The present-day U.S. military qualifies by any measure as highly professional, much more so than its Cold War predecessor. Yet the purpose of today’s professionals is not to preserve peace but to fight unending wars in distant places. Intoxicated by a post-Cold War belief in its own omnipotence, the United States allowed itself to be drawn into a long series of armed conflicts, almost all of them yielding unintended consequences and imposing greater than anticipated costs. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. forces have destroyed many targets and killed many people. Only rarely, however, have they succeeded in accomplishing their assigned political purposes. . . . [F]rom our present vantage point, it becomes apparent that the “Revolution of ‘89” did not initiate a new era of history. At most, the events of that year fostered various unhelpful illusions that impeded our capacity to recognize and respond to the forces of change that actually matter.

Andrew Bacevich

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

War News for Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two British soldiers from small arms fire at a checkpoint in the Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, October 30th. News reports that an ANP shot and killed the soldiers. Here’s the ISAF statement.

Taliban Hits Region Seen as ‘Safest’ for Afghans

Reported security incidents
#1: Two Taliban militants were killed as their explosive device went off prematurely in Baghlan province 160 km north of capital Kabul on Wednesday, provincial police chief Assadullah Shirzad said. “Three Taliban militants were busy in planting mine on a road in Bagh-e-Shamal village outside provincial capital Pul-e-Khumri early this morning but the device exploded prematurely killing two rebels on the spot and injuring another,” Shirzad told Xinhua.

#2: A large number of regular Army troops have been deployed for launched an operation in Khyber Agency, reported BBC on Tuesday. The move came following a clash between security forces and militants. According to eyewitnesses, security forces have cordoned off several areas in Barqamber Khel and Sepah, while arresting many suspects on Tuesday morning. Locals say that all major roads leading to Bara were closed creating difficulties for them. Locals say that regular military troops are being deployed in Bara sub-division. They say that scores of military personnel are entering Bara sub-division with tanks.

#3: Eight Afghan civilians, including seven women, were killed and two others wounded Wednesday morning in a roadside bombing in southern Helmand province, the Interior Ministry said. "A civilian car touched off a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban terrorists in Dizro area of Musa Qala district at about 9 a.m. local time sparking a powerful blast leaving eight civilians dead on the spot," the ministry said in a statement.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

War News for Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: Security forces on Monday pounded suspected hideouts of militants in Bara town of the Khyber tribal region killing as many as 10 Taliban and injuring six others, security sources said. Gunship helicopters also took part in what appeared to be one of the heaviest bombardments of suspected hideouts of Taliban, sources added. The assault followed a clash in the Akakhel area of Bara leaving a soldier dead and three others injured, sources added. Unconfirmed reports said security forces also used long-range artillery to pound the hideouts and posh Hayatabad residential area resounded with the artillery fire. Armed militants had ambushed a security forces convoy leading to the clash between the militants and security forces. Following the clash, security forces assisted by gunship helicopters targeted militant hideouts in the Akakhel area, killing 10 militants and injuring six others, the official sources said.

#2: Unidentified armed men opened fire on an oil tanker late Monday night killing one person and injuring two others in Dushi district of Baghlan province 160 km north of Kabul, an official said Tuesday. The oil tanker was also caught fire and turned to ashes, he asserted.

#3: An Afghan army officer says a pre-dawn raid in the eastern province of Ghazni killed four Taliban and three civilian bystanders. Lt. Ghulam Sarwer Attai, who commanded the special army unit which carried out Monday's raid along with NATO forces, said it was in Qalai-i-Qazi area of Ghazni.

#4: According to local authorities in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, over 100 missiles have been fired from Pakistan during the latest wave of cross-border shelling in this province. The officials further added the missiles were fired by Pakistani military forces landed in Dangam district. Provincial governor Wasifullah Wasifi said the cross-border incursion by Pakistani military did not cause any casualties to local residents however property damages were reported following the shelling.

#5: Afghan National Army troops and their partnered U.S. Special Forces were ambushed by insurgents in Wardak Province, October 29. Partnered Forces were attacked by small-arms fire and rocket propelled grenades by more than a dozen insurgents. The partnered forces returned fire resulting in three insurgents killed.

#6: Units of Afghan police during series of operations have killed a dozen Taliban militants across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a press release here on Tuesday. "The police during operations carried out in Kapisa, Balkh, Zabul and Ghazni provinces have killed 12 Taliban rebels over the past 24 hours," the statement contended.

Monday, October 29, 2012

War News for Monday, October 29, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: According to local authorities in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, at least 5 Taliban militants were killed and four others were detained following a joint military operation by Afghan and coalition security forces in Ghazni city on Sunday night. Deputy provincial governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said the operation was conducted at Qala-e-Ghazi area in eastern Ghazni city on Sunday night and continued until dawn time on Monday.  In the meantme local residents in the area claimed that an Afghan man and woman were also killed following the operation however deputy provincial governor did not confirm the report but said that there was possibility of civilians casualties following the clashes since the Taliban militants were using a residential house to target Afghan and coalition security forces. Another Afghan security official in Ghazni province speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed the deaths of an Afghan man and woman in the clashes.

#2: According to local authorities in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, at least two Afghan national army service members were killed following a roadside improvised explosive device blast in Garmser district on Monday.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Kashif M. Memon

DoD: Sgt. Clinton K. Ruiz

Sunday, October 28, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, October 28, 2012

Condemnation from around the world for the Eid al-Adha attack on a mosque in Maimana, Faryab, which killed 40 people and injured 50. "Meanwhile, the Afghan political parties joined in condemning the attack, saying it went against Islam and natural human law, but also put some blame on the country's intelligence department." No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Investigation into the deaths of 2 British troops on Wednesday, along with an Afghan man in civilian clothing, has yet to determine what happened. The incident was apparently not "friendly" fire, but it is unclear who shot the people.

Four individuals planting mines in Kandarhar province reportedly killed by coalition forces.

President Karzai offers remarks following Friday prayers on Eid-al-Adha, calling on the Taliban to stop pursuing "the objectives of foreigners" and live in peace and dignity.

Robert Burns sees the Afghan war entering a new phase of stalemate. Excerpt:

U.S. commanders say with confidence that their war campaign is on track, and President Barack Obama seemed to agree in his debate last Monday with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"There's no reason why Americans should die when Afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country," Obama said.
Yet the path forward is dotted with question marks:
-Will Afghanistan's security forces be capable of holding off the Taliban on their own? Afghan forces outnumber the Taliban by more than 10-to-1, but currently not a single Afghan army battalion is capable of operating in the field without American advisers.
-If the Afghan forces falter, will the U.S. extend its stay or send in reinforcements to avoid a Taliban takeover?
-Will the U.S.-led military coalition hold together even as France and others dash for the exits in coming months?
-Will enough Afghans come to embrace the corrupt government in Kabul as a preferred alternative to the militant Taliban?
-Will the Afghans manage a peaceful transfer of power after a presidential election scheduled for 2014, in which President Hamid Karzai cannot run again? The independent International Crisis Group warned this month of a "precipitous slide toward state collapse" unless steps are taken soon to prevent a repeat of the "chaos and chicanery" of the 2009 presidential election and the 2010 parliamentary vote.

Two U.S. soldiers recently killed in action are identified. 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Kashif M. Memon of Houston, Texas, and 22-year-old Sgt. Clinton K. Ruiz of Murrieta, Calif were killed in a firefight in Uruzgan on Oct. 25.

Pakistani politician Imran Khan is detained and questioned by U.S. officials on his way to New York. Khan is an opponent of the U.S. campaign of airstrikes by unmanned aerial vehicles. He is eventually released and allowed to visit the United States.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

War News for Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan police wiped out a suicide bomber when he tried to blow up a police hostel in the city of Baglan, in the north of the country. According to the Khaama Press online paper, the suicide bomber tried, on Friday night, to sneak into the building where guests had come to, to celebrate the Id al-Adha Muslim holiday. But the police, tipped off about the coming attack the day before, prevented him from detonating his explosive belt.

#2: At least nine militants were killed and eight others wounded in a raid by security forces in Khyber Agency on Friday, officials said. According to political administrators, security forces backed by helicopter gunships pounded suspected militant hideouts in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency, killing nine extremists and injuring several others. Five militant positions were also destroying in the shelling. Khyber Agency, northwest part of country borders Afghanistan was once stronghold of Pakistani Taliban, now army control most of the region.

#3: According to local authorities in western Farah province of Afghanistan, provincial intelligence — National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief was attacked by unknown gunmen in this province.

The officials further added the incident took place early Friday morning while provincial NDS chief Abdul Samad was attending Eid prayers. Provincial governor spokesman Abdul Rahman Zhwandai confirming the report said the assailant gunman has been arrested and an Afghan intelligence officer along with some civilians were injured following the attack

Friday, October 26, 2012

War News for Friday, October 26, 2012

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from a small arms fire attack from an ANP in Khas Uruzgan, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan on Thursday, October 25th.
The Italian MOD is reporting the death of an Italian ISAF soldier from a small arms fire attack in the Bakwa districk, Farah province, Afghanistan on Thursday, October 25th. Three additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here’s the ISAF statement.

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing 36 people and wounding 23, officials said. The attack in the town of Maymana, capital of northern Faryab province, came as people were gathering at the mosque to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday. Top provincial officials, including the governor and the police chief, were inside the building when the bomber set off his explosives outside, where a large crowd had gathered, officials said. The officials were not hurt, but most of the dead were police officers and soldiers. He said in a statement that 36 people died in the blast and 23 were injured.
#2: At least 17 militants have been killed in an overnight attack on government office buildings in Registan district of southern Afghan province of Kandahar, authorities said Thursday. "A group of militants, numbered dozens of armed men, launched an attack against district compound in Registan at around 2 a.m. local time Thursday, sparking a three-hour gunbattle that left 17 militants dead," administrative chief of the district, Abdul Khaliq Ayoubi, told Xinhua.

#3: In a separate development, two police officers were wounded when a landmine planted by the militants struck their car in Ghazni city, the provincial capital of eastern Ghazni province 100 km south of Kabul earlier Thursday.

#4: an armored vehicle 'Cougar' South of the Task Force was involved in the explosion of a rudimentary bomb near Kormaleq, about forty kilometers from Farah.

MoD: Corporal David O'Connor

MoD: Corporal Channing Day

IT/DM: Corporal Titian Chierotti

Thursday, October 25, 2012

War News for Thursday, October 25, 2012

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two British ISAF service members while on a combat mission in the Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, October 24th. Here's the ISAF release.

Reported security incidents
#1: Two Polish soldiers were injured on Wednesday after their helicopter came under attack in the province of Ghazni, eastern Afghanistan. Tworkowski told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the attack occurred during a routine patrol, “in a very dangerous area that is highly populated with rebels.” The insurgents opened fire on the helicopter with machine guns. “Unfortunately, similar attacks on coalition forces are happening more and more often,” he said, noting about a dozen such incidents had occurred over the last week.

#2: The death toll of a raging battle that exploded in Myan Darra, a village in Afghanistan's remote north-western province of Faryab, is of at least 32 victims. A 30-men strong Taliban commando attacked and took over a local bazaar, executing two civilians for allegedly "collaborating" with the Central Government. The market was subsequently surrounded by the police special squads which shot down 25 militias but only after they had managed to kill five police agents.

#3: One policeman and two foreign soldiers were killed during infighting in Greshk district of southern Helmand province, an official said on Thursday. Police spokesman, Farid Ahmad Farhang said two policemen were performing ablution when they were attacked by foreign troops on Wednesday afternoon. He told Pajhwok Afghan News that the foreign soldiers suspected the policemen were armed insurgents. As result, an armed clash erupted between the group that led to the dead of two foreign soldiers and a policeman, he added.

#4: Nine armed insurgents were killed during two separate operations in the Chak district of central Maidan Wardak province, an official said on Thursday. The joint operations were conducted by Afghan and foreign forces in Araban area of the district, the governor's spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told Pajhwok Afghan News.

#5: At least three policemen were wounded in firing on a police van in Shalkot area of Quetta on Thursday. According to details, the police van was on routine patrol near West Bypass when some unidentified gunmen riding on motorcycles opened fire and injured ASI Ghulam Rasool, Constable Abdullah and Constable Aziz.

DoD: Chief Warrant Officer Michael S. Duskin

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

War News for Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, October 23rd.

Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists

Reported security incidents
#1: At least three people were killed on Wednesday, in a US drone strike in North Waziristan. Sources say a drone fired two missiles at a compound in Mir Ali Tehsil area of North Waziristan as a result of which three people were killed and a fire broke out in the compound.

#2: Nine people were killed and 25 wounded in an overnight operation launched by Afghan and the NATO-led coalition troops in the western province of Ghor, a provincial official said Wednesday, adding that local residents said most victims were civilians. "According to initial reports by our security forces, nine people were killed and 25 others injured during a night raid operation against militants conducted by Afghan Special Forces supporting by the coalition troops in Sharhrak district overnight, " a spokesman for provincial government, Abdul Hai Khatibi, told Xinhua.
#3: Militants in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan have destroyed a truck bound for the US-led foreign forces in neighboring Afghanistan, Press TV reports. The incident took place late Tuesday, when unknown militants opened fire at the tanker in the Kalat district. The provincial officials said the container was on its way from Pakistani port city of Karachi to Afghanistan. No casualties have been reported.

#4: Four Frontier Constabulary (FC) soldiers were injured on Tuesday in a remote-controlled bomb blast in the militancy-infested Khyber Agency, which borders Peshawar, security officials said. According to the officials, suspected militants bombed the room on a plaza's rooftop at Faqirabad Chowk where the FC personnel had taken positions. "Four FC men were injured by the remote-controlled blast," the officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

#5: Units of Afghan police have killed four Taliban militants and arrested 22 others over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Wednesday. "Afghan National Police in conjunction with the national army and the NATO-led coalition forces have launched series of cleanup operations in Kabul, Kunduz, Kandahar, Zabul, Ghazni, Khost, and Helmand provinces over the past 24 hours during which four Taliban rebels were killed, two wounded and 22 others arrested," the statement said. There were no casualties on the security forces.

#6: According to local authorities in western Farah province of Afghanistan, district chief for Parchaman was killed along with one of his bodyguard following a roadside bomb explosion. The officials further added the incident took place on Tuesday night at the central Parchaman city in this province. In the meantime provincial security chief Mohammad Ghaus Maliar said Mohammad Salim Mubariz was killed along with an Afghan police officer and two of his bodyguards were injured.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

War News for Tuesday, October 22, 2012

UK to double number of drones in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: At least 10 police officers and servicemen were killed in a shootout with Taliban fighters in Herat Province in the west of Afghanistan on Tuesday, local police reports say. The skirmish that erupted after Taliban militants attacked a police convoy continued for several hours. Security officers who arrived on the scene killed three militants.

#2: Casualties are feared in a bomb blast that hit a military convoy belonging to the US-led forces in Afghanistan, Press TV reports. The incident took place in Mihtarlam district of eastern province of Laghman on Tuesday. A tank belonging to foreign forces was destroyed in the attack. There have been no official reports of casualties, but witnesses told Press TV that foreign choppers evacuated the wounded from the scene of the attack.

#3: Maj. Bismillah and his subordinates, who were coming to the rescue of a relief convoy, were killed in the rebel ambush attack on Monday evening, the governor's spokesman said. Mohiuddin Noori told Pajhwok Afghan News the convoy came under attack on its way from Oba town to Chasht-i-Sharif district. Police spokesman Col. Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said the assault took place 35 kilometres from the Oba district centre. He added the fighters were also harmed in the clash. A local official, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed the counterterrorism police officer for Chasht-i-Sharif district was among the dead.

#4: An improvised explosive device (IED) fixed along the road was diffused in Bara Sheikhan area near Peshawar Tuesday, FP News desk reported. According to sources, the bomb disposal squad found the explosives fixed along the roadside in Bara Sheikhan area during a search operation. The squad diffused the bomb on time that was planted to target a police patrolling team.

#5: Earlier in the morning, three FC personnel were wounded when explosives stored in a room went off at Badaber in the outskirt here. Police sources said that FC personnel were on duty near an under construction house on Frontier Road, when suddenly a blast occurred in the house under construction, wounding three of them. Police said that the explosives were stocked in a room of the under construction house, which is being investigated.

#6: According to local authorities in eastern Nuristan province of Afghanistan, heavy clashes between Afghan security forces and anti-government armed militants started in this province early Tuesday morning. The officials further added the clashes started in Barg-e-Matal district and the militants are still resisting Afghan security forces. Provincial security chief Ghulamullah Nuristani said militants started attacking Afghan security forces in cooperation with the Pakistani military. Mr. Nuristani further added militants are fighting Afghan security forces and are armed with modern and heavy military equipments.

#7: According to local authorities in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan, a relatively heavy explosion rocked Mehtarlam city in this province early Tuesday morning. Provincial governor spokesman Sarhadi Zwak confirming the report said the incident took place in Basram village while a convoy of the coalition forces were crossing the area and were attacked by Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers. The NATO troops convoy were moving from Noor Gram district to Mehtarlam city when the incident took place. Coalition security forces did not suffer any casualties following the incident, provincial governor spokesman Sarhadi Zwak confirmed. This comes as Mr. Zwak earlier said a NATO vehicle was damaged following the blast however there is no report regarding the casualties. Sarhadi Zwak said the area has been cordoned off and NATO aircrafts are moving on the area.

AU/DoD: Corporal Scott James Smith

Monday, October 22, 2012

War News for Monday, October 22, 2012

The Australian DoD is reporting the death of an Australian ISAF soldier from an IED blast somewhere in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan on Sunday, October 21st. Here's the ISAF release.

Reported security incidents
#1: An Estonian infantryman received a light bullet wound in Afganistan over the weekend in a clash with insurgents. The man was airlifted to Camp Bastion, where he underwent surgery for a non-life threatening wound, reported ETV.

#2: During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, the Afghan National Army, National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Coalition Forces launched 11 joint clearance operations. According to a statement by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, 21 armed Taliban were killed and eight others were arrested during these operations. Operations were conducted in Kunduz, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Farah, Ghor and Helmand provinces, the Ministry indicated.

At least four insurgents were killed in operations carried out by the Afghan forces and the NATO-led coalition troops in eastern provinces, the coalition confirmed on Monday. "Afghan and coalition forces killed four insurgents, and cleared three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours," the coalition's Regional Command-East (RC-East) said in a statement. The insurgents were killed in Qarah Bagh district, Ghazni province with Ghazni city as its capital 100 km south of Afghan capital Kabul, the statement said, adding that the ANSF and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Ghazni District.

#3: At least eight militants were killed and six others injured during an operation by security forces in Upper Orakzai Agency, officials said on Sunday. Security officials said that the forces conducted the operation in Mamoonzai and Khadzai area of the agency and destroyed four hideouts of the militants. "Eight militants were killed and six others were injured in operation," they added. Orakzai is the only northwestern tribal agency of the country which does not border Afghanistan. Officials said the bombardment has also destroyed several hideouts of terrorists.

#4: A roadside bomb struck a police van in Ismael Khil district of Khost province, 150 km southeast of Afghan capital Kabul, killing two police and wounding four others on Monday, a local official said. “The tragic incident happened at around 10:00 a.m. local time when police were on routine patrol. As a result two policemen including an officer were martyred and four others sustained injuries,” Wali Shah Humat the governor of Ismael Khil district confirmed to Xinhua.

DoD: Pfc. Shane G. Wilson

Sunday, October 21, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, October 21, 2012

NATO soldier killed in action in southern Afghanistan. No further details as of now.

A fight among Afghan security forces in Khost province leaves 3 dead. Apparently the dispute began as a quarrel among the officers' children.

Note: As this appears to be a comparatively quiet day in Afghanistan, we have the opportunity to look in on the very active discussions going on about the future of that country. Afghanistan has been little mentioned in the U.S. presidential campaign, but no doubt the candidates will be asked about it in the  foreign policy debate tomorrow. Mitt Romney can legitimately claim that the policy has not been very successful in terms of its stated goals, but it is not clear what he might propose to do differently. Here is some useful background. -- C

State of the Afghan security forces is very poor; perhaps it was a mistake to set a large numerical goal for Afghan force strength, as opposed to concentrating on quality. Rajiv Chandreskaran of the Washington Post discusses:

The U.S. military has nearly met its growth target for the Afghan forces, but they are nowhere near ready to assume control of the country. No Afghan army battalion is capable of operating without U.S. advisers. Many policemen spend more time shaking down people for bribes than patrolling. Front-line units often do not receive the fuel, food and spare parts they need to function. Intelligence, aviation and medical services remain embryonic. And perhaps most alarming, an increasing number of Afghan soldiers and policemen are turning their weapons on their U.S. and NATO partners. . . "We've built a force that's simply too big," said Roger Carstens, a former Special Forces lieutenant colonel who spent two years as a senior counterinsurgency adviser at the NATO headquarters in Kabul. "When you try to generate that many people that fast, you create leaders without the requisite leadership, maturity or acumen to get the job done. You can't meaningfully vet anyone. You can't ensure morale and discipline."

UN says that civilian casualties from roadside bombs have been increasing, and that these are the biggest killer of civilians. IEDs "killed 340 civilians and injured a further 599 over the past nine months, an increase of almost 30 per cent compared to the same period last year."

No surprise, the Taliban deny responsibility for civilian casualties, claiming they only use remote controlled weapons that enable them to effectively target combatants, but somebody set the pressure plate bomb that killed 18 women in Balkh on Friday.

Khaama press columnist Wadsam has an optimistic view  of the country's situation, noting that since the removal of the Taliban from power in 2001, national institutions have developed. Excerpt:

Now, we are seeing a totally new Afghanistan. We are talking about the rule of law, human and women’s rights, the ability of the Afghan National Army and having them take over the security of the country. We have clearly come very far from where we were a decade ago. Afghanistan has now made an identity. Today, Afghanistan is recognized as a democratic country with a parliament, a constitution and institutions. Today, the media, the civil societies and the private sector are provided a platform to come together and discuss political and social issues, something never done before.
True enough, they are talking about these matters. But as Wadsam concedes, in some ways it's still more talk than reality. -- C

France is headed for the exit, ASAP.

U.S. diplomat Marc Grossman visits Pakistan to discuss Afghanistan with various officials. As usual, public announcements are a lot of BS. This will be the last high-level contact before the U.S. election.

AP reports a remnant of al Qaeda is attempting to re-establish itself in Afghanistan's mountainous east. The group is now based in Pakistan.

Not exactly news, but trust between U.S. and Afghan forces is at a nadir.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

War News for Saturday, October 20, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: In the latest insider attack, a man in police uniform sprayed bullets on policemen in a police checkpoint in Khost province 150 km southeast of Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, killing three policemen on the spot, a local official revealed. “In a tragic incident, a police constable opened fire and killed three colleagues in a checkpoint in Zazai Maidan district at 03:00 a.m. local time today,” the district police chief Azizullah told Xinhua.

#2: “A police constable who had link with the Taliban militants and worked as chef in a police checkpoint in Gereshk district of Helmand province opened fire on their colleague late Friday night leaving six colleagues dead and fled away to join Taliban,” police spokesman in the province Ahmad Farid Farhang told Xinhua. Following the gun shots, a group of Taliban rebels who were waiting nearby entered the checkpoint and sprayed bullets killing four others on the spot and made their good escape,” the statement added.

#3: A warehouse was gutted as a result of a rocket strike on the US military base in the Bagram district of central Parwan province, officials said on Saturday. A couple of rockets, fired by militants late on Friday night, triggered the blaze in a store in the Panj Qala area near the main military base, the Bagram police chief, Col. Zamaray Nasiri, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

#4: Afghan police during series of operations against Taliban militants across the country have killed six armed fighters and captured eight others over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a press release here on Saturday. The operations, according to the press release, carried out in Helmand, Sar-e-Pul, Kunduz, Ghazni and Kandahar provinces, during which a number of arms and ammunitions including six AK-47 assault rifles have also been seized.

#5: At least three security personnel were killed and 11 others injured as a roadside planted bomb hit a paramilitary force convoy in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta on Friday afternoon, reported local media Samaa. According to local media reports, the blast took place at about 5:20 p.m. local time when a bomb fixed on a bicycle parked on the Sariab Road of the city was detonated through a remote control device while a convoy of Frontier Corps (FC), a paramilitary force in Pakistan, was passing by. The convoy comprised two vehicles and they were on their routine patrol in the city when the blast occurred, said local media.

#6: According to local authorities in eastern Khost province of Afghanistan, at least 3 Afghan security forces including 2 border protection police forces and 1 Afghan national police officer were killed following clashes among themselsves in this province. Zazai Maidan district chief Mohammad Younis confirmed the report and said the incident took place late Friday evening however he said there were no further reports regarding the clashes.

#7: A heavy explosion rocked southern Helmand province of Afghanistan on Saturday. According the reports the incident took place near the provincial governor’s office at Lashkargah city in the center of southern Helmand province. The incident took place after explosives device planted on a bicycle went off.

Friday, October 19, 2012

War News for Friday, October 19, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: An explosion from a roadside bomb tore into a minibus carrying people to a wedding in northern Afghanistan on Friday, leaving 15 dead and 18 wounded, police said. Spokesman Shir Jan Durani said the group was travelling to Dawlat Abad district, about 450 kilometres (270 miles) northwest of the capital, Kabul.

#2: Separately, six football fans died and 36 were wounded on Friday when their bus collided with a fuel tanker on a narrow road about 400 kilometres (240 miles) northwest of the capital, provincial governor Mohammad Aleem Saaie said. The fans were travelling to Kabul for the final round of the country's football championships.

#3: Gunmen have opened fire at a Russian Mi-8 helicopter used by the UTair airlines for UN missions in Afghanistan, police say. The UN-contracted helicopter was attacked between the cities of Jalalabad and Gardez. The bullets hit it four times but the pilot managed to put a sufficient distance between the chopper and the attackers. The crew and passengers got away unscathed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

War News for Thursday, October 18, 2012

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an non-combat related injury in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, October 18th.

Reported security incidents
#1: Two militants were killed in the Khyber Agency when security forces pounded the militants’ hideouts in Tirah Valley, Geo News reported Thursday. According to official sources, the militants’ compounds were bombarded with the warplanes in Aka Khel area of Tirah Valley. As a result, two militants were killed while the operation is continuing in the area.

At least eight militants were killed, seven others injured and four militant hideouts destroyed when the Pakistani military launched an air strike over militant hides in the country's northwest tribal area of Khyber Agency, reported local TV on Thursday. According to the local state-run TV channel PTV, the Pakistani army launched a strike over militant hideouts in the Bara area of Khyber Agency early on Thursday morning. Gunship helicopters and fighter jets were reportedly used in the operation.

#2: Two Taliban militants were killed as their mine exploded prematurely in Helmand province 555 km south of capital city Kabul on Thursday, police spokesman in the province said. “Two Taliban terrorists who were attempting to plant a mine on a road outside provincial capital Lashkar Gah early this morning, but the device exploded pre-maturely killing both on the spot,” Farid Ahmad Farhang told Xinhua.

#3: Two members of the Montana Army National Guard’s 484th Military Police Company have been injured in an explosion, according to Maj. Tim Crowe. The explosion happened Saturday. He would not say whether the incident was caused by an improvised explosive device. He would only say it was an explosion that occurred in the course of the soldiers doing their jobs.

#4: A man riding a donkey was killed in a roadside bombing in the Falkah village of Kishk-i-Kohna district of Herat Tuesday night, the provincial police spokesman said. In neighbouring Farah province, two men were killed when the car they were travelling in struck a roadside bomb in Pusht-i-Rod district, a police official said. Col. Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said one man was killed and another wounded in a similar blast in the Takht valley of Ghor province.

#5: Units of Afghan police have killed two Taliban militants and arrested nine others over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Thursday. The police personnel, according to the statement have also discovered a number of arms and ammunitions including assault rifles from the militants during the operations, conducted in Kapisa, kandahar and Paktia provinces.

#6: At least four mortar shells were fired across the border from Afghanistan on Wednesday, injuring three people in Pakistan’s troubled tribal region of North Waziristan, Pakistani security officials said. The officials further added a man and two women of the same family were injured when a rocket fired from Afghanistan fell on a house in North Waziristan. This comes as local officials in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan on Wednesday announced at least 38 shells were fired in Dangam disrict. Provincial governor spokesman Wasifullah Wasifi said at least 3 civilians were injured following the shelling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

War News for Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CIA Operative Said Among Afghan Victims

Reported security incidents

#1:  At least 45 Afghan troops have been injured by a suicide car bomb attack at an Afghan-Nato military outpost in eastern Paktia province, say officials. The attacker reportedly detonated a vehicle packed with exlposives close to gates at the Zurmat base. Deputy provincial governor Abdul Rahman Mangal said most of the injured soldiers had been hit by broken glass.
#2: Unknown gunmen on Tuesday killed a polio vaccinator in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Balochistan, highlighting resistance to the country’s immunization campaign, officials said. The shooting happened in the Killi Jeo area of provincial capital Quetta a day after a three-day campaign kicked off across the country, senior government official Tariq Mengal told AFP.
#3: Gunmen shot dead four people on Tuesday, in what appears to be a fresh sectarian attack in Pakistan’s troubled southwestern province of Balochistan, police said. All those killed ran junk and scrap shops in the Kabarhi Market in Quetta, the provincial capital where sectarian and separatist violence is common. “It was a sectarian attack. Gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on them and drove away,” Asif Ghafoor, a senior police official, said.
#4: Defence ministry on Tuesday announced two Afghan National Army (ANA) troops were killed and 6 wounded in separate attacks throughout the past 24 hours. A statement issued by defence ministry said a roadside bomb killed an ANA soldier in Kajaki district of Helmand province while two more were wounded in Khakrez district of neighbouring Kandahar province. In a separate statement, the defence ministry said a roadside bomb blast left an ANA soldier dead and another wounded in Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province, adding three ANA troops also wounded in Ghazni and Paktia provinces. The defence ministry claimed 22 anti-government gunmen were killed and six wounded after a clash in Andar district of Ghazni province and two more killed in Gereshk district of Helmand.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

War News for Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Report: Soldier killed herself in Afghanistan

Afghan Army’s Turnover Threatens U.S. Strategy

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen shot dead four Shi’a Muslims on Tuesday, in a fresh sectarian attack in Pakistan's troubled southwestern province of Baluchistan, police said. All those killed ran junk and scrap shops in Kabari Market in Quetta, the provincial capital where sectarian and separatist violence is common. “It was a sectarian attack. Gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on them and drove away,” Asif Ghafoor, a senior police official, told AFP.

#2: Afghan national police have killed four Taliban militants during a series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a press release on Tuesday. “In the operations backed by the national army and the NATO- led troops and conducted in Kunduz, Wardak, Ghazni, Herat and Farah provinces over the past 24 hours, four armed Taliban rebels were killed, another injured and four others made captive,” the press release said. It did not say if there were any casualties on the security forces.

#3: Afghan security forces backed by the NATO-led troops eliminated 17 Taliban militants in Andar district of Ghazni province on Tuesday, an army spokesman in the province said. "Units of Afghan national army in coordination with the NATO- led coalition forces raided Taliban hideouts in Sangi and Nazarwal villages of Andar district late Monday night and during the cleanup operation which concluded at around 1:00 a.m. local time Tuesday, 17 rebels had been killed," Mohammad Hakim Stanikzai who speaks for 203 Thunder Corps of Afghan national army in Ghazni, told Xinhua.

#4: According to local authorities in western Herat province of Afghanistan, at least four people including three health workers were abducted by unknown gunmen in this province. The officials further added the health workers were kidnapped along with their driver in Ghoryan district of western Herat province.

DoD: Spc. Brittany B. Gordon

DoD: Sgt. Robert J. Billings

Monday, October 15, 2012

War News for Monday, October15, 2012

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Sgt. Thomas R. Macpherson died from a small arms fire attack in the Andar District, Ghanzi province, Afghanistan on Friday, October 12th.

The DoD is reporting another new death previously unreported by the military. Sgt. 1st Class Ryan J. Savard died from small arms fire in the Khanabad District, Kunduz province Afghanistan on Saturday, October 13th.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Cmdr. Joel Del Mundo Tiu died from non-combat related injuries in an undisclosed place and date. he was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan officials said on Monday that a NATO air strike killed three children while it was targeting Taliban insurgents planting mines on a road in southern Afghanistan. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed an air strike in Helmand province's Nawa district on Sunday, saying that three insurgents died and it was investigating reports that children were also killed.
#2: Seven UN employees were injured when the helicopter carrying them made an emergency landing in the central province of Bamyan, officials said on Monday. The MI-8, with six foreign and 14 Afghan employees of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), made the emergency landing in the Sar Qul area of Yakawlang district. UNAMA spokesman Nazifullah Salarzai told Pajhwok Afghan News the emergency landing took place on Sunday night due to a technical fault, injuring two foreign and five Afghan employees of the UN mission. “We saw the helicopter crashing into a tree and falling in a potato field,” said a resident of the village, Hafizullah.

#3: At least six militants were killed and one Pakistan Army soldier sustained injuries in a clash in Upper Orakzai Agency, officials said on Sunday. Security officials said the militants attacked a patrol party in the Barlas area of Mamozai in the wee hours, injuring a soldier. He was taken to the Combined Military Hospital in Thal for treatment. The officials said that six militants were killed and four others injured in the retaliatory fire by the security forces. The forces launched a massive search operation in Ghundai, Mula Pattay and Koranchki villages and seized a huge quantity of arms and ammunition concealed in caves in the areas.

#4: More than 300 militants attacked a small police checkpost in northwest Pakistan, killing seven people, including a senior police official, authorities said. The attack Sunday night in the Matani area outside Peshawar injured 12 others, Dawn reported. Police and a local paramilitary force personnel engaged the heavily armed attackers in a 3-hour gunfight, the report said. Two other policemen and four members of the paramilitary force were killed, Dawn said.

#4: Three civilians were killed Monday morning in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Afghanistan's eastern province of Wardak, the provincial government confirmed.

DoD: Sgt. Thomas R. Macpherson

DoD: Sgt. 1st Class Ryan J. Savard

DoD: Cmdr. Joel Del Mundo Tiu

Sunday, October 14, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, October 14, 2012

Five British marines have been charged with murder in connection with an incident in Afghanistan in 2011. The Ministry of Defense has released little specific information about the matter. The BBC reports that the charges originated from video footage found on the computer of a marine by civilian police in the UK. MoD says the incident concerned a combatant and that no civilians were involved.

Two NATO service members and a foreign civilian working with ISAF are killed in separate explosions on Saturday. As usual, details are scarce at this time. However, it appears one of these attacks was at southern Kandahar province's National Directorate of Security (NDS) headquarters, and also killed 3 NDS staff.

This is breaking news and the only source as of 8:00 am ET is RIA, but it is reported that the Taliban claim to have killed 8 bodyguards of Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili in Parwan province. There are conflicting reports, but it appears Khalili was not present.

ISAF says a join Afghan-coalition force killed Haqqani leader Rahmatullah in Logar province on Saturday. They also announce the arrest of a Haqqani leader in Ghazni.

Sabera Turkmani of the Afghan Midwives Association reports on widespread childhood malnutrition in Afghanistan. She says that 55% of Afghan children are stunted by undernourishment.

Germany will reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan from 4,900 to fewer than 4,000 next year.

Britain will reduce its forces from 9,000 to an unspecified number, but "thousands fewer." There are about 9,500 now but 500 will come home by the end of the year.

President Karzai writes to Pakistani political and religious leaders calling on them to fight terrorism  in response to the shooting of  Malala Yousafzai, a schoolgirl who advocated for female education. (I assume our readers know about this outrage but the latest news about her condition is here. It takes religion to make a man try to murder a 14 year old girl.)

Afghan police burn 24 tons of illegal drugs and paraphernalia. Note, however, that about 1/3 of the material was alcohol, along with an unstated quantity of raisins which can be used to make alcohol. (Now that's just weird. Why not feed them to some of those starving children instead? -- C)


Saturday, October 13, 2012

War News for Saturday, October 13, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: Kandahar provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal said a suicide bomber on foot blew himself up on Saturday at an entry checkpoint for the national intelligence office in Maruf district. He said three intelligence officers were killed and four other officers were wounded.

#2: In neighboring Zabul province, twin explosions killed two policemen on Saturday morning. Provincial spokesman Shariullah Nasari said a police vehicle ran over a roadside mine and when other policemen went to assist those in the vehicle, another bomb went off. He said two policemen were killed and three others were wounded in the second blast.

#3: Up to 32 insurgents were killed, six wounded and six other detained in a series of military operation carried out in different districts and central parts of southern Kandahar province, an official said Saturday. Provincial police chief, Gen. Abdul Razeq told reporters that the operation had been launched by joint Afghan security forces backed by international troops in many districts and central part of the province.

#4: A suicide bomber in a car blew himself up at a market in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 14 people, officials said. The target of the attack in the town of Darra Adam Khel appeared to be members of a pro-government militia created to fight Taliban militants, the officials said, adding that the death toll may rise because 25 people were wounded and several were in critical condition.

#5: Up to 11 militants have been killed and 40 others detained in the latest military operations in different Afghan provinces, authorities said Saturday. "Afghan police supporting by army and the NATO-led coalition forces carried out eight cleanup operations in Kapisa, Kunduz, Sar- e-Pul, Ghazni, Paktia, Farah and Helmand provinces, killing five armed Taliban militants and detaining 23 other armed Taliban within the past 24 hours," the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement issued here. Three militants were also wounded in the above raids, it said, adding the police also found and seized weapons besides defusing four anti-vehicle mines. In addition, six Taliban militants were killed, three wounded and 17 others were captured during a special operation lunched by police in Mullah Khil village in Baghlan district, Baghlan province on Friday afternoon, an official with the interior ministry, Gen. Ghayor Andarabi, told Xinhua on Saturday morning. "A police officer named Mohammad Mujib with the special operation police force was also killed in the gunfight in the operation in the province some 160 km north of Kabul," Andarabi said, adding the militants were responsible for several attacks against security forces throughout the province.

#6: Up to nine civilians, including three children, were wounded on Friday in a gun battle between security forces and Taliban militants in eastern Ghazni province, the police said. "Armed Taliban insurgents launched attack against police checkpoints in Khak-e-Ghariban neighborhood, an area in western part of provincial capital Ghazni city at around 11 a.m. local time, but a Taliban mortar shell hit a house injuring nine innocent civilians," provincial police chief, Zarawar Zahid, told Xinhua.

#7: According to local authorities in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, several missiles were fired on Nangarahr airbase on Friday night. Provincial security chief spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqi confirming the report said at least 16 missiles were fired from Lalmai area in Behsud district. Mr. Mashqiri further added at least 10 missiles landed inside the airport while 6 others landed on the closer proximities of the airport.

#8: According to local authorities in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan a number of Taliban militants and Afghan civilians were killed following an airstrike by NATO-led coalition forces in this province. Mohammad Qasim Dasiwal Andar district chief in Ghazni province said, “NATO airstrike killed at least 4 Afghan civilians and 10 Taliban militants at Qala-e-Zarin area.” Mr. Dasiwal further added the air raid was carried out on Thursday night in Andar district which is one of the volatile regions in Ghazni province.

Friday, October 12, 2012

War News for Friday, October 12, 2012

The Georgian MoD is reporting the death of a Georgian soldier in Afghanistan. The release states few or no details on Corporal Mindia Abashidze death.

MOD statement on arrest of seven Royal Marines

Reported security incidents
#1:  U.S. drones fired four missiles at a compound of a Pakistani militant commander in a northwestern tribal region on Thursday, killing 16 militants. A government administrator in Orakzai region, Salim Khan, said 12 insurgents were also wounded in the drone attack near Biland village bordering the North Waziristan tribal region. Three Pakistani intelligence officials said the dead and wounded men were fighters loyal to militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is based in North Waziristan.

#2: The Afghan forces and the NATO-led coalition troops have eliminated six insurgents and captured 18 others in restive eastern Afghan provinces within a 24-hour period, the coalition forces confirmed in a press release issued from Bagram, the main US base in the country, on Friday. The joint forces killed six insurgents during engagements in Nerkh district and Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, 35 km west of Afghan capital Kabul, it said.
#3: According to reports two foreign nationals were abducted by unknown gunmen in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan. A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the two individuals were kidnapped in Syedabad district.

Geo/MoD: Corporal Mindia Abashidze

Thursday, October 11, 2012

War News for Thursday, October 11, 2012

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Milton W. Brown died from a non-combat related incident in Rota Spain on Thursday, October 4th. He was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. News reports that he was airlifted to a hospital in Spain from the USS Abraham Lincoln after contracting an unspecified illness.

Reported security incidents
#1: A bomb strapped to a donkey killed at least four people and wounded more than 10 others in Pakistan s tribal belt on the Afghan border Thursday, officials said. The attack took place in Mishti Mela village in Orakzai, one of the seven districts in the semi-autonomous tribal belt. "A remote-controlled bomb strapped to a donkey blew up as the animal entered a small bazaar of the village, killing at least four people and injuring more than 10 others," senior local administration official Fazal Qadir said.

At least eight people were killed and 20 others injured as a passenger bus hit a landmine at Orakzai Agency on Thursday morning. According to the media reports, the incident took place when a bus hit a roadside planted landmine in the Mashi Mela area of Orakzai, the only one among the seven tribal areas in the country, that does not border Afghanistan.

#2: A local commander of police was martyred in a mine blast in Kunduz province. It is said that in this blast three soldiers of the martyred commander have injured. The event occurred yesterday in Poli Noor Mohammad of Dashte Harche district while the vehicle of local police faced with the mine.

#3: Two civilians were killed and two were wounded in a Taliban rocket attack in eastern Wardak province overnight, the police said Thursday. "Two adult men were killed and two others wounded when a rocket fired by Taliban insurgents hit a construction company in provincial capital Maidan Shar last night," provincial police chief, Qaum Bakizai, told Xinhua.

#4: Afghan police, backed by the army, have killed 31 Taliban militants during operations within one-week period, the provincial police chief said Thursday. "Up to 31 anti-government militants have been killed and six have been injured during operations launched in Kandahar city and other districts over the past seven days," police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, told a press briefing here. He said that six other Taliban militants were detained by the police forces during the above raids.

#5: According to local authorities in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan, district security chief for Shor-Tapa was killed along with his bodyguard following a roadside bomb explosion. The incident took place early Thursday morning at Shor-Tapa district after a roadside bomb went off. Provincial security chief spokesman Sher Khan Durani confirming the report said at least 5 security guards of Shor-Tapa district security chief were also injured following the blast.

#6: An Afghan security official was injured following an explosion capital Kabul on Thursday. Gen. Haji Safa commander of the political detainees at Bagram prison was injured during the incident in Kalakan district. The exact details of the incident has not been disclosed by Afghan security officials yet.

DoD: Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Milton W. Brown

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

War News for Wednesday, October 10, 2012

US losing IED war in Afghanistan
U.S. Military Is Sent to Jordan to Help With Crisis in Syria
NATO to confirm follow-on mission in Afghanistan today

Reported security incidents
#1: At least five gunmen have been killed in a US-drone attack in the Pakistani tribal region close to the Pakistani borders with Afghanistan. Pakistani Intelligence officials revealed that a number of rockets hit a complex in northern Waziristan in a pre-dawn drone attack. The identity of the deceased gunmen is still unknown.
#2: Afghan officials say an explosion in the country's south has killed six local policemen. Mohammad Ibrahim, the police chief in Nad Ali district of Helmand province, says the blast on Wednesday morning occurred when the policemen's vehicle ran over a roadside bomb. The victims were members of the Afghan Local Police, a village defense unit that is overseen by the Interior Ministry.

#3: Also in the south, a member of Afghanistan's top religious council was assassinated on Tuesday in Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province. Provincial police spokesman Fareed Ayal says a gunman shot and killed Abdul Samad as he was driving his car.

#4: Armed motorcyclists opened fire on anti-terrorist police in Herat city, leaving a cop dead while a policeman and two civilians injured,3the Herat security in-charge Abdul Hamid Hamidi told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) .

#5: Meanwhile, the fourth border zone commander Sher Ahmad Maldani told the AIP an IED struck a police van in Tor Ghondai area of Rabat-i-Sangi district. Two cops were killed as a result, he added.

#6: Four militants were killed during a joint operation by Afghan and ISAF personnel in the eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said on Tuesday. The insurgents were killed as a result of a ground and air operation at 2am in the Anbarkhana area of Batikot district, the town's administrative head, Mirza Hamidullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

#7: Two unidentified bodies were recovered form Dawoodzai in the outskirt here on Wednesday, FP News desk reported. Police said that the bodies were found beside the road at Gul Bela in the jurisdiction of police station Dawoodzai. Both the persons were gunned down, while the bodies have torture marks as well.

#8: Afghan police, backed by the army and the NATO-led coalition forces, have eliminated 15 Taliban militants in five provinces within the past 24 hours, the country' s Ministry of Interior Affairs said Wednesday. "Afghan National Police (ANP) in collaboration with army and coalition forces carried out seven cleanup operations in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Paktika, Paktia and Helmand provinces, killing 15 armed Taliban militants and detaining five other armed suspects over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement providing the daily operational updates.