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

Friday, August 1, 2014

War News for Friday, August 1st, 2014

 40pc of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for

Army deployment starts in Islamabad

Nearly half of identified drone strike victims in Pakistan are civilians: report

Reported security incidents
#1: The two militants were killed during an operation launched by army in Keran sector of Kupwara district on Thursday following a specific input about their movement in the area, the spokesman said. He said the militants were trying to exfiltrate from the Valley to PoK.

#2: Some unknown gunmen killed three persons including a woman in the Balochistan district on Friday here, Geo News reported. Levies Force said that the firing incident occurred at Join in Tehsil Prom, where unknown armed motorbike riders barged into a house and opened indiscriminate firing resulting in the death of three persons including a woman, while the assailants after the firing escaped from the scene.

#3: An armed trespasser has been killed on the Tajik-Afghan border in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region. According to the press center of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS), officers from SCNS’s office in GBAO jointly with border guards on a routine patrol spotted a trespasser who was illegally crossing the border river in the Rushan district late Thursday (July 31). When security officers and border guards tried to detain the trespasser, the last opened fire at them.  The trespasser was reportedly killed by return fire.

#4: Unknown gunmen shot dead district mayor for Mohammad Agha in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan, local officials said. Provincial governor spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwish, said the incident took place late Thursday night after a group of gunmen attacked the residence of Mohammad Agha district mayor Saifullah.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

War News for Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Units of Afghan police backed by the army have killed more than two dozen Taliban militants during series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, a statement of Ministry of Interior released here on Thursday said. "Personnel of police backed by the army during series of operations conducted in parts of Wardak, Nangarhar, Faryab and Kandahar provinces over the past 24 hours have left dead 25 Taliban insurgents," the statement said.

#2: The Pakistani military fired at least 118 rockets in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, local officials said. The officials further added that the shelling started on Wednesday night from the other side of the Durand line.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

War News for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Pakistani officials say the country's military forces have thwarted an attack on a checkpoint near the Afghan border, killing at least six militants and injuring nine others. Military officials said some 70 militants attacked the border post in the Dir tribal district in Pakistan's restive northwest, late on July 29.

#2: a military officer was mysterious assassinated in one of military bases in Badghis province yesterday. The officer was targeted while his security duty in Badghis-Herat highway and lost his life. A police commander of Badghis-Herat highway said BNA, the officer may be killed by his colleagues who were affiliated with the Taliban group.

#3: the national army forces started extensive operation in Sangeen district, Helmand province.
Spokesman of Helmand governor said that the operation started yesterday in Sangeen district of the province. He confirmed dead of 20 armed Taliban in the operation which Mullah Nasir so-called former district of Sangeen is among the dead. In the operation, a police officer was also martyred and four others wounded.

#4: At least 13 people including policemen were injured following an explosion in central Uruzgan province of Afghanistan. Local government officials said the incident took place in Tarinkot city, leaving two policemen and eleven civilians injured.

#5: Nearly 60 Taliban militants and 6 members of the Afghan security forces were killed during clashes in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Provincial governor spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, said clashes continued until Tuesday afternoon in Hesarak district. Abdulzai further added that Taliban militants launched attacks on security check posts early Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

War News for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The DoD is reporting the death of Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villotcarrasco who died from a non-combat related incident aboard USS James E. Williams in the Red Sea Thursday, June 19th.

US weapons for Afghans may end up with Taliban: Audit

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber Tuesday assassinated a powerful cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a major blow to the country's ruling clan that risks destabilizing the volatile south. Hashmat Karzai was in his fort-like home outside Kandahar city greeting visitors on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr when the blast took place. The attacker, a man in his 20s who hid the explosives in his headgear, was allowed into the house as a guest, according to local officials. Hashmat Karzai and a bodyguard were killed on the spot.

#2: At least six people including two policemen were killed in firing at a provincial lawmaker's house in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of Lower Dir, local media reported. Geo TV said that some unknown gunmen opened fire at the house of member provincial assembly (MPA) Bakht Baidar in Chaqdara area of Lower Dir, a district located in the country's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The MPA was not at his residence when the attack took place, but the firing left his brother, two policemen and three guests killed.

#3: Dozens of Taliban militants launched attacks on security check posts in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan early Tuesday morning. According to local government officials, the attack was carried out on secuity check posts in Hesarak district. Mashriqwal further added that both the Taliban militants and Afghan security forces suffered casualties during the ongoing clashes. However, he did not disclsoe further information regarding the exact number of casualties.

DoD: Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villotcarrasco

Monday, July 28, 2014

War News for Monday, July 28, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A tragic incident names as the Khuzdar blast took place in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district this Monday. About seven passengers were injured in a blast that was targeting a bus according to Levies personnel.

#2: A woman was killed and her son as well as three security personnel were injured in a cross firing incident during a search operation in Lower Dir region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

#3: A local police official of Ghoor province survived from Taliban attack. The police official of Tolak district while going to Cheghcheran capital of the province, his vehicle was targeted by armed Taliban. A local official of Tolak district, Ghoor province said BNA; there was no casualty to local police official in the district.

#4: In several clearing operations conducted by National army forces six armed oppositions were killed in different parts of the country. Ministry of National Defense press office spokesman said

Sunday, July 27, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, July 27, 2014

District Police Chief Bismillah Jan of Registan, Kandahar province, is killed along with 5 guards in an attack on his home. Spokesman says 7 attackers also killed. The same spokesperson also says 24 militants and one police officer killed in a separate attack on a check post in Zherai district. [As usual, one has to question such a highly asymmetrical casualty total.]

In another attack in Spin Boldak, militants enter a school next to the home of provincial police commander General Abdul Razziq, and fire on his house. Six attackers are ultimately killed along with a civilian and a border police officer. In this account, however, the police chief of Registan was killed by a roadside bomb. [Fog of war. Most accounts accord with the home attack version.]

Four civilians are killed and 4 injured by a motorcycle bomb in Helmand.

Pakistan artillery fire into Kunar province destroys a home and leaves a 13 year old boy in critical condition.

NYT's Azam Ahmed says Taliban are making territorial gains. Excerpt:

Taliban fighters are scoring early gains in several strategic areas near the capital this summer, inflicting heavy casualties and casting new doubt on the ability of Afghan forces to contain the insurgency as the United States moves to complete its withdrawal of combat troops, according to Afghan officials and local elders. The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.

Their advance has gone unreported because most U.S. forces have left the field and officials in Kabul have largely refused to talk about it. The Afghan ministries have not released casualty statistics since an alarming rise in army and police deaths last year.
 [As readers know, I have been noting the complete absence of army and police casualties in Interior Ministry reports all year. Since we know these reports are bogus, I will link to them only for purposes of mockery. -- C]

Mullah Omar seems to agree. Saying he believes the Taliban are winning the war, "In his Id message, posted on Taliban website, Omar said that the Taliban will continue fighting, adding, “We believe the war in Afghanistan will come to an end when all foreign invaders pull out of Afghanistan and a holy Islamic and independent regime prevails here.” Omar's whereabouts are said to be "unknown," but he is evidently being sheltered by Pakistani intelligence.

UpdateAinuddin Khudairaham, convicted of killing 3 U.S. Marines in August, 2012, is sentence to 7 1/2 years in prison. The light sentence results from a finding that he was under 18 at the time of the attack, and is the maximum sentence for juveniles under Afghan law. The Marines were training Afghan police at Forward Operating Base Delhi in Helmand province. As Kudairaham lacks a birth certificate, his age was estimated by means of a bone scan. Killed were Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, 29, of San Diego; Cpl. Richard Rivera Jr., 20, of Oxnard and Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr., 21, of Oceanside, N.Y.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

War News for Saturday, July 26, 2014

The DoD is reporting the death of Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton, Jr. who died Thursday, July 24th, at the Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

Reported security incidents
#1: This Saturday morning, a suspected militant has been reportedly killed by the security forces in the Jannikhel area of Pakistan's Bannu District. The security forces were reportedly attacked while they were conducting a search operation in the Frontier Region in Jannikhel. The security personnel subsequently responded to the assault with retaliatory firing.

#2: Two ANA officers were targeted by terrorists and killed in Herat province this morning. According to national defense ministry press office to BNA, two ANA officers were going to their work, targeted by terrorists and killed.

#3: Afghan National Army (ANA) lunched two separate operations in which killed 8 armed rebels in Helmand province last night.

#4: An officer of ANA forces was martyred in explosion of a magnetic mine which was placed in a vehicle of ANA forces in Kabul province this morning.

#5: At least 24 militants were killed during military operations by Afghan national army (ANA) soldiers during the past 48 hours.

DoD: Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton

DoD: Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange

DoD: Pfc. Keith M. Williams