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, November 22, 2014

War News for Saturday, November 22, 2014

US 'to expand' 2015 Afghanistan combat role

Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan official says that one soldier and eight insurgents have been killed in an attack on an army base in the country's volatile east. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the assault Saturday in Afghanistan's remote Nuristan province along the country's mountainous border with Pakistan lasted almost three hours. He says a large number of insurgents tried to overrun the base, but were turned back.

#2: Meanwhile in eastern Nangarhar province, police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal said a car bomb killed one civilian and wounded two in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

#3: Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry "were conducting a security patrol when they were engaged by a lone gunman" on Saturday (15th) in Kabul, Maj. Stephen  Bomar said. "The soldiers subsequently returned fire, killing the gunman." One soldier was seriously injured and two sustained non-life-threatening injuries, he said, adding that "It is U.S. military policy not to release the names of the wounded."

#4: Four militants were killed and five others including a security person sustained injuries as clash flared up in Baghlan province with Pul-e-Khumri as its capital 160 km north of Kabul Friday night, a local official said Saturday. "A group of armed Taliban rebels raided a security checkpoint in Abqul area of Baghlan-e-Markazai district late last night, triggering a gun battle which lasted for a while leaving four militants dead," district governor Gohar Khan Babri told reporters. Five more persons including four militants and a security man sustained injuries in the firefight, he added.

#5: At least 19 Taliban militants were killed and 4 others were injured in military operations conducted by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.

#6: A police official was killed and two others were injured in a magnetic bomb blast in eastern Nangarhar province this morning.

#7: A Taliban bomber blew up himself with own explosives while he was trying to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in Herat province.

#8: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following roadside bomb explosion, defense officials said Saturday. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Afghan soldiers were martyred in the past 48 hours.

Friday, November 21, 2014

War News for Friday, November 21, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A U.S. drone strike killed six suspected militants in northwestern Pakistan, security officials said on Friday, as al Qaeda said two members of the group had been killed in a previous strike. Two missiles struck a house in Mada Khel village of the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border on Thursday night, said a security official based in the area.

#2: A bomb hit a passenger train in the restive southwestern Pakistan province of Balochistan yesterday, derailing it and wounding three passengers, officials said. The bomb in the Dasht region hit the moving Bugti Express about 30km before its final destination of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The train was coming from the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

#3: A bomb attached to a motorcycle struck an army vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing two soldiers, a police official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomb exploded as the army vehicle was passing by on a road on the outskirts of the city of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, said police official Roohullah Bangash.

#4: Afghan security forces have pressed on to clear the militants in restive provinces and killed 30 militants in the latest operations, the country's Interior Ministry said on Friday.

#5: According to recent reports, Pakistani forces fired tens rockets in different parts of Kunar and Nooristan provinces. A police commander in the east of the country said BNA, the attacks had no casualties but inflected financial damages to residents of the area. A tribal elder of Kamdish district of Nooristan province said that two civilians were wounded in the attacks.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

War News for Thursday, November 20, 2014

Romania to send 450 new troops to Afghanistan next year

Reported security incidents
#1: Four Taliban militants who attacked a compound housing foreign workers in the Afghan capital were killed Wednesday night in a failed assault there, police said, the latest violence targeting foreigners in the country. One attacker died when he detonated a vehicle packed with explosives near the gate of the Green Village compound in eastern Kabul, police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir said. Police officers killed the other three attackers in a shootout, Zahir said. "There were no civilian or military casualties," Zahir said.

#2: A rocket fired by militants slammed into Afghan eastern Assadabad city, leaving one person dead and injuring six others on Thursday, police said.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

War News for Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Germany and Italy to keep up to 1,350 soldiers in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A grenade attacked killed two policemen and wounded another in Charsadda on Tuesday, police said. The incident happened in the Shabqadar area of the district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Two men riding a motorbike threw a hand grenade on a police vehicle patrolling the area, killing two policeman and wounding another one,” said district police chief Shafiullah Khan.

#2: Security officials said military planes pounded positions of the banned Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Nakai and Kukikhel areas of Tirah valley, killing seven militants and destroying three of their hideouts. The claim could not be independently verified.

#3: Meanwhile, sources in Mehraban Kalay of Tirah valley said that a man was publicly killed by militants on a charge of spying.

#4: A suicide car bomb rocked Shinkai district in the southern Afghanistan's Zabul province on Wednesday, leaving the bomber dead, provincial police chief Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Liwanai said. one police was slightly injured in the blast.

#5: At least 91 armed oppositions were killed following clearing operations led by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during the last 24 hours in several provinces of the country.

#6: In a drone attacks of NATO forces in Kunar province 4 armed rebels killed including two commanders.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

War News for Tuesday, November 18, 2014

850 (German) troops 'to stay' in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A Taliban attack, involving at least one suicide bomber, targeted a foreigners' compound in Kabul early on Tuesday, killing four people in the latest fatal blast to hit the Afghan capital. Two Afghan security guards were among the four killed, said the ministry. Three civilians were also wounded in the attack, which involved three attackers, including the truck's driver.

Read more here:

Read more here:

#2: Also Tuesday, in eastern Khost province, a woman died when the van she was travelling in hit a roadside bomb, said Mubariz Mohammad Zadran, spokesman for the provincial governor. Another 13 people, including children, were wounded.

Read more here:

#3: At least two people, including a child, were killed and five children injured in a roadside blast in the Nasti Kot area of Pakistan's Kurram tribal region on Tuesday, a media report said. According to officials, an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the roadside in the region's Parachinar district, was detonated as a school van passed by, killing the driver and a child, Dawn online reported.

#4: The bodies of four persons killed by gun shots were found dumped in gunny sacks in Risalpur area of Nowshera district here on Tuesday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

War News for Monday, November 17, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Airstrikes and ground clashes between security forces and militants in North Waziristan Agency early Sunday left four soldiers, including an army major, and 34 militants dead. Four soldiers were killed and at least eight were missing after insurgents using rockets and grenades stormed a checkpoint in the remote border region of North Waziristan Agency, security sources said. Eleven men were wounded and between eight and 10 were missing, they said.

#2: An outspoken female Afghan lawmaker survived a suicide bombing attack on her vehicle on Sunday, suffering slight wounds, but three civilian bystanders were killed, a police spokesman said.

#3: In a clash between armed Taliban and security forces in Takhar province, six armed Taliban was killed and 12 others wounded yesterday evening. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that the attack took place by Taliban militants on a police check post in Khwajah Ghar district in northeastern Takhar province.

#4: Nine armed oppositions were killed by Afghan National Army forces operation in Kunduz province last night.

#5: Student of a school and an engineer were martyred and three other students wounded in a blast in Maidan-Wardak province.

#6: Taliban militants launched a massive offensive with the involvement of some 400 fighters against Balablok district in the western Farah province, 695 km west of Kabul, on Monday, gun battle continues, a private television channel Tolo has reported.

#7: Three local police personnel were injured as a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Marawara district of Kunar province on Monday, provincial police chief Abdul Habib SayedKhili said.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, November 16, 2014

Suicide attack in Kabul on the car of Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament and women's rights advocate, kills three people and injures 20. Barazaki escapes injury. Reports NYT's Rob Norland:

During the Taliban era, Ms. Barakzai, 42, helped run underground schools for girls. She had enemies on many sides, including powerful warlords. She famously remarked of her fellow legislators, “Our Parliament is a collection of lords. Warlords, drug lords, crime lords.” er husband, an unsuccessful candidate for Parliament, took a second wife without consulting her. Ms. Barakzai remained married to him, but began campaigning against the practice of multiple wives for Afghan men.

Two Afghan soldiers are killed by a roadside bomb  but the MoD gives no information as to location.

Former president Karzai accuses U.S. of promoting extremism in the region. "Speaking during an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Karzai said senior U.S. officials would tell him that neighboring Pakistan was harboring terrorists responsible for attacks inside Afghanistan but urge him not to raise the issue with Pakistani leaders. He said the United States “has been both encouraging the thief to steal and the house owner to safeguard his house.” [He has a point. -- C] But . . . 

President Ghani meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, where the two subsequently make some non-specific statements about cooperation against extremism.

Update:  U.S. casualty reported yesterday is identified as Sgt. 1st  Class Michael A. Cathcart, of Bay City Michigan. Died Nov. 14 in Kunduz of small arms fire. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.