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 26, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Attackers with automatic weapons assault the car of Interior Ministry official Brigadier Shamil Dawoud, injuring Dawoud and his driver.

Mosul

Iraqi forces kill a man in a gunfight near a checkpoint.

Other News of the Day

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit visits Kurdistan to mark the opening of a consulate in Irbil. Before leaving Egypt, he reiterates Egypt's desire to see all U.S. forces leave Iraq on schedule.

The Iraqi government yields to Kurdish demands and says it will recognize contracts Kurdistan has signed with foreign oil producers. (One presumes this is part of the deal for a new government. -- C)

U.S. International Relations expert Paragh Khanna predicts Kurdish independence by 2016.

Afghanistan Update

Four Turkish engineers and their Afghan driver are kidnapped in Paktia.

Afghan government spokesman says the U.S. violated a security agreement when it raided a private security company on Friday, killing two people. "Spokesman Zemarai Bashary said the police general who helped them has been suspended and an investigation was under way into why coalition forces on Friday raided the compound of Tiger International, an Afghan private security company, killing two guards and wounding two others." The Afghan government has formal responsibility for security in Kabul.

The Australian Federal Police are said to be providing intelligence used to direct U.S. commandos in capture-or-kill raids on individuals, according to cables provided to WikiLeaks.

Iran says it will lift the blockade of oil shipments to Afghanistan, which has caused an increase in fuel prices. The Iranians had claimed the fuel was being used to supply U.S. forces. It is actually purchased from other Middle Eastern countries, but transported by tanker truck through Iran.

Short post today, I have to get on the road ahead of a snowstorm. -- C

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