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

Monday, March 31, 2014

War News for Monday, March 31, 2014

The Romanian Defense Ministry is reporting the death of a Romanian ISAF soldier from a suicide vehicle IED attack 10 kilometers south-west of Forward Operating Base Mescall, Shah Joy District,  Zabul Province, Afghanistan on Sunday, March 30th. Two additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban gunmen abducted a candidate running for a seat in the provincial council in northern Afghanistan and seven members of his entourage, officials said Monday. The candidate abducted in Sar-i-Pul, Hussain Nazari, and seven others were taken overnight as they were travelling in a taxi to the provincial capital. They had no security escort with them, according to Governor Abdul Jabar Haqbeen.

#2: Also in the northern Sar-i-Pul province, a roadside bomb killed four Afghan policemen and wounded three on Monday, officials said. In eastern Paktia province, four civilians, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed when their motorcycle hit a roadside bomb on Monday. The incident occurred near Gardez city, the capital of Paktia province.

#3: A suicide bomber blew himself up killing two including himself and wounding four others in Logar province with Pul-e-Alam as its capital 60 km south of Kabul on Monday, a local official said. "A terrorist wearing explosive vest wanted to enter a mosque in Charkh district this morning fortunately was identified by police and stopped. However, the terrorist blew himself up killing himself and a police on the spot and injured four personnel of Civil Order police," spokesman for provincial government Deen Mohammad Darvish told Xinhua.

#4: A female anti-polio worker was killed by suspected militants in Pakistan's northwestern Bannu district, city police said Monday.

RO/MoD: Sergeant Major Claudiu Constantin Vulpoiu

Sunday, March 30, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, March 30, 2014

At least one Romanian soldier is killed and two injured in a suicide attack on a NATO convoy in Zabul province, on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. Three civilians are also injured.

Seven militants are killed in an accidental explosion while manufacturing bombs in Ghazni province. Their workshop was located in a mosque. The Interior Ministry, in a statement, condemned the use of religious places for such purposes.

The Interior Ministry issues the usual statement that 21 militants were killed in various operations in the past 24 hours. As usual, there were no government or civilian casualties associated with any of these operations. (I just link, you decide.)

How do you say "deep doo doo" in Italian? An Italian man is caught by Afghan police attempting to smuggle 1.3 kilograms of hashish and opium through Kabul airport. (My advice: Don't do it.)

Indian movie star Salman Khan visits an Afghan woman being treated in Mumbai after having been shot in the face by her husband. As we have noted here many times, violence against women is commonplace in Afghanistan and often carried out with impunity. Shakila Zareen is undergoing reconstructive surgery after her husband attacked her with a shotgun. Said Khan, whose family left Afghanistan some generations back, "They follow Islam, they say. But they don't follow any religion. All they believe is in dominating women, unlike Islam, which talks so much about women's power and their rights."

In a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Hamid Karzai accuses Pakistan of backing recent attacks in Afghanistan, in an effort to thwart peace talks. Pakistan denies the accusation, while on the other hand the Taliban deny they are negotiating. However, Pakistani intelligence does have a relationship with the Afghan Taliban and has been credibly linked to some past attacks; while some Taliban officers have been talking with Afghan government representatives.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

War News for Saturday, March 29, 2014

Govt shy to share drone statistics

UN rights forum calls for use of armed drones to comply with law

Reported security incidents
#1: A bomb blast targeting a vehicle carrying security forces killed a young girl and wounded 16 others - including up to eight children - in Pakistan's troubled southwest Saturday, police said. The attack occurred in the Saryab area on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of the oil and gas rich Baluchistan province that borders Iran and Afghanistan.

#2: Taliban insurgents are attacking the headquarters of the Afghan election commission in Kabul, a week before the presidential election, police say. Gunmen have entered a nearby building and are firing at the election commission with automatic weapons. Afghan special forces have entered the building to confront the attackers, police say. The assailants are using a three-storey building as a launching pad to attack the heavily secured compound of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), a senior official told the BBC.

#3: Taliban militants on Friday attacked a Kabul guesthouse used by a US anti-landmine charity, killing one girl as gunfire and explosions rocked the Afghan capital one week before the presidential election. A terrified group of foreigners, including several young children, briefly took shelter behind a generator on the street as Afghan special force commandos fought militants for more than three hours.

#4: Three soldiers were killed in blasts in Afghanistan, the country's defence ministry said Saturday. "Three soldiers were martyred following separate improvised explosive device (IED) attacks across the country within the last 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.

At least four Afghan national army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in various incidents across the country, defense officials said Saturday.

#5: Suspected Taliban rebels killed the driver of a NATO oil tanker they set on fire on Friday in Pakistan's southwestern Bolan district, officials said. "The oil tanker was on its way to southern Afghanistan via Chaman Border when it was intercepted at Dhadar. Armed attackers set it on fire and killed the driver," Abdul Wasey, a spokesman for the Frontier Constabulary paramilitary forces, told The Anadolu Agency.

#6: Twenty Taliban militants were killed in military operations conducted by the Afghan security forces since early Friday, the Interior Ministry said Saturday morning.

#7: Two unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on the car of a TV anchor of a private news channel, killing his driver and injuring his security guard on Friday. Raza Rumi luckily remained safe in a deadly attack that took place near his office in Raja Market at around 8:50pm. He had just completed his show and had left the studio when two unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle approached near his vehicle and opened fire.

#8: A Hindu temple has been desecrated and set on fire by unidentified persons in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, two weeks ahead of an annual fair at the holy site.

#9: Pakistani security officials said that Afghan forces fired six mortars into Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday but no casualties had been reported. The mortars from an Afghan National Army post landed near a post of security forces at Ghulam Khan, a small border town in North Waziristan, military sources said.

#10  Five Afghan civilians were killed while three others wounded Friday in a blast in Tirin Kot, the provincial capital of southern province of Helmand, said an official. "A minibus set off an improvised bomb in Tirin Kot's western outskirts at around midday, leaving five civilians of the bus killed and three passengers wounded," the chief of staff of the provincial governor, Ahmad Farid Faizi, told Xinhua.

#11: The Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) foiled coordinated attacks by Taliban group in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan. National Directorate of Security (NDS) announced Saturday that a group of six Taliban terrorists were arrested during an operation by Afghan intelligence in connection to the attack plot. NDS following a statement said the group of terrorists was looking to carry out coordinated attacks and explosions to target election campaigns in this province.

Friday, March 28, 2014

War News for Friday, March 28, 2014

US arms supply to Pakistan rising

Pakistan officials en route for talks with Taliban

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) announced Friday that a deadly suicide car bombing plot was foiled by NDS operatives in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

War News for Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi said Thursday that two Afghan national army soldiers were martyred following improvised explosive devive (IED) explosion. Gen. Azimi further added that another Afghan national army (ANA) soldier was martyred in militants’ direct fire. He did not disclose further information regarding the exact locations of the incident.

#2: Unidentified miscreants fired shots at polio vaccination team today, killing two people including a policeman who was providing security to a team of anti-polio health in Ratodero, sub-division of Larkana District in the Sindh province, officials said. Police officials said the attack took place when gunmen fired at anti-polio-vaccination team at Ratodero, stronghold of Pakistan Peoples Party.

#3: Seven militants were killed in Afghanistan within the last 24 hours, the authorities said Thursday.

#4: A group of militants ambushed a vehicle convoy of an Afghan lawmaker in western Herat province of Afghanistan, local officials said. The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon in Robat Sangi district of western Herat province after a group of militants attacked the vehicles convoy of Abdul Hadi Jamshidi. A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said at least two security guards of the lawmaker were killed following the incident.

#5: At least four people were killed or injured following an explosion in south-eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan on Thursday morning. According to local government officials, the incident took place near the provincial attorney general office around 8 am local time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

War News for Monday, March 26, 2014

Foreign observers face hurdles in Afghanistan

Pak team in N Waziristan to hold Taliban talks

No US drone attacks in Pakistan in 3 months

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of March 18, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: update  In Kabul, a candidate for a seat on a provincial council was among those killed when insurgents stormed the election office. Two election workers and a policeman were also among the dead, Kabul Police Chief Gen. Mohammed Zahir said.

#2: Pakistani militants killed one of the five Iranian border guards kidnapped in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province on February 6. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke out against the murder, RIA Novosti reports.

#3: At least 11 Taliban militants were killed during military operations by Afghan national security forces in various provinces of Afghanistan during the past 24 hours.

#4: According to local authorities in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, unknown gunmen shot dead a female police officer on Tuesday morning in this province. The incident took place in Greshk district of Helmand province early Tuesday morning, provincial police spokesman Abdul Ahad Chopan said.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

War News for Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Afghans Who Helped the U.S. Fear That Time for Visas Has Run Out

Reported security incidents
#1: The Taliban launched a brazen assault in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, with two suicide bombers detonating their explosives outside an election office on the city's outskirts and other attackers storming inside the premises. Fierce gunfire reverberated across the neighborhood in the early afternoon, as heavily armed troops from the Afghan rapid response force surrounded the office building, located near the home of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. He was not home at the time of the attack, officials said.

Read more here:

Read more here:

#2: At least four militants and a policeman were killed on Tuesday when armed rebels stormed a local bank in Asadabad, the provincial capital of eastern Afghan province of Kunar, leading to a gunfight, a security official said. "Four militants stormed a local bank in Asadabad. They seized the bank compound at around 10.30 a.m. and started firing at surrounding government office buildings," a security source told Xinhua, adding that the attackers and one policeman were killed in the incident.

#3: The bullet-riddled and severely tortured body of a female polio vaccinator, who was kidnapped from her house in Peshawar in Pakistan, has been found in a field.

Read more here:

 #4: A total of 16 insurgents were killed during military operations across Afghanistan since early Monday, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

Monday, March 24, 2014

War News for Monday, March 24, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Four militants were killed and another was injured when security forces stormed Taliban hideouts in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan, the provincial government said in a statement sent to media Monday.

#2: Two policemen and a rebel were killed when Taliban militants ambushed a police patrol in southern Afghan province of Helmand, sources said on Monday. "Militants numbering nine to 10 ambushed a police patrol in Dorzu area of Garmsir district late Sunday night, leaving two policemen and one militant dead," the provincial government spokesman told Xinhua.

#3: A local radio station was bombed Monday in Kama district of eastern Nangarhar province, a provincial security official told Xinhua, adding that the blast destroyed all apparatus of Radio Qalam FM and damaged the building but did not cause any human casualties.

#4: As many as nine insurgents were killed and some arms and ammunitions seized during a clearance operation, the pro-government forces launched in eastern Nangarhar province, an official said Monday.

#5: At least three people were killed when unknown gunmen opened fire at a car here on Monday.

#6: According to reports, a suicide attack has take place in western Farah province of Afghanistan on Monday afternoon. The attack has reportedly taken place in Posht-e-Rod district of Farah province. There are no reports regarding the casualties as a result of the incident. Unconfirmed reports suggest an Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander was the target of the attack and at least two ALP officers have been injured.

#7: Afghan intelligence foiled coordinated suicide attacks plot in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan by arresting a group of suicide bombers along with weapons and explosives. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) announced Sunday that the militants were looking to carry out at least five suicide attacks in various parts of Helmand province

Sunday, March 23, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, March 23, 2014

British Major Richard Streatfeild claims British snipers killed hundreds of innocent Afghans in a pointless "turkey shoot." He has also claimed that British troops died due to lack of equipment. Excerpt from the Daily Mail account:

Soldiers based in Helmand from 2006 to 2009 were permitted to open fire on anyone approaching their bases while carrying a weapon. But Major Streatfeild, who commanded a company of riflemen fighting the Taliban, said many of those shot and killed as a result posed no risk to British forces, in what amounted to ‘a turkey shoot masquerading as professional soldiering’.  While the actions of these British Forces were legal, and met the Rules of Engagement enforced by top brass, the former officer has revealed how the incidents turned locals against British troops and persuaded more Afghans to support the Taliban.
And while we're on the subject of sensational claims, in a new book Carlotta Gall says the 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul was ordered by Pakistani ISI.

"American and Afghan surveillance intercepted phone calls from ISI officials in Pakistan and heard them planning the attack with the militants in Kabul in the days leading up to the bombing. At the time, intelligence officials monitoring the calls did not know what was being planned, but the involvement of a high-level official in promoting a terrorist attack was clear. The evidence was so damning that the Bush administration dispatched the deputy chief of the CIA, Stephen Kappes, to Islamabad to remonstrate with the Pakistanis. The bomber struck, however, before Kappes reached Pakistan," she said.

More weirdness. Surveillance video shows security guards searched the Serena hotel attackers twice. The attackers also passed through a metal detector. (I think that speaks for itself.)

Militants attack a police checkpoint in Badakshan province, five attackers are killed. Also, three civilians are killed in Kandahar by a roadside bomb.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, along with the usual daily drumbeat of bombings and shootings, a Kurdish soldier shoots a journalist dead in Baghdad, provoking among other responses an anti-Kurdish protest by other journalists. It's actually surprising that Iraq has yet to fully come apart at the seams.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

War News for Saturday, March 22, 2014

Two Canadians among nine killed in Afghan attack  --  Karim Thomas, Roshan Thomas

2 Bangladeshis among Taliban attack casualties --   Dr AK Abdul Momen,

Serena Hotel: Pakistani injured, not killed, in Kabul attack  --  Syed Muhammad Ahmed Sharjeel Zaidi

Indian among nine killed in Kabul hotel attack

Colleagues mourn Afghan journalist killed in Taliban attack in Kabul hotel --  Afghan journalist Sardar Ahmad

Iraq Hit by Wave of Bombings and Attacks  --  Thirty-seven people were killed on Friday in a wave of bombings and attacks across Iraq, and eight soldiers were kidnapped, security officials said.

Reported security incidents
#1: A senior official at the Kandahar governor’s office, Dr. Parvez Najib, succumbed to his injuries late on Friday night, the provincial government said on Saturday. Najib was seriously wounded in a bomb blast at the Shah Wali shrine in Khakrez district earlier in the day, when local officials were on the way to attend a flag-hoisting ceremony there.

#2: At least five miltants were killed and eight arrested in a shootout in Pakistan’s Balochistan province Saturday, a security official said. The shootout took place during a search operation carried out by security forces in the Pidrak area of Turbat in the Kech district of Balochistan, the security official told Dawn online.

Friday, March 21, 2014

War News for Friday, March 21, 2014

AFP reporter killed in Kabul hotel attack -- Sardar Ahmad, a staff reporter at the Agence France-Presse news agency, was killed in a Taliban attack on Kabul's Serena hotel, it was confirmed Friday. Ahmad, 40, was shot dead along with his wife and two of his three children when four teenage gunmen attacked the hotel on Thursday evening.

One of the civilians killed in the attack was a former Paraguayan diplomat who was in Afghanistan as an election observer, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga said.

Reported security incidents
#1: Four gunmen opened fire on guests in a luxury Kabul hotel restaurant in the latest violent attack in Afghanistan's capital city. The four gunmen were swift as they entered the luxury hotel in Kabul, although it took them a few minutes to find the restaurant that was their target, Afghan officials said on Friday as they pieced together details of the brazen attack that killed nine people, including four foreigners and two children who were shot in the head. Police killed all four attackers after a three-hour standoff, with shooting resounding through the cordoned off streets outside. He said the four foreigners killed were from Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan and India, but the New Zealand and Pakistani foreign ministries denied that any of their citizens were among the dead.

#2: Afghan officials say an explosion during a ceremony marking the Persian New Year has killed three people in the southern province of Kandahar. Police spokesman Zia Durani says militants used a new style of weapon in Friday's attack. He says they threw an explosives-packed bottle that blew up when it landed on the ground. Durani says those killed included the head of the provincial media center chief and two policemen. He says seven other people were wounded.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

War News for Thursday, March 20, 2014

It’s a slow new day so get out and enjoy the first day of spring.  -- whisker

Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban fighters killed at least 11 people and wounded 22 in a suicide bomb attack and gunbattle at a police station in Afghanistan's eastern Jalalabad city early on Thursday morning, according to police and health officials. The assault began with two explosions just before dawn targeting the police station and a nearby square, close to compounds used by international organizations including the United Nations. The initial attack was carried out by two suicide bombers, one of them driving a three-wheeler vehicle. The NATO-led force in Afghanistan sent helicopter gunships to support Afghan security forces as a fire fight raged for over three hours before they were able to clear the area of the remaining militants. Police said they shot dead six Taliban, and all of them wore suicide vests.

At least 10 Afghan police officers were killed in a five-hour gun battle in the eastern city of Jalalabad early Thursday, as insurgents attacked a police station and a provincial governor’s office.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

War News for Wednesday, March 19, 2014

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of March 11, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Four women, a child and a man of the same family were killed in an explosion that occurred inside a house in Shawal area of North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan. Reports said the explosion took place when a mortar shell went off in Shawal, about 55 kilometres west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district.

A militant commander and five family members including a child were killed when a bomb he was tinkering with exploded at his home in northwest Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday.

#2: In a separate incident, an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by unknown miscreants went off in interior Peshawar city, killing one person and injuring two others.

#3: A provincial official says a bomb attached to a bicycle has killed two people in eastern Afghanistan. The official says the bomb was detonated Wednesday by remote control in Ghazni, the capital of the province of the same name. Deputy provincial police chief, Col. Asadullah Ensafi, says those killed included a police officer who was a criminal investigation director and a civilian.

#4:  A Rangers search operation for suspected persons is underway in Muslimabad, Orangi Town area. According to sources the search operation was launched following a cracker attack on Tuesday at a religious leaders house in the area.

#5: At least three Taliban militants were blown up while planting improvised explosive device (IED) in separate incidents in southern Helmand and eastern Paktika provinces.

#6: At least 18 Taliban militants were killed and 7 others were injured during military operations by Afghan national police (ANP) forces during the past 24 hours, interior ministry said Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

War News for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Close of last base in Helmand ahead of increased stability

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomber killed at least 15 people at a crowded market in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said, as security is ramped up ahead of presidential elections. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in Maimanah city, the capital of Faryab, a remote province that borders Turkmenistan and has a mixed population of Uzbek, Turkmen and Pashtun ethnic groups. “The blast happened on the main roundabout, which was very crowded. The bomber used a three-wheeler packed with explosives. All 15 of the dead are civilians or street vendors, and at least 27 are also wounded.”

#2: At least nine Taliban militants were killed following military operations by Afghan national police (ANP) forces, interior ministry said Tuesday. The statement further added that five Taliban militants were injured and three others were detained during the operations.

Monday, March 17, 2014

War News for Monday, March 17, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF contracted civilian from a non-combat injury in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, March 16th.

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen killed a judge and his bodyguard in an attack Monday in Afghanistan's western Herat province, on the border with Iran, police said. Abdul Latif, a district judge in the province of Herat, and his bodyguard were in a car when they were shot and killed, provincial police spokesman Abdul Raouf Ahmadi said.

#2: Unknown militants fired rockets at a Nato container in the Khyber tribal region’s Shagai area today, destroying it. No casualties were reported in the incident.

#3: Meanwhile, a van of a cement factory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Nowshera district was blown up in a remote control bomb attack and a police mobile passing nearby was also damaged.

#4: At least 14 Taliban militants were killed or injured following military operations by Afghan national security forces. The operations were conducted in Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Ghazni, Paktika and Paktiya provinces of Afghanistan in the past 24 hours

Sunday, March 16, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nine Afghan army officers are arrested for dereliction of duty or collusion with the Taliban in connection with the February attack in Kunar province that left 21 soldiers dead. The Khamaa news article is not clear about who is charged with what, but does say that 4 soldiers provided the Taliban with a map of the base, and that the commander was warned but ignored the information. (This is hardly the only indication we have had that the loyalty and competence of Afghan soldiers cannot be assumed.)

Presidential candidate Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak withdraws. He is a former Defense Minister and senior advisor to Hamid Karzai.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says that Talban violence threatens to undermine the upcoming election.

Either 4 or 5 insurgents are arrested in Kandahar province. The headline says 4, the story says 5. Whatever.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, 15 people are killed in bombings in Baghdad on Saturday, 2 soldiers are killed in Mosul, 5 police and a civilian are killed in Ramadi, houses of 2 police officers are bombed near Fallujah, gunfight leaves 4 insurgents dead in Fallujah, and a Sahwa fighter and a civilian are killed in Maqdadiya. Oh yeah, proposed legislation, which appears to have the support of PM al-Maliki, would legalize marriage of girls as young as 8, forbid women to leave the house without their husbands' permission, allow polygamy --it was drafted by the Justice Ministry and has been approved by the cabinet. That regime change sure was a great idea.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

War News for Saturday, March 15, 2014

Afghanistan doesn't need US troops: Karzai

Reported security incidents
#1: At least 18 tribesmen were abducted by gunmen from the outskirts of Pakistan's Peshawar city, a media report said. About 60 gunmen raided Faqeer Kalley in the Mashokhel area of Badbher, one km from city and kidnapped 18 people belonging to the Shinwari tribe of Afridis late Friday, Dawn online reported.

#2: At least 18 Taliban militants were killed or injured following military operations by Afghan national security forces.

Friday, March 14, 2014

War News for Friday, March 14, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide bomb attack targeting police in northwest Pakistan has killed at least seven people in the latest violence to hit peace talks between the government and Taliban militants. The blast came on Friday in the suburbs of the northwestern city of Peshawar, close to the lawless tribal areas that are a haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants. The target of the blast was a police armoured personnel carrier, officers said. t least 28 people were also wounded.'

#2: A roadside bomb in the southern Helmand province has killed six civilians, including two women and two children, said a senior Afghan government official. Mohammed Sharif, district chief of Musa Qala district in Helmand, said on Friday that the bomb ripped through a vehicle the previous night, killing everyone inside.

#3: A doctor at a hospital in southwestern Pakistan says 10 people were killed when a bomb went off near a passenger bus in the city of Quetta. He says the hospital is also treating 37 people who were wounded in Friday's bombing. He says four of the wounded are in critical condition. Senior police officer Omar Cheema says the bomb was planted in a rickshaw and exploded when the bus drove by.

#4: At least 26 Taliban militants were killed and 17 others were injured following military operations conducted by Afghan national security forces in various provinces of Afghanistan. The operations were conducted during the past 24 hours in Kunar, Nangarhar, Samangan, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Zabul, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Paktika and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan.

#5: A member of the Afghan national police (ANP) shot dead two members of the Afghan local police (ALP) in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan on Thursday. The incident took place in Marjah district of Helmand province around 11 am local time, local government officials said.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

War News for Thursday, March 13, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A would-be-suicide bomber was shot dead close to the Indian consulate building in Afghanistan's Kandahar city Thursday, the police said. "A man wearing an explosives-laden jacket tried to approach the consulate gateway. The Afghan National Police identified the terrorist and fired at him after he ignored the police warning," Kandahar's provincial police spokesman Zia Durrani told Xinhua.

#2: The Afghan National Security Forces have conducted a series of operations across the country in which 26 Taliban militants have been killed, 17 wounded and 11 arrested, Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior Affairs has said.

#3: At least six militants were killed and eleven other wounded during a clash erupted between the forces loyal to the Afghan government and the armed rebels in eastern Nangarhar province, an official said Wednesday. Police chief, Fazl Ahmad Shirzad told Wakht News Agency that the forces stepped up to a counterattack from the Taliban who used heavy and small arms to target their outposts in the restive border Chaparhar district.

#4: A source from the provincial election commission (IEC) said Thursday that five of the commission members along with two vehicles were held by the insurgents in eastern Nangarhar province, an official said.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

War News for Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Canada wraps up 12-year military mission in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan police officials say three insurgents tried to storm the former intelligence service headquarters in the southern city of Kandahar, prompting a fierce gun battle with security forces that left the attackers dead. Deputy police chief Rahmatullah Atrafi says the three men assaulted the former headquarters in the heart of the city early on Wednesday.

#3: Two people were killed on Wednesday in gunfire in Bannu, a private news channel reported. One of the two victims was a personnel of Frontier Corps (FC). According to police, the two victims, who were brothers, were attacked by unidentified men in the area of Hoyad Police Station in Janikhel.

#3: At least three polio vaccinators were killed following an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the incident took place Tuesday at midday near Sangin district after their vehicle struck with the improvised explosive device (IED).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

War News for Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A gunman shot dead a Swedish journalist outside a restaurant in a brazen attack in one Kabul's most heavily guarded districts on Tuesday, police and embassy sources said, underscoring growing insecurity threatening next month's elections. The Swedish Embassy identified the victim as Nils Horner, 51, who worked for Swedish Radio and had dual British-Swedish nationality.

#2: Three Taliban militants were killed while five others arrested in military operations, said the Afghan Interior Ministry on Tuesday. "Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) carried out several cleanup operations in several provinces within the past 24 hours, killing three Taliban members and detaining five other militants," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates.

#3: Two policemen guarding a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan were were shot dead by armed men on Tuesday, police said, the latest setback to efforts to eradicate the crippling disease. Tuesday’s attack took place in the village of Gandi Umar Khan, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the nearest city of Dera Ismail Khan, on the second day of an innoculation drive, senior police official Sadiq Baluch told AFP.

#4: A local leader of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal-Jamaat, (ASWJ) was killed around midnight in a drive-by shooting near Zia Masjid located in an area between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. According to details, the unidentified miscreants sprayed bullets on the car of ASWJ Rawalpindi President Mufti Tanvir Alam; however, he was not on board his car. Instead, another ASWJ local leader Sohail Muawiya lost his life on the spot during the armed assault. According to Shehzad Town police, the gun attack also wounded two other people riding the car—Amanullah and Nasir. A stray bullet killed a passer-by, too.

Monday, March 10, 2014

War News for Monday, March 10, 2014

Taliban threaten to attack Afghan presidential elections

IDSA: Why Pakistan cannot defeat the Taliban

Reported security incidents
#1: Two policemen were killed and seven civilians wounded in a bomb attack Monday in western Afghanistan's Herat province, police said. The militants detonated an explosives-packed motorcycle in Kushk district around midday, killing two policemen and injuring seven civilians, including a child," provincial police chief Samiullah Qatra told Xinhua.

#2: Three dacoits were killed in an alleged encounter in the Johar Town area of Lahore earlier today. According to the Police, they signaled three suspects riding a motorbike to stop near the Johar Town Commercial Market. The suspects opened fire at the police. The police retaliated and killed all three of them.

#3: Six mortars were fired from Afghanistan hit bordering village of Miran Shah, North Waziristan on Sunday; however, fortunately did not result in any causality. According to sources, the Afghan forces fired six mortars in the suburb areas of Miranshah, one mortar fell in the open air and resulted in a blast while preventing from any causality. Earlier, 25 mortars were fired into Pakistan's tribal area from the Afghan side which resulted in partially damaging the nearby houses.

#4: A bomb blast ripped through a market in Spin Boldak town of the southern Kandahar province, a former stronghold of Taliban, on Sunday killing two persons and wounding another, the police spokesman in the province, Zia Durani, said. "The blast occurred in a scrap market in Spin Boldak town at 01: 10 p.m. local time today, leaving two persons including a father and his son dead and injuring another," Durani told Xinhua.
#5: At least 5 Taliban militants were killed and 6 others were injured following military operations by Afghan national security forces.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, March 9, 2014

Seven civilians are killed and 8 injured in an IED explosion in Musa Qala, Helmand province. AP also reports 2 civilians killed in a bombing in Kajaki district, and a police officer killed in an attack on a checkpoint in the same area.

Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim dies at age 56.

Four Afghan soldiers and 2 police officers killed while trying to defuse a bomb in Laghman province  on Saturday.

Taliban kill 3 teachers and abduct 1 in Ghor province. They were returning from a seminar in the provincial capital.

Canadian forces are packing up to leave Afghanistan. Canada at one time had 2,000 troops in the country, including artillery, armored forces, and helicopters. The country's remaining 100 will leave next week. The contingent will vacation in Cyprus before returning home. In 13 years, 158 Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

War News for Saturday, March 08, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A bomb blast in Jalalabad city in Afghanistan on Saturday killed a district governor and injured five others, a local official said. “The bomb was planted inside the vehicle of Noor Agha Kamran, the Governor of Nazian district, and the device exploded around 9 a.m. killing the district governor and injuring one policeman and four civilians,” a public relations officer at the provincial government office added.

#2: At least 26 Taliban militants were killed or injured following military operations by Afghan national security forces in various provinces of the country.

Friday, March 7, 2014

War News for Fridaay, March 07, 2014

Pakistan ready for military operation if Taleban talks fail

Soldier suicides --

Initial findings, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, are unsettling. Suicide rates among soldiers doubled from 2004 to 2009, during the height of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, to as many as 30 per 100,000 troops.
Initial findings, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, are unsettling. Suicide rates among soldiers doubled from 2004 to 2009, during the height of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, to as many as 30 per 100,000 troops.

Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan provincial official says a motorcycle bomb was remotely detonated in a crowded market in the country's south, killing five people and wounding eight. Omar Zawaq, the spokesman for the governor of southern Helmand province, says the motorcycle exploded on Friday in the center of the market in Marjah. It's a resitive district, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

#2: Afghan security forces raided a Taliban hideout in eastern Laghman province, killing five militants on Thursday, a local official said. "Units of national security stormed a Taliban hideout in Badpakh district Thursday morning killing five rebels including a commander named Mullah Hazrat and his brother named Khayal," spokesman for provincial administration Sarhadi Zawak told Xinhua.

UK/MoD: Sapper Adam Moralee has died in Afghanistan

Thursday, March 6, 2014

War News for Thursday, March 06, 2014

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from a non-combat injury at camp bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 5th. Here’s the ISAF release.

Reported security incidents
#1: A NATO airstrike on Thursday killed at least five Afghan soldiers in one of the most devastating incidents of friendly fire in the war’s 12-year history. The troops were killed at an outpost in volatile Logar Province, about 50 miles outside of Kabul, according to both U.S. and Afghan officials. It remains unclear how the accident occurred, and officials said it was currently under investigation. Aside from the five soldiers killed, another seven were wounded, according to provincial spokesman Mohammad Darwish.

District governor Khalilullah Kamal, who has visited the scene, said the strike was carried out by a US drone, according to BBC.

#2: A clash in Daimardad District, Maidan Wardak Province, killed two militants, including a commander, and injured six others, governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.

#3: Separately, a clash in Shah Walikot District, Kandahar Province, killed five Taliban militants, the governor's house said in a statement.

#4: Meanwhile, a roadside bomb in Bala Balok District, Farah Province, wounded three policemen

#5: Afghan security forces raided a Taliban hideout in eastern Laghman province, killing five militants on Thursday, a local official said.

#6: Afghan security forces in operations against anti-government militants raided a house in Saripul province, 350 km north of Kabul, early Wednesday, killing two militants and capturing a Taliban judge, Inspector General Police of the province said. "Acting on tip off, units of police raided a house outside provincial capital Saripul city at 03:30 a.m. local time today and captured a Taliban judge named Mullah Zukria,"Noor Habib Gulbahari told Xinhua.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

War News for Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A roadside bomb on Wednesday killed six soldiers in Pakistan's troubled northwest, officials said, the latest violence to hit the country since a ceasefire between the government and Taliban insurgents began. The remote-controlled device hit a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps as it was moving from the town of Hangu to Kurram district, one of seven tribal areas along the Afghan border where militants have strongholds. A security official in Peshawar, the main city in the northwest, told AFP the blast killed six soldiers and wounded eight.

#2: About seven policemen were killed following a Taliban armed attack on a security checkpoint in northern Afghanistan's province of Faryab overnight, sources said on Wednesday. "Militants numbered 10 or 12 launched an attack on Afghan Local Police (ALP) checkpoint in Unbiggi area of Qaisar province at midnight, leaving seven ALP cops killed," the district governor Abdul Jamil Seddiqi told Xinhua.

#3: Two civilians were killed and 10 others sustained injuries in two blasts in Faryab province with Maimana as its capital on Tuesday evening, provincial police chief Toryali Abdyani said Wednesday. "A mine planted by anti-government militants went off in Badghisi village of Khaja Sabzposh district Tuesday evening, and when people gathered to know what happened there, the second blast occurred killing two civilian villagers and wounding 10 others," Abdyani told Xinhua.

#4: A roadside bomb struck police vehicle in Uruzgan province with Trinkot as its capital 370 km south of Kabul on Wednesday killing two police and wounding another, a local official said. "A mine planted by Taliban rebels in Sarakala area outside provincial capital Trinkot hit a police vehicle at 10:10 a.m. local time today leaving two police dead and injured another," the official told Xinhua but declined to be identified, saying authorized officials would brief the media after investigation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

War News for Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The DoD is reporting the death of an ISAF airman which was previously unreported by the military. Master Sgt. David L. Poirier died from a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location on Friday, February 28th.

War Deaths Top 13,000 in Afghan Security Forces -- This may not seem to be so bad but when wounded are taken into account the ASF has lost around 50k from their forces mostly within the last three years. Most units are likely not combat reliable from the lack of experienced people. – whisker

President Karzai says Afghan war fought in West’s interest

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen attacked four vehicles carrying NATO supplies for Afghanistan in northwestern Khyber tribal agency on Tuesday, killing two people, officials said. The vehicles came under fire in the Jamrud area of Khyber, one of seven districts that make up Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt, as they were on their way to Afghanistan. “The four containers were on their way to Afghanistan when four gunmen riding two motorbikes opened fire at them in Jamrud, killing two helpers and wounding one driver and one helper,” a senior local administration official, Jehangir Azam Wazir, told AFP.

#2: Two women were killed while two men were seriously wounded Monday in a roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan's province of Paktika, authorities said.

#3: A bomb killed at least two paramilitary troops and wounded six others in a restive Pakistani tribal region bordering Afghanistan, officials said on Monday. The incident happened in Sadokhel area of Khyber tribal region where Taliban and Lashkare Islam groups are active. “An improvised explosive device planted along the roadside went off as two vehicles of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) passed by, killing two soldiers and wounding six others,” senior local administration official Muhammad Tayyab Ali said.

#4: The Afghan Interior Ministry on Tuesday said that the country's security forces have eliminated seven Taliban militants during a series of military operations since early Monday. "Afghan National Security Forces launched several cleanup operations in Laghman, Kandahar and Paktiya provinces, killing seven Taliban militant members, wounding three militants and detaining six other rebels over the last 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Caleb L. Erickson

DoD: Master Sgt. David L. Poirier

Monday, March 3, 2014

War News for Monday, March 03, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen burst into a court in a busy shopping area in the heart of Pakistan’s capital today, killing at least 11 people in a suicide-bomb and gun attack likely to shatter any prospect of meaningful peace talks with Taliban insurgents. An explosion reverberated in central Islamabad just after 9 a.m., followed by bursts of gunfire. Police said at least 30 were wounded. A judge was among those killed.

#2: A bomb on Monday killed at least two paramilitary troops and wounded six others in the Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan, officials said. The incident happened in the Sadokhel area of Khyber Agency where Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam militant groups are active. “An improvised explosive device planted along the roadside went off as two vehicles of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) passed by, killing two soldiers and wounding six others,”

#3: Warplanes bombed the hideout of a militant leader, killing five insurgents, the military said on Sunday, only a day after the Pakistani Taliban declared a one-month ceasefire to pursue stalled peace talks with the government.
#4: At least five insurgents were killed when the security forces including police launched an operation in western province of Herat, police said in a statement Sunday.

#5: Two Afghan army soldiers were killed in two bomb attacks, the country's Defense Ministry said on Sunday. "Two Afghan National Army soldiers were martyred in two improvised explosive device attacks in Panjwai district of southern Kandahar province and Gereshk district of neighboring Helmand province," the ministry said in a statement.

#6: At least 27 Taliban militants were killed or injured following military operations conducted by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.

#7: Anti-government armed militants abducted nearly 40 residents of Goshta and Lalpur districts in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the residents were charged for supporting the government of Afghanistan by the anti-government armed militants

Sunday, March 2, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, March 2, 2014

Truck bomb under construction explodes prematurely in Puli Alam, Logar province, killing 13. A police spokesman says the dead included 9 militants, plus 2 women and 2 children. He says the militants included Pakistanis. (Implication is that the women and children are relatives of the owner of the home where the incident occurred.)

National Directorate of Security says it has foiled a suicide bomb plot in Kabul, and arrested 4 people.

Ten people are injured by a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar city. (The only place I could find this was Wakht, which generally has nearly indecipherable English, but as far as I can tell nobody was killed -- including, apparently, the attacker.)

AP's Deb Reichman discusses the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban on June 30, 2009. While the U.S. has negotiated for his release, it appears he left his post intentionally and could be charged as a deserter. The story dances around the suggestion that under the circumstances, his freedom may not be a high priority for the U.S.

NATO supply route from Pakistan via Turkham re-opens following a court order. The crossing had been blockaded for 3 months in protest of U.S. drone attacks.

Twelve taliban escape prison in Kandahar using a forged document. Their names were somehow added surreptitiously to a list of prisoners legitimately scheduled for release.

Much news from Pakistan. Thirteen people are killed in attack on a polio vaccination team in Jamrud. (This is a big problem for the planet, folks. If the polio virus gets loose, most children in areas where it has long been eliminated are no longer  immunized.) Three Frontier Corps troops are killed and 7 injured by an IED in Kalat. However, Pakistani Taliban announce a one-month ceasefire to resume negotiations suspended after the killing of 23 FC prisoners. The Prime Minister is conferring with military leaders over whether to honor the suspension of hostilities.

And, back in Iraq, the violence goes on. Six members of security forces are killed in towns north and west of Baghdad, familiar places from Today in Iraq -- Baiji, Balad, Hawijah. Five are killed and 25 injured as the Iraqi army shells Fallujah, "indiscriminately," according to a hospital spokesman. Gunmen attack employees of the electric company in Mosul, injure 2. Somewhat conflicting numbers on the death toll in February, but tallies range from 703 to 790. The lower, UN figure, excludes deaths in Anbar, for some reason. This is down from January (3 fewer days, of course), but 3 times the toll from last year.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

War News for Saturday, March 01, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, February 28th.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least five militants were killed while eight others were wounded in a military operation in Afghanistan's western province of Herat, a police chief said on Saturday. "The military raid was carried out by army and police in Obe district, west of the provincial capital Herat city. No soldier was hurt in the operations, he noted.

#2: Militants killed 12 members of the security escort for a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, detonating a roadside bomb before opening fire on their convoy, according to officials. The attack lasted an hour and when rescuers approached the scene the gunmen also attacked them, according to Khan Faraz, an official in the Jamrud area of Khyber, a rugged tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Around a dozen wounded were taken to hospital, but others died on the road waiting for help to arrive, he said. Another official, Assistant Political Agent Jehangir Azam, said all the casualties were members of the levies or Khasadar, both locally recruited government-backed militias. They were providing security for the health workers.

#3: Ten militants were killed in fresh military operations since early Friday, said the Afghan Interior Ministry on Saturday. "In the past 24 hours, several anti-terrorism operations were conducted by the Afghan National Police, the army and the National Directorate for Security (NDS) in Kunar, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Sari Pul, Jawzjan, Logar and Helmand provinces. As a result 10 armed Taliban members were killed, one wounded and five others were arrested," the ministry said in a statement.

#4: Three security personnel were killed and six injured in a blast that targeted their vehicle in Balochistan province of Pakistan today. The Dawn online reported the security personnel were on a routine patrol in Kalat district, when a remote controlled bomb targeted their vehicle.

#5: Elsewhere, a security official said six insurgents were killed in Sui area of the (Balochistan) province in a clash with paramilitary troops.

An army spokesman told Al Jazeera on Saturday that the fighters were planning to blow up gas pipelines in the restive area.

#6: Afghan forces have launched a military operation in northern Baghlan province to clear insurgents before the holding of the April elections, local officials said on Saturday. The military operation began in Dushi district of the province and very soon the operation will begin in other parts of the province, said Gen. Aminullah Amarkhil, Provincial Police Chief.

#7: Four members of the Taliban insurgent group were detained following a night raid operation in northern Afghan province of Takhar overnight, the provincial police spokesman said on Saturday.

#8: At least 5 suspected militants were killed following a drone strike by coalition forces in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, local officials said. The air raid was carried out in Ghaziabad district where at least 21 Afghan soldiers were killed during an attack by Taliban militants last week.

#9: Coordinated suicide attacks and explosions were foiled by Afghan intelligence in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.