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, May 13, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, May 13, 2012

Two British servicemen shot dead by Afghan police in Helmand province on Saturday. MoD says one was from the 1st Battalion Welsh guards and the other the RAF. They were providing security for a meeting with Afghan officials. One of the attackers was killed, the other is at large.

An Afghan peace council member is killed in a drive by shooting in Kabul. "Arsala Rahmani was a former Taliban official who had reconciled with the government and was active in trying to set up formal talks with the insurgents."

High ranking NATO, Pakistani and Afghan military commanders meet to discuss border control after a break of several months. Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ISAF commander General John Allen, and Afghan armhy chief Sher Muhammad Karimi met in Rawalpindi ahead of a meeting of the Pakistani Defense Committee of the cabinet, which will discuss reopening NATO supply routes through Pakistan.
Six de-miners are abducted in Nangarhar. Not clear whether they are Afghan nationals.
Two ISAF troops killed by IED in eastern Afghanistan. No further details at this time.
Afghan Interior Ministry issues a press release claiming 18 Taliban killed in the past 24 hours. They have taken to routinely issuing these body counts. No way of knowing whether it's true, there are usually no details. -- C
Iraq Update
U.S. may abandon multi-billion dollar program to train Iraqi police that the Iraqis never wanted in the first place. Sounds like a plan to me. -- C Sayeth Tim Arango of the NYT "The training effort, which began in October and has already cost $500 million, was conceived of as the largest component of a mission billed as the most ambitious American aid effort since the Marshall Plan. Instead, it has emerged as the latest high-profile example of the waning American influence here following the military withdrawal, and it reflects a costly miscalculation on the part of American officials, who did not count on the Iraqi government to assert its sovereignty so aggressively."
U.S. officials are furious as Iraqi court frees Ali Musa Daqduq, a Hezbollah commander from Lebanon who worked with a Shiite militia in high profile attacks on U.S. forces and the abduction of British contractors.