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

Monday, November 24, 2014

War News for Monday, November 24, 2014

British personnel leave southern Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed at least 50 people during a volleyball tournament in the country's east. The match in the Paktika province district of Yahya Khel had drawn a large crowd. At least 80 more people were wounded in the attack and are being treated in various medical facilities in Kabul, the capital.

#2: Taliban gunmen wounded a polio health worker in northwest Pakistan on Monday, at the start of a fresh campaign to vaccinate children against the crippling disease, officials said. Two attackers fired bullets at the vaccinator as he came out of a health center in Shabqadar district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

#3: At least 40 Taliban militants were killed and 15 others were injured following military operations by Afghan national security forces in various provinces of the country.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament) overwhelmingly approves Bilateral Security Agreement with U.S. and the Status of Forces Agreement with NATO. The agreement allows U.S. forces to be stationed in Kabul, Parwan, Balkh, Kandahar, Paktia, Herat, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces, and exempts foreign troops from Afghan law.

Khaama press has a slightly different vote count, for some reason, and incorrectly calls the vote "unanimous" although there were a few no votes. President Ghani now calls for Senate approval.

Drone strike is said to kill 6 militants in Nuristan province.

District chief and 3 other police are injured by a roadside bomb in Enjil, Herat province.

Taliban attack a police outpost in Ghazni, killing 3.

Three ANA soldiers are killed in a bomb attack but MoD gives no specifics.

Three Taliban killed in a gun battle in Faryab.

Reuters has details on Obama's announcement that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan will continue in 2015. According to Afghan commanders, Afghan forces are not capable of defeating the Taliban on their own. "The Taliban said it is undeterred by the U.S. announcement. 'They will continue their killings, night raids and dishonour to the people of Afghanistan in 2015. It will only make us continue our jihad,' Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujajhid said."

Update: Suicide bomber attacks the crowd at a volleyball match in Paktika province.
 At least 45 people are reported killed, 50 to 70 injured, some in critical condition. The attacker is said to have arrived on a motorcycle. Although public safety officials were present, most of the casualties are said to be civilians.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

War News for Saturday, November 22, 2014

US 'to expand' 2015 Afghanistan combat role

Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan official says that one soldier and eight insurgents have been killed in an attack on an army base in the country's volatile east. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the assault Saturday in Afghanistan's remote Nuristan province along the country's mountainous border with Pakistan lasted almost three hours. He says a large number of insurgents tried to overrun the base, but were turned back.

#2: Meanwhile in eastern Nangarhar province, police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal said a car bomb killed one civilian and wounded two in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

#3: Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry "were conducting a security patrol when they were engaged by a lone gunman" on Saturday (15th) in Kabul, Maj. Stephen  Bomar said. "The soldiers subsequently returned fire, killing the gunman." One soldier was seriously injured and two sustained non-life-threatening injuries, he said, adding that "It is U.S. military policy not to release the names of the wounded."

#4: Four militants were killed and five others including a security person sustained injuries as clash flared up in Baghlan province with Pul-e-Khumri as its capital 160 km north of Kabul Friday night, a local official said Saturday. "A group of armed Taliban rebels raided a security checkpoint in Abqul area of Baghlan-e-Markazai district late last night, triggering a gun battle which lasted for a while leaving four militants dead," district governor Gohar Khan Babri told reporters. Five more persons including four militants and a security man sustained injuries in the firefight, he added.

#5: At least 19 Taliban militants were killed and 4 others were injured in military operations conducted by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.

#6: A police official was killed and two others were injured in a magnetic bomb blast in eastern Nangarhar province this morning.

#7: A Taliban bomber blew up himself with own explosives while he was trying to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in Herat province.

#8: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following roadside bomb explosion, defense officials said Saturday. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Afghan soldiers were martyred in the past 48 hours.

Friday, November 21, 2014

War News for Friday, November 21, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A U.S. drone strike killed six suspected militants in northwestern Pakistan, security officials said on Friday, as al Qaeda said two members of the group had been killed in a previous strike. Two missiles struck a house in Mada Khel village of the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border on Thursday night, said a security official based in the area.

#2: A bomb hit a passenger train in the restive southwestern Pakistan province of Balochistan yesterday, derailing it and wounding three passengers, officials said. The bomb in the Dasht region hit the moving Bugti Express about 30km before its final destination of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The train was coming from the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

#3: A bomb attached to a motorcycle struck an army vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing two soldiers, a police official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomb exploded as the army vehicle was passing by on a road on the outskirts of the city of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, said police official Roohullah Bangash.

#4: Afghan security forces have pressed on to clear the militants in restive provinces and killed 30 militants in the latest operations, the country's Interior Ministry said on Friday.

#5: According to recent reports, Pakistani forces fired tens rockets in different parts of Kunar and Nooristan provinces. A police commander in the east of the country said BNA, the attacks had no casualties but inflected financial damages to residents of the area. A tribal elder of Kamdish district of Nooristan province said that two civilians were wounded in the attacks.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

War News for Thursday, November 20, 2014

Romania to send 450 new troops to Afghanistan next year

Reported security incidents
#1: Four Taliban militants who attacked a compound housing foreign workers in the Afghan capital were killed Wednesday night in a failed assault there, police said, the latest violence targeting foreigners in the country. One attacker died when he detonated a vehicle packed with explosives near the gate of the Green Village compound in eastern Kabul, police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir said. Police officers killed the other three attackers in a shootout, Zahir said. "There were no civilian or military casualties," Zahir said.

#2: A rocket fired by militants slammed into Afghan eastern Assadabad city, leaving one person dead and injuring six others on Thursday, police said.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

War News for Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Germany and Italy to keep up to 1,350 soldiers in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A grenade attacked killed two policemen and wounded another in Charsadda on Tuesday, police said. The incident happened in the Shabqadar area of the district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Two men riding a motorbike threw a hand grenade on a police vehicle patrolling the area, killing two policeman and wounding another one,” said district police chief Shafiullah Khan.

#2: Security officials said military planes pounded positions of the banned Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Nakai and Kukikhel areas of Tirah valley, killing seven militants and destroying three of their hideouts. The claim could not be independently verified.

#3: Meanwhile, sources in Mehraban Kalay of Tirah valley said that a man was publicly killed by militants on a charge of spying.

#4: A suicide car bomb rocked Shinkai district in the southern Afghanistan's Zabul province on Wednesday, leaving the bomber dead, provincial police chief Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Liwanai said. one police was slightly injured in the blast.

#5: At least 91 armed oppositions were killed following clearing operations led by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during the last 24 hours in several provinces of the country.

#6: In a drone attacks of NATO forces in Kunar province 4 armed rebels killed including two commanders.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

War News for Tuesday, November 18, 2014

850 (German) troops 'to stay' in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A Taliban attack, involving at least one suicide bomber, targeted a foreigners' compound in Kabul early on Tuesday, killing four people in the latest fatal blast to hit the Afghan capital. Two Afghan security guards were among the four killed, said the ministry. Three civilians were also wounded in the attack, which involved three attackers, including the truck's driver.

Read more here:

Read more here:

#2: Also Tuesday, in eastern Khost province, a woman died when the van she was travelling in hit a roadside bomb, said Mubariz Mohammad Zadran, spokesman for the provincial governor. Another 13 people, including children, were wounded.

Read more here:

#3: At least two people, including a child, were killed and five children injured in a roadside blast in the Nasti Kot area of Pakistan's Kurram tribal region on Tuesday, a media report said. According to officials, an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the roadside in the region's Parachinar district, was detonated as a school van passed by, killing the driver and a child, Dawn online reported.

#4: The bodies of four persons killed by gun shots were found dumped in gunny sacks in Risalpur area of Nowshera district here on Tuesday.