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, August 21, 2014

War News for Thursday, August 21, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen in Khyber district opened fire on Thursday on tankers carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan, killing a driver and wounding two others, officials said. The attack occurred in Sor Kamar village of Khyber district, some 25 kilometres west of Peshawar. Three oil tankers were burnt in the incident, the official added.

#2: An early morning explosion from a remote-controlled bomb wounded four members of the Afghan National Army in eastern Kabul on Thursday. The incident occurred about 6:30 a.m. near a bus stop frequented by ANA members going to work, said a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry.

#3: In Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province, a sticky bomb attached to a police vehicle was detonated, injuring one civilian and one police officer, a provincial police spokesman told Xinhua.

#4: Five Afghan military trainers were killed by unknown gunmen in Herat province yesterday. The trainers, were working for Herat military academy targeted by unknown gunmen and killed in Angeel district.

#5: A woman was injured following cross-border shelling in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, local officials said. Gen. Syed Khel further added that 66 rockets were fired which landed in Dangam and Sarkano districts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

War News for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 20th. unconfirmed news reports state that an ISAF soldier was stabbed in the neck by an Afghani civilian after a military convoy of tankers was stopped at a check point near Kabul airport. Other news states that a western civilian was stabbed and not a soldier.

Afghanistan orders New York Times reporter to leave

Reported security incidents
#1: Two drivers were killed when gunmen attacked three oil tankers in Hawaldari post in Jamrud on Tuesday, official and tribal sources said. The sources said the empty oil tankers were going to Peshawar after supplying oil to Nato forces in Afghanistan when unidentified gunmen opened fire on them. Two drivers were killed in one of the oil tankers while the occupants of the other two vehicles escaped unscathed.

#2: As per a press release of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), 18 militants were killed and their nine vehicles and several motorcycles destroyed in the fresh strikes carried out by Pakistan Army’s Cobra gunship helicopters in the North Waziristan tribal region. However, these claims could not be independently confirmed as journalists have limited access to the restive tribal agency. Separately, in another strike of Cobra helicopter in North Waziristan Agency, the security forces killed 30 terrorists and destroyed their seven hideouts and nine vehicles.
 The political administration confirmed the incident and said Pak jets also pounded suspected hideouts of militants in Speen Kabr, Nala, Kajori and Manday Kas of tehsil Bara and inflicted heavy losses on the militants in the area. On the other hand, tribal sources denied the claims of the forces and said the jet fighters targeted civilian population in Bara and killed innocent local tribesmen in the air attacks.
#3: Three persons were killed and two others sustained injuries as a roadside bomb struck a civilian car in the southern Uruzgan province with Trinkot as its capital 370 km south of Kabul on Wednesday, police said. "The gruesome incident occurred at around 10:00 a.m. local time in Charchino district, leaving three persons dead and two others injured,"district police chief Wali Dad told Xinhua.

An engineer of Salam Telecommunication Company along with two others was martyred in explosion of a roadside mine in Charcheno district, Urozgan province this morning.

#4: At least 10 militants and one policeman were killed while a district police chief wounded Wednesday morning in a clash in eastern Ghazni province, a source said. "Taliban militants laid an ambush on police patrol in Andar district early morning. A gunfight took place. Army personnel arrived in the scene. The engagement left 10 militants and one police dead," army spokesman in the province Nazifullah Sultani told Xinhua.

#5: On Tuesday evening, gunmen abducted a former district governor in the country's western province of Herat. "The militants kidnapped former Adrskan District governor Mohammad Dawood Norzai. He also served as campaign manager of Dr. Zulmai Rassoul during the presidential election. A search and rescue operation was launched following the incident," a provincial police spokesman told Xinhua.

#6: Two students of a school were wounded in firing of a rocket in the outskirt of Syeedabad district, Maidan-Wardak province today.

#7: In clashes between Taliban and Afghan security forces 20 armed rebels were killed in Logar province last night. Deen Mohammad Darwish spokesman of Logar province said BNA, Taliban attackers including foreign nationals from three sides attacked on Charkh district, Logar province, which 20 insurgents were killed and 30 others wounded following the clashes.

#8: Four Taliban militants were killed and six others wounded following NATO drone attacks in Kunar province last night.

#9: The anti-government armed militants have suffered heavy casualties during military operations by Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers. Defense Ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi, said the militants were killed during operations in eight different provinces.

#10: A foreign national was stabbed by an unidentified individual in capital Kabul on Wednesday morning. Preliminary reports suggest the foreign civilian was stabbed following a verbal clash. The incident has reportedly taken place in the vicinity of the airport.

#11: Heavy clashes have been reported between the Afghan national security forces and the anti-government armed militants in eastern Nuristan province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, clashes started on Tuesday after scores of militants launched attacks on security check posts in Du-Aab district. In the meantime, unconfirmed reports suggest that the control of the district has falled to militants following heavy clashes.

#12: At least six Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following roadside bomb explosions in the past 48 hours. Defese Ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi, said Wednesday that the Afghan army soldiers were martyred following separate improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

War News for Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Afghanistan reconstruction a multibillion-dollar waste

Deaths of humanitarian aid workers reach record high

Reported security incidents
#1: Pakistan's military says it has killed 48 suspected militants in airstrikes in two tribal regions near Afghanistan. In a statement, the military said army helicopters attacked militant hideouts in the Khyber and North Waziristan tribal regions.

#2: As many as 700 heavily armed Taliban insurgents are battling Afghan security forces in Logar, a key province near the capital Kabul, local officials said on Tuesday, in a test of the Afghan military's strength as foreign forces pull out of the country. Abdul Hakim Esaaqzai, the police chief of Logar province, said the insurgents, armed with heavy machine guns, were fighting Afghan forces from residential areas in Charkh district.

#3: At least six people including two infants were killed when a vehicle hit a roadside bomb in restive northwest Pakistan Tuesday, officials said. The attack came in Salarzai area of Bajaur tribal region, which lies on the Afghan border and has recently been attacked by the militants from across the frontier.
#4: The Pakistani military fired at least 30 more rockets in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

#5: At least two militants were killed following an airstrike by NATO-led coalition forces in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

Monday, August 18, 2014

War News for Monday, August 18, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Armed oppositions carried out two attacks on Arza district, Logar province, but fortunately defeated by Afghans security forces. Deen Mohammad Darwish spokesman of Logar governor told BNA, at least 750 enemies of our country orders by their Pakistani bosses attacked on Arza district of Logar province, as a result of clashes with heroes of Afghan security forces sustained heavy casualties, in which 13 of them were killed and 23 others wounded. According to the source, during the clashes three policemen injured.

#2: Seven kidnapped de-miners were released from grip of Taliban. Shafiq Nang spokesman of Ghazni governor said BNA, the 7 abducted de-miners were released following mediation by the local tribal elders. The de-miners were abducted by Taliban militants from Kabul-Kandahar highway on Friday and the main motive behind their abduction is not clear so far.

#3: A total of 16 Taliban militants including two local commanders have been killed since Sunday night in the northern Kunduz province as clashes going on between security forces and insurgents in parts of the province, officials said Monday. "Security forces launched cleanup operations in Gultapa area outside provincial capital Kunduz city and Gumbaz area in Imam Sahib district last night and so 10 rebels have been killed there," provincial police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini told Xinhua.

#4: Meanwhile, six more Taliban fighters were killed in Aqtash area of Khanabad district, Kunduz province as their hideouts came under air attack on Sunday night, a local official said. "Six Taliban rebels were killed as their hideouts was attacked by unmanned plane on Sunday night in Aqtash village of Khanabad district," Hayatullah Amiri, the governor of Khanabad district told Xinhua.

#5: A businessman was shot dead by unknown gunmen in capital Kabul on Monday morning.

#6: At least 4 Afghan national army soldiers were martyred following improvised explosive device (IED) attack, defense officials said Monday. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD), confirmed that the four Afghan army soldiers were martyred during the past 24 hours.

#7: In the meantime, Gen. Azimi, said at least 38 Taliban militants were killed during operations by Afghan national army soldiers. He said the militants were killed during separate operations in six different provinces of Afghanistan in the past 24 hours.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, August 17, 2014

Eleven de-miners are abducted in Ghazni province, on the road from Kandahar to Kabul. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Pakistani military fires 126 rockets into eastern Kunar province, according to the local police. Although the report in Khaama does not mention any damage, Tolo reports 3 houses destroyed.

The center for prevention of Malaria and Leishmaniasis in Kabul (which is actually a treatment facility) is attacked with a rocket, which strikes a vehicle parked in the yard. Officials fear that people will not come for treatment out of fear of further attacks.

A recount of 6,000 ballot boxes designated by the candidates begins. The results are expected to be decisive. Each candidate was allowed to select 3,000 ballot boxes that they believed may have been originally miscounted in their opponent's favor.

Ministry of the Interior rejects the recent SIGAR report on the disappearance of tens of thousands of weapons, claiming that "precise and accurate information is available with the ministry regarding the weapons and other equipment supplied to Afghan police forces. The statement further added that the ministry uses latest tools and equipment to keep record of the weapons and military equipment including vehicles supplied, disappeared and depreciated." [I presume this is similar to the tools and equipment they use to report that dozens of Taliban are killed every day with zero government and civilian casualties. Yes, they issued another such report today, I won't link to it.]

Afghan troops rescue three Indian engineers who had been abducted by Taliban in Logar. However a fourth Indian national remains in captivity.

Afghan government is running out of cash and will have difficulty paying salaries next month. According to this story, by some unclear mechanism, the disputed presidential election has deprived the government of revenue. In fact the government is dependent on foreign donations.

And meanwhile in Mespotamia, U.S. warplanes support peshmerga in an effort to retake the Mosul dam. Note that president Obama has stated that the only role of U.S. air power in Iraq will be to protect U.S. facilities and personnel. I suppose you could stretch that to cover this action since, if the dam were to collapse, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad would be flooded.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

War News for Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rain-related incidents leave 18 dead in Peshawar

Reported security incidents
#1: The International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan is trying to secure the release of five of their staff members who were abducted in the western Herat province, a spokesman said Saturday. The employees were traveling by road on Friday when they were detained by a local armed group, said Marek Resich, an ICRC spokesman.
#2: Two Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers were killed and two others were injured when terrorists attacked their convoy in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon.
#3: A clash took place between armed rebels and Afghan security forces in Ghaziabad district of Kunar provinces in which tens of rebels killed. Gen. Abdul-Habib Sayedkhail police chief of Kunar said BNA, clash occurred last night between security forces and armed oppositions while armed rebels wanted to target Afghan security posts in Ghazibabd district. an ANA solider and a police were also martyred in the clash.
#4: Afghan security forces launching operations in some provinces of the country killed 42 armed rebels.
#5: At least 23 rockets were fired in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan in the latest spate of cross-border shelling from the other side of Durand Line. Provincial police chief, Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel, said the rockets were fired on Friday night and landed in Marwara and Dangam districts.
#6: At least three policemen were killed following an airstrike by NATO-led coalition forces in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan. Local government officiails, said the incident took place on Friday in Ghorband district of Parwan province.

Friday, August 15, 2014

War News for Friday, August 15, 2014

Georgian soldiers leaving base in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen armed with automatic weapons, grenades and wearing suicide vests attacked two military airbases in Quetta early Friday, leaving eight militants dead after security forces opened fire, officials said. Sarfaraz Bugti, the home minister of insurgency-hit Balochistan province, said that militants had tried to storm the Samungli airbase, used by the Pakistan Air Force, and Khalid military airbase, both in the provincial capital Quetta, but had failed to penetrate either perimeter.

#2: At least four suspected militants were killed on Friday when security forces opened fire on an explosives-laden vehicle in the Fort Slope area of Bara tehsil in the Khyber tribal region. Security forces signaled a suspicious vehicle which was approaching their base, directing it to stop but opened fire on it after the vehicle failed to accord with the directive.

#3: At least three Afghan policemen have been killed and four others wounded in a bomb attack in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Laghman, APA reports. According to a statement released by the provincial government, the blast took place in the Baad Pukh district of the province, located 260 kilometers (161 miles) east of the capital, Kabul, at around 05:00 a.m. local time (0030 GMT) on Thursday when a vehicle touched off a buried explosive device.

#4: The Taliban insurgents executed five civilians on charges of spying for the government in southern province of Helmand on Friday morning, police said.

#5: The head of electoral campaign of Gul Aqa Shirzai candidates in the first round of presidential election in Helmand province was killed by armed gunmen. Abdul Malik was targeted by two gunmen and lost his life in Sofyan village, Lashkarga city. Eyewitnesses said that the attackers riding motorcycle and after the attack fled the site.

#6: Six people including a police were wounded in explosion of a bomb in Jalalabad city, capital of Nangarhar province this morning. The explosion occurred while a convoy of officials of the first security precinct of Jalalabad was passing the area. Hazrat Hosain Mashriqiwal police spokesman of Nangarhar said BNA, in the explosion, the head of first security precinct of Jalalabad city with his three bodyguards and two civilians wounded.

#7: An explosion occurred close to Ahmadabad district’s bazaar in Paktia province today. According to reports a convoy of security forces was targeted in Machlagho village in the incident.

#8: At least eight people including the district police chief for Spin Boldak were killed following infighting among the policemen in Kandahar. According to local government officials, the incident took place late Thursday night in Spin Boldak district.