At least 12 Taliban militants were killed following a drone strike in western Herat province of Afghanistan. Local government officials in Herat city, the air strike was carried out late yesterday in Obe district.

#3: The Afghan Defense Ministry on Monday said that the army killed 31 militants during operations in the past 24 hours. Three ANA soldiers were killed in bomb attacks elsewhere in the country over the same period, according to the statement.

#4: As a result of a road side mine explosion three civilians were martyred in Ashkank region, Charborjak district of Nimroz province.

#5: Heavy clashes continue in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan after scores of Taliban militants launched a major offensive two days back. According to local government officials, the gun battle still continue between Afghan forces and Taliban militants in Qaisar district.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, July 20, 2014

Roadside bomb in Nimroz kills 3 civilians, injures 3 more.

NATO drone attack said to kill 12 Taliban in Herat province.

A NATO airstrike in Pul-e-Alam, Logar,  kills 16 militants.

Vote audit briefly suspended due to a dispute between the candidates  but it appears to have resumed.

A 10 year old girl who was raped by a Mullah faces honor killing. Yes folks, this is really how traditional Afghan society works. According to Khaama,

According to reports, the family of the young rape victim is under the pressure by village elders, who are insisting to kill the girl because “she had brought shame to them.”

The girl was reportedly protected in a women’s shelter in Kunduz province but was returned to her family on Tuesday. According to an official indictment, the rape was so brutal and had nearly died because treatment as delayed. She had suffered a break in the wall between the vagina and rectum, the New York Times reported.

In the meantime, the 45-year-old Mullah has claimed that the girl had promised to marry him and rejected that she is 10-year-old. The mullah has claimed that the girl was 17-year-old, but the mother of the victim has said she was only 10-year-old. Hospital records indicate the child weighed just 40 pounds and had yet to start menstruating.

The full account from the New York Times is here. Additional details are, believe it or not, even more appalling.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the 12th Century marches on as Christians flee Mosul under threat of a special "tax" or forced conversion. Seven explosions in Shiite districts of Baghdad on Saturday killed 24 people, with the Islamic State claiming responsibility for at least 4 of them. An all female armed brigade enforces strict laws on women in Raqqa, including full coverage in public and male chaperonage. More than 1 million refugees have entered Kurdistan. Kurdish National Security Director Masrour Barzani says the Iraqi army cannot defeat IS and that western powers will need to intervene. He also says that the peshmerga will need heavy arms to confront the equipment stolen by IS from the Iraqi army, should the IS eventually try to attack Kurdistan. (For now, the expanded borders of Kurdistan are secure, as IS chooses to confront the weak Baghdad state.)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

War News for Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region killed at least eight militants on Saturday, intelligence officials said, as Pakistani forces continued their offensive in the area. The strike targeted a compound in the Datta Khel area, close to the border with Afghanistan, early Saturday.

#2: A bomb explosion near a vehicle of the security forces killed three people and injured 26 others in Balochistan’s volatile Khuzdar district, Dunya News reported. The explosion took place on Jinnah Road in Khuzdar Bazaar.

#3: An 18-inch diameter gas pipeline burst into flames after an explosion here, affecting smooth flow of gas supply to some parts of Sindh, Geo News reported Saturday morning. Police said that the explosion occurred late at night at Malgawar rupturing an 18-inch diameter gas pipeline that burst into sky-high high flames and gas supply to parts of Sindh has been affected.

#4: Gun battle between Taliban militants and Afghan forces claimed 15 lives including 14 insurgents and one Afghan soldier in Khost province on Friday, a local official said Saturday.

#5: As a result of a mine explosion a civilian was martyred and fourteen others wounded in Baghlan province yesterday. Col. Abdul Rashid director of police department in the province said BNA, the incident occurred in a crowded market of Pul-e-Khomri city while, explosive material placed in a bicycle.

#6: Six people were wounded in explosion of a roadside mine in Farah province. Jawad Afghan spokesman of Farah governor said BNA, the incident occurred in Yazda village of Farah province while a police vehicle carrying Khalil Ahmad deputy of cultural center of security forces hit a roadside mine planted under a bridge which caused wounding of two bodyguards of deputy of agricultural center of police forces and four civilians.

#7: A heavy explosion rocked northern Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan on Saturday. The incident reportedly took place in Chawk-e-Salim Shahid area of Mazar-e-Sharif city around 1:30 pm local time.

#8: At least 33 Taliban militants were killed following military operations conducted by Afghan national army (ANA) soldiers. The statement further added that the militants were killed in various provinces of the country during the past 48 hours.

Friday, July 18, 2014

War News for Friday, July 18, 2014

Militants Slip Away from Pakistani Armed Forces

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants killed eight members of a government paramilitary force in a midnight attack on a security checkpoint in Pakistan's restive northwest, security officials said Friday. The militants bombarded the checkpoint with rocket-propelled grenades, two senior military officials said, before overrunning and ransacking it. Local residents said the gunfire began around midnight and continued for at least two hours.

#2: Two people, including a Taliban militant, were killed Friday and 14 others injured after an apparently accidental explosion in eastern Afghanistan, an official said. "An enemy of the people was carrying a bomb on his motorbike, but it exploded on the way in Mehtarlam city," said Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for the governor of Laghman province.

#3: Five staff members of an intelligence agency were killed while six others were injured  in an accident near Sahiwal, a private channel reported. The accident took place late on Thursday when a van carrying  intelligence officers collided head-on with a truck while returning from the funeral of an intelligence officer, who was killed during Thursday operation on Raiwand Road against alleged terrorists.

#4: The bomb attack that left the policeman dead and three others wounded took place in the Yakatoot area of Peshawar city. The bomb exploded near a police van in Yakatoot neighbourhood at around 4:00am (2300 GMT Thursday), killing a policeman and injuring three others," a senior police official, told AFP.

#5: Four people were killed in a firing incident in the Mehmonabad are of the city (Quetta) on Friday. Police said the dead include three family members (grandfather, father and son) who were returning home after offering their Friday prayers. According to police, two men on a motorcycle fled after opening fire.

#6: A 10-year-old girl was injured in the latest wave of cross-border shelling from the other side of Durand line in Kunar province. According to local government official, at least ten rockets were fired in Kunar province on Thursday night.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

War News for Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Four Afghan militants have been killed after launching a rocket-propelled grenade attack on Kabul International Airport. "Four terrorists were killed by police special forces. The area is being cleared now, there are no casualties to our forces," said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.
#2: Officials say police fought for more than 10 hours with militants planning to attack the prime minister's home in eastern Pakistan. Government official Shuja Khanzada said Thursday a police officer and a militant were killed in an overnight operation against insurgents planning the attack.
#3: At least seven people were killed and four others injured today in a roadside bomb blast in this restive northwestern Pakistani city. The blast occurred in Dorri Banda area of Hangu district of Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
#4: Taliban militants attacked the security convoy of president Hamid Karzai in eastern Paktia province of Afghanistan. Preliminary reports suggest at least four security guards of president Karzai were injured following the attack.