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 27, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, May 27, 2012

Spokesman for the Governor of Paktia province says a NATO air strike has killed a family of 8 in the Gurda Saria area. There has been fighting in the area but the official says the family had no link to the insurgency. NATO says it is investigating. I'm getting mighty tired of these stories.-- C TOLO adds that Afghan forces were unaware of the air strike, and that the dead include the family's six children and their parents. The article does not comment but as far as I know, the current SOFA requires coordination of these actions with the Afghan military.

NATO announces the deaths of 4 troops in various incidents on Saturday without providing details.

British DoD provides detail on one death Saturday which was apparently one of the four. A soldier of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh was killed by a roadside bomb in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand province.

Poison gas attack on a girls' school sickens 45 students. The incident occurred in Taloqan, Kapisa province and was the second attack on the same school in a few days. The Taliban deny responsibility and claim they do not support such actions.

Quote of the Day

And the suspicious person was called out. I ended up tracking him. He's walking toward the rear of the truck. So now, I'm on the radio, "Hey, hey. I got eyes on. I got eyes on. He's got something in his hand. He's got something in his hand."

So I withdrew my 9 mm from my leg holster, I brought it up into the turret. I took aim in that direction. He started walking up again. He raised his hand. He bit down, and it's kind of like a movie scene that you would see — he bit down, pulled the pin on the grenade type of thing. Soon as I saw that, you know, I took my weapon off safe, took aim.

And he kind of threw his hand back, like if you were to take a swig of beer or soda pop or whatever. And he looks up at me and he says, "You want some peanuts?"

It was an experience that I don't think I'll ever forget. But my heart was pounding for about 45 minutes, and that took me about two packs of cigarettes at the end of the day just to calm down from that whole thing.

Turret gunner Spc.Michael Cella