The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Sunday, December 21, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, December 21, 2014

Roadside bomb kills 7 civilians in Kunar, including 2 little girls. The UN reported Friday that 3,188 civilians have been killed and 6,429 injured by the end of November, a record high since they started keeping a tally in 2009. [Why nobody was counting before that I can't say -- C]

Seven police officers are killed and 5 injured in an attack on a checkpoint in Jawzjan province. [This is in northern Afghanistan; there has been little reported violence from the area previously. -- C]

An Afghan soldier is killed by a sticky bomb in Jalalabad. A separate incident in the same city injures a civilian.

Afghan journalist Zubair Hatami, who was injured in the Dec. 11 attack on the French Institute in Kabul, dies of his injuries.

Taliban dispute UN's assertion that they are responsible for 75% of civilian casualties.

Four prisoners released from Guantanamo and sent to Afghanistan include Taliban leader Mohammad Zahir, who was a top intelligence official with the organization. More detail here. It is not stated what their status will be in Afghanistan; presumably they will be under some form of observation or restriction. The Afghan government has agreed to their repatriation. More on this from the Afghan perspective here. There is hope this will contribute to peace negotiations.

A group of 20 insurgents in Badkhshan province surrender their weapons and pledge to live peacefully.

Police in Sar-e-Pul say they are looking for a group of 10 women  who are engaged in bomb making and trying to recruit other women to insurgency. Purportedly they were trained in Pakistan. [No teling how credible this is -- C]

In Iraq,  Kurdish forces have entered the town of Sinjar after opening an evacuation corridor for Yazidi refugees trapped on the nearby mountain. Kurdish president Masoud Bazani has toured positions on Mt. Sinjar, indicating that the area is secure. However, fighting continues in the town.

Shafaq News is a Kurdish media operation which has recently gone on-line in English. I can't yet assess their credibility, but they are claiming additional successes in Tel Afar, including the capture of 20 villages in collaboration with Iraqi national government forces. However, a separate somewhat confusing report from Shafaq says that many of the Turkmen inhabitants of the area are fleeing the fighting to the IS stronghold of Mosul.

The U.S. will sell $3 billion worth of tanks and armored vehicles to Iraq. War is still good business.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

War News for Saturday, December 20, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF civilian from a non-combat related injury an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, December 19th.

Pakistan hangs two militants after Taliban school massacre

Reported security incidents
#1: At least five have been killed in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan by a US drone strike Saturday targeting a compound used by suspected militants, a security official reported, according to Sputnik.

#2: At least five militants were killed Saturday in a clash between security forces and militants in Pakistan’s Peshawar city. According to officials, the clash took place near Darra Adam Khel town, leaving five militants, including key commander Mustafa alias Manan of Darra Adam Khel Taliban, dead, Dawn online reported. Two security personnel were also injured in the  clash.

#3: At least 22 armed oppositions were killed following clearing operations led by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during the last 24 hours in different parts of the country

#4: Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for eastern Laghman province says Taliban insurgents fired numerous missiles at Dawlat Shah District on Friday. “One of the missile landed at a civilian house which killed one girl and injured six other members of the same family” He said.

Friday, December 19, 2014

War News for Saturday, December 1, 2014

I don't have time for a post today -- whisker

Thursday, December 18, 2014

War News for Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: At least two people were killed and three policemen injured when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in Afghanistan's capital Kabul Thursday, the police said.

#2: Security forces on Thursday found three mutilated dead bodies from the Killa Saifullah district of Balochistan, private media reported. All three victims are said to have received bullets from a close range.

#3: Six armed Taliban including a commander of them were killed in an operation conducted by ANA forces in Herat province.

#4: A group of five Taliban insurgents were killed following a premature explosion in western Herat province.

#5: Qais Qaderi, spokesman for active governor of Kapisa says an explosion occurred in front of the provincial police headquarters that injured 3 policemen and 2 shopkeepers this morning. He added that the explosives were placed in a motorcycle and the apparent target was the police.

#6: At least seven Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in the latest wave of violence across the country

#7: 2 explosions took place near National Directorate of Security (NDS) office in the main city of northern Baghlan province on Thursday. Ahmad Javid Basharat, spokesman for Baghlan police say the IEDs were placed near the NDS office but detonated as the vehicle of Sayed Ali Gawhar, ex-nominee for the provincial council of Baghlan, was passing through the area of Bagh-e-Qahwa Khana in the city. Basharat said no was killed or injured in the explosions but the vehicle was slightly damaged

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

War News for Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban militants detonated a suicide bomb and stormed a bank in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least six people as the country endures a rise in violence while US-led NATO troops pull out. The attackers forced their way inside after the bomb exploded at the entrance of the Kabul Bank branch in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the insurgency-racked province of Helmand. "The blast at the gate was a suicide attacker blowing himself up to open the way for others to enter the building," Omar Zhwak, provincial spokesman for Helmand, told AFP. "The fighting is still ongoing. Our latest report show six people, including three police, have been killed and seven wounded.

#2: A U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan killed four Pakistani Taliban and seven other insurgents, a district official said Wednesday. Mahlem Mashuq, the governor of Sherzad district in Nangarhar province, said the drone's missiles hit a pickup truck killing all 11 occupants on Tuesday afternoon

#3: A Taliban shadow governor was killed along with seven militants during a military operation in northern Afghanistan's province of Badakhshan overnight, said a police source on Wednesday morning.

#4: 34 insurgents were killed, 27 wounded and 12 others arrested during the clearance operations across the country.

#5: An explosion occurred in 3rd precinct of Jalalabad city this morning. Dr. Homayoon Zaheer head of public health department of Nangarhar province told BNA, two policemen were wounded in the incident and have been taken to hospital, but security organs said nothing about the incident.

#6: Clashes between locals and armed Taliban entered its 3rd day, chief of Kunar provincial police department BG. Abdul Habib Sayed Khail told BNA adding that as a result of this clash a number of residential houses in Dangam district were also set ablaze.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

War News for Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban insurgents launched a massive attack against local security forces in eastern Kunar province and Afghan army units have been deployed to repulse the assault, officials said Tuesday. Fighting broke out Sunday in Dangam district near the Pakistani border when fighters allied with the Pakistan-based Tehrik-i-Taliban attempted to infiltrate Afghanistan, Kunar province’s police chief, Abdul Habib Saidkhail, said. About 2,000 insurgents are involved in the fight.

#2: Taliban gunmen have stormed a military-run school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least 84 people in the worst attack to hit the country in over a year.

At least 130 people were killed and 122 injured on Tuesday in an attack by Taliban militants on a Pakistani high school, a provincial official said.

#3: Eight Afghan and Pakistani Taliban insurgents including a commander of them were killed in drone attack of NATO forces in the east of the country late yesterday night. The insurgents were targeted in suburb of Waigal district bazaar of Nooristan province and killed.

#4: Five armed Taliban including a Pakistani fighter were killed and 11 others wounded in a clash in Nangarhar province this morning. The clash occurred in Pecheragam district while a group of insurgents attacked on a military base in Bamakhail region.

#5: Afghan National Policeman was martyred by Taliban militants in Baghlan province last night. Gohar Khan Babori district governor of Baghlan Markazai told BNA, the policeman, while patrolling the area shot dead by Taliban rebels in Chawk Amam Qetaba region of the district.

#6: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in the latest wave of violence, defense officials said Tuesday.

Monday, December 15, 2014

War News for Monday, December 15, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: At least 14 armed oppositions were killed following Afghan security forces clearing operation in Dangam district, Kunar province.

#2: Afghan National Security Forces discovered and detonated a road side mine in Bagrami area, Kabul city this morning.

#3: A civilian was martyred and another wounded in a roadside mine explosion in Laghman province this morning.

#4: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD), said the Afghan soldiers were martyred in the past 24 hours.

#5: Officials say a number of insurgents have been killed and injured in the battle with the security forces following a massive attack at Dangam district of eastern Kunar province which is still ongoing. Provincial police chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhil said only four soldiers have suffered injuries in the exchange of fire. The number of the insurgents is said to be in hundreds

#6: Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, spokesman for Nangarhar police says a group of gunmen attacked a security checkpoint in Ghurband area of Chaparhar district last night leaving four attackers killed and four policemen injured. Mashriqiwal said exchange of fire took place between police and assailants following a suicide attack at the checkpoint where a number of attackers also suffered injuries.

DoD: Sgt. 1st Class Ramon S. Morris

DoD: Spc. Wyatt J. Martin