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, 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.