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 8, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, April 8, 2012

U.S. and Afghan governments sign a deal on night raids by U.S. troops, which have been a long-standing source of tension that has blocked progress toward a larger strategic agreement. However, this agreement does not end the practice, as Hamid Karzai has publicly demanded on many occasions. Rather, it requires approval by a panel of Afghan officials. Even so, it covers only "ordinary patrols," or operations to capture territory. And there are suggestions, although it has not been fully explained publicly, that the U.S. has some role in the approval process. -- C

Afghan military says two top Taliban commanders and 10 others have been killed in a joint Afghan-NATO operation in Ghazni.

Two Taliban leaders also said to be detained in Baghlan.

People in Ghor province claim the governor, Abdullah Haiwad, has stolen their land, and has also given government land to his relatives. The headline on this story is that he denies it. No surprise there.

Public Health minister Suraya Dalil says that despite progress, many Afghans still have no access to basic health care services.

Iraq Update

Videos have surfaced that appear to show fugitive Baath Party official Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri criticizing the Shiite-led government. Al-Douri is said to have moved money to Syria just prior to the U.S. invasion, which has been used to fund the Sunni insurgency.

Roadside bomb kills three policemen in Khan Badi Saad, south of Baquba.

A bomb hidden in a plastic bag on a minibus kills two people and injures nine in the Karaada district of Baghdad.