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, April 29, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, April 29, 2012

NATO reports three coalition deaths on Saturday. Two service members killed by separate bomb attacks in the south and east, one death of non-combat causes. No further information at this time.

Suicide attack on a convoy in Nimroz said to injure 2 NATO troops 2 Afghan police.  No further details at this time, ISAF has not confirmed the account.

Afghan Taliban reject a proposal to create "safe passage" for insurgents who want to participate in peace talks. A group of Afghan, Pakistani and U.S. diplomats, meeting in Islamabad, had agreed to explore the concept. However, a Taliban statement says in response “The enemy is trying to create schisms in our ranks. They will fail the way their strategies have failed over the past 10 years. This offer reflects the weaknesses, frustration and state of panic of the inimical forces.”

This is not new news but hasn't gotten much attention. Four of the usual suspects in the U.S. Senate, including (of course) Joe Lieberman, sign a letter decrying the plans to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (As a resident of Connecticut, I am counting the hours to Lieberman's departure from public life in January, when I will once again breathe the sweet air of freedom. -- C)

This happened on Friday but apparently is just being reported. Roadside bomb kills 10 Afghan police in Wardak province. Taliban take credit.

MoD identifies Guardsman Michael Roland, 22, a father of twins, of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, as the 410th British soldier to die in Afghanistan during the 11 years of the current conflict.

Interior Ministry claims 5 militants killed, 21 detained in past 24 hours. Note that they have been doing these body counts for a while now. That is a habit the U.S. has consciously renounced. -- C

Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul will visit India for three days, for the first meeting of the the first session of the India-Afghanistan Partnership Council. Note that Pakistan's unease over the closeness between India and Afghanistan is said to account for Pakistan's involvement with the Afghan Taliban, as a means of retaining influence. -- C