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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

War News for Thursday, February 28, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: INSURGENTS today launched a rocket attack on the main coalition military base in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. The heavily-fortified Camp Bastion, which accommodates up to 4,000 British, US, Danish and Estonian troops was targeted at about 6.30pm as darkness fell. Damage was caused but a spokesman for Taskforce Helmand said no-one had been injured. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We can confirm that a rocket attack against Camp Bastion took place. No significant damage or casualties have been reported as a result of this incident.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

War News for Wednesday, February 27, 2013

'Drop' in insurgent attacks in Afghanistan is clerical error

Afghan Sign of Progress Turns Out to Be Error - The American-led NATO coalition said Tuesday that it had discovered a clerical error in its reporting and that the number of enemy-initiated attacks — defined as attacks with guns, mortars, rockets or improvised explosive devices — remained constant from 2011 to 2012.

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants shot dead 17 people overnight, including 10 local Police officers, as the victims slept, in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday. The attack took place at a police outpost in Ghazni province, according to the provincial governor. In addition to the officers, seven of their friends and relatives who were spending the night were also killed, Gov. Musa Khan Akbarzada said.

#2: In a separate incident, a suicide bomber targeted an Afghan National Army bus in western Kabul, injuring six personnel and one civilian, according to Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi.

#3: A local journalist working for a Pakistani newspaper and TV news channel was shot down Wednesday by unknown gunmen in restive North Waziristan agency, family members said. According to family members, Malik Mumtaz, a correspondent for The News and Geo News, was shot dead Wednesday in his home town of Miranshah in the militancy hit tribal region.

#4: Two police personnel were found dead in their checkpost in Kandahar City last night, an official said Tuesday. The Kandaahr governor's spokesman Javed Faisal told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) the incident was being probed to ascertain the nature of their death. Meanwhile, the Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi told the AIP these policemen had been killed with the help of an infiltrator.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

War News for Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Talk of Inquiry, but Not Much Is Sure After Afghan Ban on U.S. Troops

Reported security incidents
#1: At least one FC personnel was killed and six others were injured in a blast at the FC fort in Bara district of Khyber Agency on Monday. A powerful blast reportedly destroyed seven rooms of the garrison at Fort Slope Camp in Khajoori area of Tehsil Bara. The blast took place in a vehicle captured recently by the forces and which was parked inside the fort.

#2: Military aircraft on Monday pounded the Tirah Valley while security forces conducted an operation in Bara, killing seven terrorists. Several terrorist hideouts were also destroyed. Security sources said the aircraft targeted Kukikhel area and destroyed Taliban hideouts in Saravila and surrounding areas. Four Taliban were reportedly killed in the bombing. Three other terrorists were killed in an operation by the security forces in Bara.

#3: Up to 35 militants have been killed and 41 others wounded in an operation conducted by Afghan army in the country's western province of Herat and neighboring Badghis province, authorities said on Tuesday. "The Afghan army launched an one-week operation ending on Tuesday in Muquar district of Badghis and Kishk-e-Kohna district of Herat, killing 35 armed insurgents and wounding 41 others," deputy provincial governor Asilluddin Jami told Xinhua.

#4: Eight militants have been killed and 12 others detained in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. "Afghan National Police (ANP) carried out several cleanup operations in collaboration with army and the NATO-led coalition forces in Logar, Parwan, Ghazni, Khost, Samangan, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces, killing eight armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 12 others over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates.

#5: At least one man was killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb went off near a shrine in Pakistan's southern district of Shikarpur on Monday night, reported local Urdu TV channel Samaa.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. Davis

Monday, February 25, 2013

War News for Monday, February 25, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: Four Afghan civilians were killed and two others were wounded in explosion in the country's southern province of Helmand on Monday morning, police said. "A civilian car was running along a road in Sharsharak area of Marja district at about 9 a.m. local time but the ill-fated vehicle touched off an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and the explosion claimed the lives of four civilians and wounded two others," the provincial police department said in a statement issued here.
#2: Two policemen were killed and one injured when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the adjacent Uruzgan province, police spokesman Farid Ayel said. 'The incident took place in the outskirts of Trinkot city, the provincial capital,' Ayel said.

#3: AFGHAN security forces shot dead at least one would-be suicide bomber yesterday in a high-security area of Kabul, home to government departments and diplomatic missions, police said. The attack, one of four in Afghanistan early yesterday, happened near a construction site that was stormed by Taliban gunmen last April. The would-be bomber was carrying a gun and wearing an explosive vest when he was shot said Kabul police chief General Ayoub Salangi.

#4: Up to 29 militants have been killed and 29 others wounded in military operations in the past 24 hours, in the latest raids against insurgency in the country, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Monday. “Afghan National Police (ANP) in partnership with army and the NATO-led coalition forces carried out several cleanup operations in Nangarhar, Laghman, Badakhshan, Kandahar, Zabul, Logar, Ghazni, Paktiya, Herat, Badghis and Helmand provinces, killing 29 armed Taliban militants during the past 24 hours,” the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates.

#5: A police head constable was gunned down by some unknown shooters in the Yakatoot Police Station area, interior City on Sunday morning, police confirmed. Head constable Farman Khan, residence of Tuheed Abad, Yakatoot was going for Fajr prayer when some unknown shooters raiding on a motorbike started indiscriminate firing on him, killing Farman Khan on the spot and made their escape goods. He was a CID Police head constable but was serving as the gunman of SSP Investigation these days.

#7: At least one security person was killed and several others injured when a bomb went off inside a fort of paramilitary troops in Pakistan's northwest tribal region of Khyber on Monday afternoon, local Urdu TV Geo reported.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, February 24, 2013

Suicide car bombing at a facility of the National Directorate of Security in Jalalabad kills 2, injures 3. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claims responsibility.

Elsewhere, suicide attack on a police outpost in Logar province results in the death of one officer,  while a separate, apparently coordinated attack nearby results in the death of another officer and a civilian.

Attempted sucide bombing near NDS HQ in Kabul is thwarted. (This story says the Logar attacks resulted in woundings, not deaths, but deaths are often confirmed after initial accounts emerge.)

Interior ministry says 17 Taliban killed in operations in past 24 hours. (As I have noted before, that number of approximately 17 seems to pertain just about every day. -- C) "[T]he Taliban issued a rebuttal statement in which they "strongly rejected" the Ministry of Interior's updates on Taliban casualties."

NATO considering plan to sustain Afghan national army at 352,000 through 2018. The United States would pay for the bulk of the country's military budget, at $5.7 billion a year, while Afghanistan would contribute $500 million and other NATO allies $300 million. (But we can't afford the National Institutes of Health or heating assistance for the elderly poor. -- C)

Iran is reported to have executed approximately 80 Afghan civilians by hanging in the past six months, over opium smuggling charges, and to have many more in custody, hundred under sentence of death.

Update: The Afghan government says a group of armed people who may be U.S. special forces is carrying out acts of torture and murder.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force must stop all special force operations out of Wardak province, where such horrors have been taking place, and all U.S. special forces must be gone from the province within two weeks, Afghanistan's National Security Council demanded.
At a meeting of the council, chaired by President Hamid Karzai, "it became clear that armed individuals named as U.S. special force stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people," Karzai's office said in a statement. It did not indicate who "named" the group a U.S. special force.
Nine people "disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force," the statement said. And in another incident, a student was taken from his home at night, and his "tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge," the statement said.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

War News for Saturday, February 23, 2013

TAPI pipeline to start commercial operation by 2017-18  and here's how it all started - whisker

Nato may station 8,000-12,000 troops in post-2014 Afghanistan

U.S. Opens Niger Drone Base, Building Africa Presence

Reported security incidents
#1: Units of Afghan police have killed 17 Taliban militants during series of operations across the militancy-plagued country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Saturday. The operations, according to the statement, were carried out in Nangarhar, Laghman, Kandahar and Logar provinces during which four more militants had made captive. It did not say if there were any casualties on the police side.

#2: Police recovered and defused an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Satellite Town in the provincial capital (Quetta) on Friday afternoon.Police sources said that unknown men had planted IED against the wall of a house in Satellite Town.On receiving information about the suspected thing attached with the wall, the Satellite Town police along with Bomb Disposal Squad reached the site and defused the explosive.According to BDS team, about four to five kg explosives were used in the IED.

#3: A roadside bomb struck police van in Kunduz province 250 km north of Kabul on Saturday, wounding three police personnel, provincial police chief Mohammad Khalil Andarabai said. "A mine planted by anti-government militants struck a police vehicle at around 01:30 p.m. today injuring three policemen," Andarabi said to Xinhua. The incident, he added took place on the road leading to Shir Khan Bandar border town.

Friday, February 22, 2013

War News for Friday, February 22, 2013

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, February 22nd.

NATO Plan Tries to Avoid Sweeping Cuts in Afghan Troops

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of Feburary 12, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: A policeman was killed and two wounded in a hand-grenade attack in Kandahar City, capital of Kandahar province on Thursday, an official said. A police vehicle came under a hand-grenade attack in Dand Square of Kandahar city, killing a cop aboard the vehicle and wounding two more, Javed Faisal, spokesman for Kandahar governor, told AIP.

#2: Taliban kill two cops: The Taliban allegedly killed two Afghan Local Police personnel and captured six more alive in Kohistanat district of Sar-i-Pul province, officials said Thursday. The Taliban attacked a checkpost of the Afghan Local Police in Sopak area of Kohistanat district yesterday, killing a commander identified as Kamaluddin and his deputy, the Sar-i-Pul police chief Abdul Rauf Taj told AIP. The Taliban also captured six more Afghan Local Police personnel in the area, he added. He said backup teams had been sent to the area to secure release of captured policemen.

#3: Combined force allegedly killed four civilians in Kunduz district, capital of northern Kunduz province on Thursday, local resident said. Afghan and foreign forces raided the house of a local resident, Saifur Rahman, at approximately 1:30 a.m. (local time), killing him, his two sons, Dilarwa and 18-year-old Hayatullah, residents of Khwaja Ghaltan area, 20 km to northwest of Kunduz City, told a correspondent of Afghan Islamic Press who visited the area. He said the combined force also raided an adjacent house, killing owner of the house, Abdul Haq.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

War News for Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: Two officers with police special forces and four insurgents, including a commander, were killed Thursday during a raid on a house in northern Afghanistan, a police spokesman said, dpa reported. A German soldier was wounded in the operation, which Afghan and NATO-led troops conducted in Kunduz, the capital of the province with the same name, said Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, Kunduz police spokesman.

#2: At least one person was killed while 18 others were injured when an explosion ripped through a busy mobile phone market here on Thursday. Several shops were also destroyed in the blast which was planted inside the market. Police said the blast took place in a market situated near Faqeer Abad bridge in Hasht Nagri area of Peshawar.

#3: At least 14 militants were killed when Pakistani jets pounded their hideouts in Tirah Valley’s Dwatoi on Wednesday, according to a security official. The official said several more militants were injured during the bombing, but they could not provide an accurate figure. He added the numbers could not be ascertained as the militants had moved their injured comrades and the bodies to an undisclosed location in Tirah Valley.

#4: The press sources of national defense ministry said that during cleansing operation in Herat province casualties inflected to armed insurgents. The sources said 11 armed rebels were killed and 7 others wounded during Naweed 5 operation in the relevant areas of Herat province. According to defense ministry, the operation conducted by Zafar 207 army crops personnel in the relevant areas of Robat Sangi district of Herat, in which 11 armed rebels were killed and 7 others wounded. According to another report, other operation was launched in the outskirts of Shindand district of Herat province, a talib was killed and one outer wounded.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

War News for Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: NATO and Afghan forces have killed at least 25 insurgents and 3 of their commanders in separate operations around the country, Afghan and coalition officials said Wednesday. An Afghan security operation on Tuesday in Mehterlam, the capital city of eastern Laghman province, killed 15 insurgents, the Interior Ministry said. The ministry said the insurgent's commander, identified as Qari Almas, was also killed in the raid. Meanwhile, joint operations by Afghan troops and the U.S.-led International Assistance Force killed 10 insurgents on Tuesday in southern and eastern Afghanistan, NATO said. The coalition said five insurgents were killed in the lawless Andar district of eastern Ghazni province, three died in an operation in eastern Logar province, and two were killed in southern Helmand province.

#2: Six soldiers of Afghan National Army (ANA) were killed and two more wounded after separate attacks in Kandahar, Farah and Herat province, defence ministry said Tuesday .The ANA troops were killed and wounded Ghorak district of Kandahar, Bala Balok district of Farah and Herat provinces, the defence ministry said in a statement.

#3: An Afghan civilian was killed and one was wounded Wednesday in a blast in the country 's southern province of Uruzgan, police said. "A civilian car touched off a pressure-plate bomb or Improvised Explosive Device (IED) along a road in Garmab Manda area in provincial capital in mid-day and the explosion killed a civilian injured another," police spokesman Farid Ayel told Xinhua, blaming Taliban insurgents for placing the IED in the province 370 km south of capital Kabul.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

War News for Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Killings of Afghan government workers soar: UN 

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen in a restive tribal region on Monday attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying military equipment bound for NATO operations in Afghanistan, killing two people, officials said. The convoy of some 25 vehicles came under attack after it got stuck in a traffic jam in Landi Kotal town in the Khyber tribal region. "At least three unidentified gunmen opened fire on the convoy, killing a driver and his helper and damaging two vehicles," senior local administration official Shakil Burki told AFP. He said the gunmen fled after the attack, adding that one person in the convoy was also injured.

#2: Units of Afghan police have killed more than two dozen Taliban militants during series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Tuesday. “Afghan police backed by the national army have carried out 19 cleanup operations in different provinces including Helmadn, Logar, Kunduz and Uruzgan provinces during which 25 Taliban rebels have been killed, seven injured and 19 others made captive,” the statement added. It did not say if there were any casualties on police.

#3: According to local authorities in Daikundi province of Afghanistan heavy clashes took place between Afghan security forces and militants on Monday morning in Kajran district. The officials further added the clashes started early Monday morning and is still continuing. Provincial security chief Juma Guldi Yardam confirming the report said fight between Afghan security forces and militants started around 6:30 am and militants were still resisting Afghan security forces until evening today. He said the incident took place after several militants equipped with heavy weapons attacked security check posts in Kajran district from Baghran area of Helmand province.

Monday, February 18, 2013

War News for Monday, February 18, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants wearing suicide vests and disguised as policemen attacked the office of a senior political official in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, killing five people, police and hospital officials said. The target of Monday's attack in the city of Peshawar was the office of the top political official for the Khyber tribal area, a major militant sanctuary in the country. The militants were disguised in the same type of uniform worn by the tribal policemen who protect the compound. Four militants opened fire on the policemen protecting the compound and managed to get inside, said senior tribal policeman Sajad Hussain. Once inside, three of the attackers detonated their suicide vests, said Hussain. It's unclear what happened to the fourth attacker. The dead included four tribal policemen and one elderly civilian, said police officer Noor Mohammed Khan. The wounded included four tribal policemen and three civilians, he said

#2: Up to 21 Taliban militants have been killed and 21 others arrested in one-day military operations across Afghanistan, said the country’s Ministry of Interior Affairs on Monday morning. “Afghan National Police (ANP) in partnership with army and the NATO-led coalition forces conducted nine cleanup operations in nine provinces, killing 21 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 21 other armed suspects over the last 24 hours,” the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates. Five other insurgents were wounded in the above raids, it noted.

#3: On Sunday evening, two militants were killed and four others wounded when militants raided a police checkpoint in the country’s northern province of Jawzjan, the provincial police chief Abdul Aziz Ghirat told Xinhua on Monday, adding no ANP service member was harmed in the attack.

#4: Two Taliban insider attack facilitators have been killed in eastern Afghan province of Kunar, the NATO-led coalition forces confirmed on Monday. "Afghan and coalition forces confirmed today the death of the two Taliban insider attack facilitators, Mahmood and Rashid, during a security operation in Ghaziabad district, Kunar province, Wednesday," said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a press release.

#5: At least eight militants were killed when warplanes pounded suspected hideouts of Taliban insurgents in Upper Orakzai on Sunday. A security forces’ official claimed that three hideouts of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were destroyed in raids in Tambo Sar, Mir Kalam Khel and Lando Qamar areas of Mamozai, killing eight militants. This was the 10th raid on the TTP in the region since the beginning of 2013. Around 84 suspected militants have been killed and over 28 hideouts destroyed in these attacks, the official said.

#6: Four Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were injured in a roadside bomb blast in Razmak subdivision of North Waziristan Agency on Sunday. An official of the security forces said around noon four FC personnel on foot patrol were scanning the Sarobi area for IEDs when a low intensity IED exploded and injured them.

#7: According to local authorities in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan a group of unknown gunmen attacked the vehicles of a de-mining organization in this province. Arghis district chief in southern Kandahar province Abdul Ghani said unknown gunmnen on Saturday attacked the vehicles of DAFA de-mining organization and torched one vehicle.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, February 17, 2013

President Karzai bans Afghan forces from calling in NATO air support following numerous incidents involving civilian casualties. The most recent was Wednesday, when ten non-combatants, including children, were killed. New ISAF commander Gen. Joseph Dunford says he will comply.

Two police killed and 4 injured by a roadside bomb in Shiberghan, the capital of northern Jawizjan province. (This is an area where we have heard little previously about insurgent activity. - C) Meanwhile, in a separate incident, 1 officer was killed, 1 injured, and 2 kidnapped at a checkpost in Herat province. Security forces are seeking the kidnapped officers.

Gunmen attack vehicles of a demining contractor in Kandahar province. They torch one and steal the other.

Mohammad Rasouli, writing for Khaama, discusses the opium economy. Opium has become so deeply ingrained in the economy, and in rural Afghan society and government; while civil institutions generally are weak and corrupt; that the problem will take a long time to combat. Excerpt:

In the past two decades, Afghanistan had provided more than 90 percent of the world’s opium and was a key producer in this field. According to statistics, the total illicit narcotic drug trade is equal to one third of the country’s GDP, benefiting millions of Afghan citizens directly or indirectly.

Some of the main reasons for production of opium include the combination of anti-government unrest, nationwide insecurity, armed rebellion and widespread corruption in the state itself.
The Counter Narcotics experts believe that due to the corruption in the government and bribery of the authorities to exempt some fields from the elimination of the opium program, farmers prefer to ask Taliban forces to protect their opium crops.

On the other side of the moon, according to UN estimates, only about 10 percent of total opium profits go into the pockets of farmers and 20 percent is the share of insurgents. The rest of this magical income is for traffickers, police forces, local strongmen and those government officials who are complicit in the trade or facilitating in the transport of drugs.

Good-luck-with-that department: Afghanistan to begin distribution of high-tech national ID cards next month. "The new National ID system will enable the government to establish a very accurate, up to date and effective database of the census of the country’s population, their movement, and addresses, age categories and many more.  This in turn will enable the government to prepare very effective and efficient development plans as well as public services projects and simplify business and public processes and procedures, and by doing so remove the very complicated government procedures and tackle the issue of corruption." (Don't hold your breath. -- C)

Alissa Rubin and Declan Walsh report for the NYT on the renewed effort to negotiate a deal with the Taliban. They see little progress as yet, but a general recognition that a settlement is necessary as NATO prepares to get out.

Ahmad Massoud reports on the appalling public health conditions in Afghanistan, where one out of every five children dies before the age of five. That is 550 children every day. (The national ID cards should solve this. -- C)

Karzai orders interrogations to be videotaped to prevent torture. He also orders the Attorney General to prosecute torturers. (We'll see.)

Ministry of Public Health suspends or permanently bans 87 private hospitals for violations of standards.

Lt. Col. Matthew B.Tully, a survivor of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and a veteran of combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is awarded the bronze star as he recovers from serious combat injuries sustained in August, 2012.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, The death toll from the marketplace bombing yesterday in Quetta has risen to 84.

And in Iraq, six car bombing in Shiite areas of Baghdad kill at least 28, while attacks on security forces kill Brigadier General Aouni Ali, head of main intelligence academy and two of his guards, an army lieutenant and two other soldiers, and a former terrorism investigator now working as a judge. (Sure Sen. McCain, the "surge" worked perfectly and everything is now fine. -- C)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

War News for Saturday, February 16, 2013

NATO air strikes for Afghan security forces must end - Karzai

U.S. Military Faces Fire as It Pulls Out of Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A Fairborn native has been critically wounded in Afghanistan. Sources tell 2 NEWS that Christina Maddock was working as a contractor at the time for a company called Intelligence Software Solutions based in Colorado. We're told she was shot, but exactly how the incident occurred is still being investigated. She was flown to Germany for treatment where as of Friday morning she was in critical condition on life support. She was also an active member of the Ohio Air National Guard.

#2: American Special Operations Forces stopped a tribal leader as he was driving with his brother and 6-year-old son in an area rife with Taliban in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday. A quick examination of his identity documents confirmed that he was a wanted man. The troops took the man, Mirza M. Khan, and his brother to a nearby base for questioning. According to both the brother and a district official who heard the Special Forces’ account of the episode, the two men were let go — but Mr. Khan was fatally shot as he returned to his car.

#3: At least 10 people were killed and many others, including children and women injured as a blast hit Quetta’s busy market on Kirani road on Saturday. Initial reports said four people were killed while many others injured. However, Geo News correspondent says death toll started climbing as victims succumbed to their wounds in hospitals where a state of emergency was declared. He says the blast occurred in a bazaar located near a densely populated area.

#4: One terrorist was killed and six others were arrested following a clash with security forces in Bannu on Saturday. Acting on a tip-off, security forces launched a search operation in Mandan area of Bannu, where militants were believed to be hiding. The militants attacked the troops, who opened retaliatory fire, killing one attacker and apprehending six others.

#5: At least eight militants were killed on Friday in an operation carried out by security forces in the Orakzai tribal region. According to a private TV channel the action was carried out in Upper Orakzai's Mamozai area. Jet fighters were also used in the operation in which two militant hideouts were destroyed.

#6: Two members of Afghan security forces were killed and four others were wounded Saturday when a bomb hit their mobile in the country's northern province of Jawzjan, the provincial police chief said.

Friday, February 15, 2013

War News for Friday, February 15, 2013

Hundreds of UK drones 'missing' in Iraq and Afghanistan

Main Hurdle in Afghan Withdrawal: Getting the Gear Out

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide attacker attempted to target the convoy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti near College Chowk here. The suicide bomber detonated himself near the convoy of the chief minister who was travelling to a rally in Mardan. Chief Minister Hoti remained unhurt in the attack, and there was no loss of life reported.

#2: A police official was killed in an attack on a police party engaged in an overnight search operation to track down the saboteurs holed up in an area of the city. According to SHO Pir Wadhai Police Station, police conducted a search operation on a tip-off regarding the presence of suspected people in the city area of Kararyan. During the operation, some unidentified miscreants ambushed on the police personnel which ensued in an exchange of gunfire. The attack by the miscreants claimed life of an ASI and another policeman was injured. In retaliation by the police, two alleged assailants were killed.

#3: A bomb blast rocked Sarkano town in the eastern Kunar province on Friday, casualties feared, a local official said.

#4: A roadside bomb went off in Sarkano town of Kunar province with Assadabad as its capital 185 km east of Kabul on Friday, killing two people and injuring another, a local official said. "A roadside bomb organized by anti-government militants exploded in Sarkano district at 01:15 p.m. local time today, leaving two persons dead and wounding another," the official told Xinhua but declined to be identified, saying authorized officials would brief the media after investigation. In the meantime, a doctor in Assadabad hospital confirmed that two dead bodies including a local police constable and an injured one had been taken to hospital from Sarkano district on Friday.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

War News for Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reported security incidents
#1: A roadside bomb hit a vehicle carrying members of an anti-Taliban militia in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing seven militiamen, a police spokesman said, according to The Associated Press. Nine members of the militia were also wounded in the attack in Stanzai village in the Orakzai tribal region bordering Afghanistan, said Fazal Naeem. The militiamen were on their way to a meeting to discuss strategy against the Pakistani Taliban at the time of the attack, he said.

At least nine people were killed Thursday in two explosions in the northwestern tribal region of Orakzai. The blasts also wounded 23 others Lower Orakzai tribal region. The first explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) and targeted a passenger van traveling from Hangu towards Kohat. The second explosion took place at a location near the area of the first blast incident. Separately, fighter jets attacked militant hideouts in Upper Orakzai, killing six militants.

At least four people were killed and 13 others injured on Thursday afternoon when a bomb ripped through a busy market in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region of Orakzai Agency, local media reported. According to the reports, the explosion took place in the Hassan Dara bazaar area when people were busy shopping or doing their jobs, killing four on the spot and leaving 13 others injured.

#2: The latest attack came hours after five suicide bombers attacked a police station in the country's northwestern city of Bannu, wounding one police officer. The city's police chief Nisar Tanoli said three of the bombers detonated their explosives vests while the police shot dead the other two.

#3: Up to 23 Taliban militants have been killed and 13 others detained in operations in different Afghan provinces within the past 24 hours, the country's Interior Ministry said on Thursday. "Afghan National Police (ANP) supporting by army and the NATO- led coalition forces conducted nine cleanup operations in Kunar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunduz, Uruzgan, Wardak, Helmand and Khost provinces, killing 23 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 13 others over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.

#4: According to reports unknown gunmen attacked a staff member of the Iranian consulate in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan on Wednesday night. The incident took place around 8 pm local time after gunmen riding motorcycles opened fire on Mohammad Ewaz Khalili in Khurasan area in Mazar-e-Sharif city while he was on his way from University to his home. A close source to Mr. Khalili, Mohammad Nasir Ahmadi said his health condition is satisfactory and is currently under the treatment in Mazar-e-Sharif civilian hospital. According to Mr. Ahmadi, Mohammad Ewaz Khalili was injured from his chest and stomach after four bullets fired by unknown gunmen hit him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

War News for Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Canadian diplomat warns of 'another Afghanistan' in Mali

Obama announces 34,000 troops to leave Afghanistan

Taliban still handling prosecutions in parts of Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A NATO airstrike has reportedly killed at least 10 civilians, including five children, in eastern Afghanistan. The airstrike took place in the Shigal district of the Kunar Province, an area with a heavy Taliban presence. Afghan officials say the 10 dead civilians were from two local families. District governor Abdul Zahir said three Taliban commanders, including a notorious Al Qaeda-linked militant leader called Shahpoor, were also killed in the raid.

#2: Three Pakistani traders were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside landmine here on Wednesday. According to Afghan officials, three Pakistani traders were heading towards Trade Centre when their car struck a landmine in Spain Boldak district near Pak-Afghan border.

#3: According to local authorities in western Farah province of Afghanistan, at least seven Afghan civilians were killed by Iranian border protection security forces. A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the deceased civilians were looking to enter Iran illegally to find a job and were shot dead on Afghanistan-Iran border. The source further added that the incident took place in Lash Joyand district on Friday and the dead bodies of the civilians were taken to this province on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

War News for Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Afghan officials acknowledge prisoner torture

Reported security incidents
#1: Security forces have killed 11 Taliban militants in different provinces within the last 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. "Afghan police, army and intelligence agency in partnership with the NATO-led coalition forces conducted six cleanup operations in Kapisa, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Wardak and Paktiya provinces, killing 11 armed Taliban militants and detaining nine others," the ministry said in a statement, adding two militants were wounded in the raids.
#2: An Afghan soldier was killed in a roadside bomb blast while patrolling eastern Nangarhar province, local officials said. One other soldier was injured in the blast. The blast took place in Memla area of Khogyani district while the soldiers were on foot patrol. The roadside bomb exploded, killing a solder and injured another, provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzaid said.

Monday, February 11, 2013

War News for Monday, February 11, 2013

Taliban struck Prince Harry's Afghan base after troops 'let down their guard' - Commanders at Camp Bastion had become preoccupied with halting deadly insider attacks by members of the Afghan forces and believed a frontal assault by the Taliban was unlikely.

With New Control, General to Focus on Withdrawal in Afghanistan

Withdrawal of US military equipment begins from Afghanistan - Pakistan's custom officials on Sunday said that withdrawal of US military equipment from Afghanistan has begun as the first convoy of around 25 containers left for Karachi via Torkham border.

Twelve containers of the foreign forces entered Pakistan on February 6, eleven on February 7 and two on February 8 on the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham,” a customs official at Torkham told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).

The U.S. moved 50 shipping containers into Pakistan over the weekend, said Marcus Spade, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The containers were the first convoys to cross into Pakistan as part of the Afghan pullout, he said.

Reported security incidents
#1: Units of Afghan police have killed nearly three dozen Taliban militants during series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Monday. “Police have launched eight cleanup operations in parts of Kunar, kapisa, Wardak, Kandahar, Logar, Khost, Paktia and Helmand provinces over the past 24 hours during which 34 Taliban rebels have been killed, five injured and six others made captive,” the statement added. However, it did not say if there were any casualties on police. Taliban militants fighting the government have yet to make comment.

Afghan government forces during operations against Taliban militants in Marja district of Helmand province 555 km south of Kabul eliminated nearly a dozen Taliban fighters, a local official asserted. "Afghan police in coordination with the units of national army launched operations against Taliban rebels in Marja district today morning and so far 11 armed rebels have been killed," Wilad Hakimi, the police chief of Marja district said. The operation, he said, would continue for next two days to ensure law and order there in Marja district.

#2: One Afghan policeman was wounded Sunday morning when a police mobile was struck by a roadside planted bomb in Kunduz, the capital city of northern province of Kunduz. "An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off when a police vehicle was running in Zakhil area wounding one policeman at around 8 a.m. local time," a witness named Mohammad Harif told Xinhua.

#2: Roadside bomb hit a vehicle of Afghan army in the eastern Nangarhar province 120 km east of Kabul on Monday, leaving one person dead and injuring another, a local official said. "A mine planted by militants on a road in Khogyani district, struck a vehicle of national army in Mimla village at around 10:00 a.m. local time today killing a soldier and injuring another," a security official Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal told Xinhua.

#3: According to local security officials in eastern Ghanzi province of Afghanistan, an explosion rocked eastern Ghazni city on Sunday evening. Provincial security chief Gen. Mohammad Hussain confirming the report said the incident took place after an explosive device planted near the provincial high peace council office went in Alberuni street at the center of Ghazni city. He said there are no reports regarding the casualties as a result of the explosion. In the meantime Hafizullah Amiri member of the provincial council said at least three security guards of the high council office were injured in the blast.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013

U.S. Marine General John Allen hands over command of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan to Marine General Joseph Dunford. The new commander will be responsible for an accelerated timetable for handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and removing much of the U.S. and other foreign presence. (Note: The question of how many U.S. troops and support personnel will remain is not yet settled. Full withdrawal will probably not really happen. -- C)

As Gen. Allen departs, he says the establishing women's rights is key to preventing the Taliban from re-establishing Islamic radicalism in Afghanistan.

However, it seems they have a long way to go. A notorious prison in Kabul holds 196 women convicted of "moral crimes" such as adultery, many with their babies.

Pakistani party leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman makes a "private visit" to Qatar for talks with the Afghan Taliban, who have established a diplomatic office there. The U.S. is said to have been in communication with the Taliban Qatar mission to encourage negotiations with the Afghan government.

U.S. begins preparations for withdrawal  with the establishment of a staging area for military equipment north of the Hindu Kush.

In a somewhat confusing story, 100 workers at a private construction company are poisoned in Kabul. It is not clear whether this is sabotage, food poisoning from the company cafeteria, and industrial accident, or something else.

Mortar attack injures a district chief in Paktiya province.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

War News for Saturday, February 09, 2013

U.S. rejects U.N. report on children killed in Afghanistan

Afghanistan confirm UN report on children deaths in US operations

Reported security incidents
#1: update A NATO helicopter crashed Thursday in eastern Afghanistan, but no crew members were seriously injured, officials said. "Both members of the helicopter crew were recovered from the crash and neither was seriously injured," U.S. Army Maj. Adam Wojack said. "We do not yet have definitive information on whether or not enemy activity was present in the area at the time of the crash."

#2: A government official says a roadside bomb has struck a car in southern Afghanistan, killing six civilians. The spokesman for the governor of southern Helmand province said Saturday two women and four men were killed in the blast in the Nad Ali district.

#3: Seven militants have been killed in a US drone strike in the Babar Ghar area on the border of North and South Waziristan on Saturday, local media reported. The drone fired two missiles on a house, destroying it completely. Five others were also injured, sources said. The attack took place in Babar Ghar area of South Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan. Two missiles struck a house in the village of Babar Ghar, a tribal district which is a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants. (QNA)
#4: At least 13 suspected militants were killed early Saturday when military jets pounded militant hideouts in the northwestern tribal region of upper Orakzai agency, security officials said. Local administration official Noman Ali Shah confirmed that the militants’ hideouts in Mamozai had been targeted by military jets Saturday morning and there were reports of casualties. “We have reports coming in from security sources that four militant’ hideouts have been destroyed in Mamozai area of upper Orakzai, while at least 13 militants have been killed in these strikes,” he said.

#5: Meanwhile, eight militants were reported to have been killed and several others injured in fresh clashes between the pro-government Ansarul Islam (AI) and outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) militants backed by Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) militant outfit in Tirah Valley of Khyber agency. The clashes, which had started last month between the outlawed extremist groups, subsided for a few days as scores of fighters were killed on both sides and many others were wounded. Gun fights erupted again Saturday morning in Tirah’s Sandapal area, leaving eight militants dead, intelligence officials said.

#6: Five Taliban militants were killed as Afghan police conducted operations against the armed outfit over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Saturday. The operations, according to the statement had been carried out in Nangarhar, Kunduz, Kandahar, Ghazni and Helmand provinces during which a number of arms and ammunitions including two anti- vehicle mines had been seized.

Friday, February 8, 2013

War News for Friday, February 08, 2013

UN body "alarmed" by US killings of Afghan children - snip - The Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said the deaths were "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force".

Reported security incidents
#1: At least six people were killed Friday in a blast near a security check-post in Kalaya, the agency headquarters of the restive northwestern Orakzai tribal region, officials said. According to local administration official Fazl-i-Qadir, 15 others were also injured in the remote-controlled bombing, which appeared to target a gathering of the anti-Taliban Ferozkhel tribesmen near the busy Ferozkhel Chowk in Kalaya. An army check-post is also located near the site of attack and some officials said it could also be a possible target for the bombing.

#2: At least two people were killed and seven others injured on Friday afternoon as a bomb blast hit northwestern Pakistan, local media reported.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

War News for Thursday, February 07, 2013

UN says US killed, held hundreds of children - You won’t see this in any of the western press – whisker

150 Slovak soldiers expected - This will strike the fear into the Taliban – whisker

CNN - Iran claims released footage is from downed U.S. drone

Bring drones out of the shadows

A time to explain the drone campaign

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of February 5, 2013


Reported security incidents
#1: A NATO helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday but there were no fatalities, an ISAF spokesman said, while the Taliban claimed to have shot it down and killed all on board. "I can confirm an International Security Assistance Force helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan today," the ISAF spokesman told AFP. "The cause is under investigation but initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time. The reporting we have at this time is that there were no casualties." He would not give details of the type of helicopter involved or the number of troops aboard, saying the crash was under investigation. A Taliban spokesman told AFP in a text message that the helicopter was shot down by rocket fire in the Tagab district of Kapisa province and burst into flames.

Helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan

#2-3: Two blasts rocked two cities, both provincial capitals in northern region of Afghanistan on Thursday, wounding two people, both civilians, according to officials. In the latest shocking incident which occurred in Pul-e-Khumri city, the capital of Baghlan province 150 km north of Afghan capital Kabul, two civilians sustained injures, police asserted.

#2: “A bomb attack organized by militants and targeted police vehicle in Pul-e-Khumri city at 11:50 a.m. local time today left two people injured, both civilians,” deputy to provincial police chief Mohammad Sadiq told Xinhua. There were no causalities on police, he contended. However, he confirmed that a police vehicle and a civilian car were damaged in the blast which caused panic among citizens.

#3: Earlier, a similar blast in the neighboring Kunduz province 250 km north of Afghan capital Kabul also targeted police van, damaging the vehicle but caused no loss of life, police confirmed. “The blast took place in front of the house of provincial governor at 10:40 a.m. local time damaging a police van but fortunately hurt no one,” police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini said to Xinhua.

#4: Security forces killed 12 suspected militants in an air raid in Orakzai Agency on Thursday, Express News reported. Fighter jets targeted militant hideouts in the Mamozai are of Upper Orakzai. According to sources, five hideouts were destroyed in the attack. Earlier on February 6, eight suspected militants were killed in a similar raid. It was the fifth such attack on militants this year. According to security forces, the previous four air raids killed around 38 militants, while 11 hideouts were destroyed. However, the exact figures are difficult to verify.

#5: At least three miscreants were killed in retaliatory fire of police when they attacked a police mobile and arms recovered from their possession here in the wee hours of Thursday. According to details, three armed militants attacked a police mobile van when it was on routine patrol in Yaar Hussain locality of Swabi. The attack led to exchange of fire which continued for more than twenty minutes.

#6: Roadside bomb claimed the lives of four people including a district police chief in the northern Balkh province on Thursday, an official said. "A bomb planted by militants on a road in Kashanda district struck the vehicle of district police chief, Mamor Nasim, killing him along with three of his bodyguards on the spot today afternoon, " district governor, Abidullah told Xinhua.

According to local security officials in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan, district security chief for Kushinda was killed along with his four bodyguards following a roadside bomb explosion.

#7: According to lcoal security officials in western Herat province of Afghanistan, a group of Taliban militants attacked fuel installation in Torghondi port on Wednesday night. The officials further added at least one security guard of the fuel installation was killed and another one was injured following the attack. In the meantime another security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the clashes started around 9 pm local time on Wednesday night while a group of Taliban militants were looking to torch oil tankers and were resisted by Afghan police forces.

#8: According to Pakistan intelligence officials, a uspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at what is thought to be a militant hideout in northwest Pakistan’s North Waziristan region. The officials further added, three people died in the attack in Ghulam Khan Tehsil, near the border with Afghanistan. They said two missiles were fired at the compound located in Bangi Dar area near the Afghan border. Local people retrieved the bodies, the sources said, adding the dead could not be identified

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

War News for Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Rain, snowfall continue to play havoc

CIA rendition report author believes UK, Pakistan could face human rights court

Study says 54 countries helped CIA renditions

Brennan nomination exposes criticism on targeted killings and secret Saudi base

Pakistan ends blockage for 3,700 Afghan containers

Reported security incidents
#1: At least five people were killed and many others injured on Wednesday afternoon as U.S. drone attacked in Pakistan’s north-western tribal region of North Waziristan, local media reported. According to the reports, the pilot less predator plane targeted a house in the Spin Wam area of the North Waziristan, Pakistan’s north-western tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Local media quoting official sources said the drone fired two missiles at a house that was allegedly being used by some suspected militants and killed five people present in the compound, leaving many others injured living in the neighboring house. The strike destroyed the compound completely and also damaged many other houses located nearby.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

War News for Tuesday, February 05, 2013

'CIA used ISI's detention centres in Pak during war on terror'

21 killed and 34 injured due to heavy rainfall in Pakistan.

Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan official says at least three people have been killed in a bombing at a tea house in northern Afghanistan. The deputy governor of Faryab province Abdul Sattar Barez says Tuesday's blast occurred around 11am in a restaurant in the upscale district of Khwaja Sabz Poshi Wali. Barez gave the death toll and says 10 other people were wounded.

#2: Two engineers of a national reconciliation project were killed in a roadside bombing in Uruzgan province on Monday. An IED ripped through a vehicle in Deshi area of Charchino district, leaving two engineers dead, the Uruzgan police spokesman Aayal told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).

#3: The Afghan National Army (ANA) in an on-going military operation in Herat and Farah provinces has killed at least 15 militants, ANA officials said, media reported February 3. ANA forces also arrested seven suspected militants in Operation Naveed. Troops have been conducting the operation for the past three days, said Col. Najibullah Najibi, a spokesman for the ANA's 207th Zafar Military Corps. Seven insurgents were killed in Shindand District, Herat Province, while eight were killed in Bakwa District, Farah Province, Najibi confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News.

#4: Three people were killed and another was wounded in separate incidents of firing and a landmine blast in different towns of Balochistan, on Monday.

#5: According to local authorities in western Herat province of Afghanistan, at least two women were killed and three children were injured following a military operation by US special forces in this province. The officials further added the operation was conducted in Zer-e-Koh area at Shindand district. Shindand district chief Abdul Hamid Noor confirming the report said the operation was launched on Monday in a bid to clear the area from the militants activities. Mr. Noor further added at least two militants commanders were also killed following the operation and two Afghan and US troops were injured.

Monday, February 4, 2013

War News for Monday, February 04, 2013

Peace talks flounder as U.S. draws down

Afghanistan security better before British troops arrival: Karzai

Reported security incidents
#1: One civilian was killed and six others sustained injuries as a roadside bomb struck a civilian car in Kandahar province 450 km south of Kabul on Sunday, a local official said Monday. "A mine planted by anti-government militants on a road in Khakriz district struck a civilian car Sunday afternoon killing the driver and injuring six others, all women," district governor Abdul Hamid said.

#2: Up to four armed Taliban insurgents have been killed and 10 others detained in different operations within the last 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed on Sunday. During the operations, carried out by Afghan police supporting by army and the NATO-led coalition forces in eastern Kabul and western Herat province, the joint forces also found weapons, the statement added.

#3: The police have arrested nine Taliban militants during a series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Monday. The operations, according to the statement, were carried out in Kabul, Baghlan, Uruzgan and Paktiya provinces, during which a number of arms and ammunitions including 50 kg of explosive materials have been seized.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, February 3, 2013

IED kills a family of five, including two young children, as they are driving in Helmand province.

Two police officers are killed by an IED elsewhere in Helmand.

At a Kabul conference on security, the chief of the Transition Coordination Commission, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadza, says the government has neglected the provinces of Logar and Maiden Wardak, resulting in less security and creating a threat to security in Kabul. "The Minister of Education Farooq Wardak, who is a former Wardak resident, agreed with the TCC's claim that the government had neglected the two provinces. "The security condition in Maidan Wardak and Logar was very good in 2006 and 2007. However, it became worse because of the inconsideration of the government."

President Karzai is in London  for a summit with British and Pakistani leaders.

In Pakistan, meanwhile, suicide attack on a military post in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province leaves 13 soldiers and 11 civilians dead . Taliban spokesman says the attack is in retaliation for a drone strike. "The Pakistan army and security forces provide assistance to the US for drone strikes. So, we are taking revenge for their cooperation with the US."

Remember Iraq, which used to be the focus of this blog? As you may have read, John McCain spent considerable time badgering SecDef nominee Chuck Hagel to admit that he was wrong to have opposed the so-called "surge" in Iraq, which McCain insists totally worked. That's because John McCain has been paying no attention to Iraq, which is steadily coming apart at the seams. Attack on police HQ in Kirkuk leaves 33 dead.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

War News for Saturday, February 02, 2013

U.S. Army suicides at record high

Army Relases December 2012 and Calendar Year 2012 Suicide Information

pictures: Cold weather kills 17 in Afghan resettlement areas

Reported security incidents
#1: Six persons were killed and four others injured when mortar shells fired from Afghanistan’s Paktika province landed in a border village of South Waziristan on Friday evening. Government officials and tribal sources said 16 shells fired from Afghanistan landed in Baghar village near Angoor Adda of South Waziristan tribal region. They said the mortar shells exploded and killed six people.

#2: Militants attacked an isolated army checkpoint in Pakistan's restive northwest on Saturday, with at least 35 people killed in the initial assault, subsequent crossfire and a rocket attack on a house, officials said. A security official said 12 militants and 13 soldiers were killed in the clash. Two bodies had suicide bomb belts on them.

#3: Syed Abdul Rahman Khogyani district chief escaped an explosion in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan early Saturday morning. According to reports a security guard of Mr. Syed Abdul Rahman was killed following the blast and two others were injured.