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, June 24, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, June 24, 2012

NATO announces deaths of 4 service members, as usual gives few details including nationalities. One dead in an "insurgent attack" on Saturday, another in a bombing; two dead on Sunday in a traffic accident.

TOLO has details on the traffic incident. A NATO supply truck hit a military vehicle on Kandhar's airport road, killing two Afghan civilian drivers and two NATO soldiers.

Another poisoning of school girls, this time affecting about 100, in Sar-e-Pul provinc.
Explosion at a music market in Jalalabad kills 2, injures 2. Music shop owners in the region have spoken of threats lately. Under Taliban rule, music was banned.

Karzai calls on foreign universities to offer instruction in Afghanistan in European languages, critics fear this will just exacerbate the "brain drain" of educated Afghans who are moving abroad. Agreed, it does seem like a dumb idea if there aren't good opportunities, peace and civil order to keep them in the country. --- C

NPR's Sean Carberry describes the alternate supply route NATO is using with the Pakistan border closed. They have to go through the Soviet-built Salang Tunnel through the Hindu Kush, bringing supplies in from Uzbekistan. Traffic backs up for 10 miles because truck traffic is restricted to 1 direction at a time. And it is not a pretty ride:

Water pours in through holes in the wall. Whatever pavement might once have existed has long since deteriorated into an extremely rough, bumpy, dirt, and in some places, mud road. The tunnel is barely wide enough for two lanes of traffic, and the uneven road surface means trucks often tilt over at precarious angles. Even though the tunnel is only 1.6 miles long, a recent drive through it took more than 20 minutes because it's jammed with massive trucks inching along the cratered road. The diesel fumes were dizzying. At one point, the dust was so thick you could barely see five feet in front of you.
 Renovating the tunnel would require closing it for four months. That's not an option. A catastrophe could happen at any time.

Explosion in Ghazni kills 1, injures 1 or 2 others.


dancewater said...

Iraqi authorities order the closure of 44 news organizations

Sure glad that 'freedom and democracy' thing is working out there.... /s

dancewater said...

UK soldiers beat innocent Iraqi men

The Mail on Sunday can today reveal devastating new claims of abuse by British soldiers carried out at a secret network of illegal prisons in the Iraqi desert.

One innocent civilian victim is said to have died after being assaulted aboard an RAF helicopter, while others were hooded, stripped and beaten at a camp set up at a remote phosphate mine deep in the desert.

The whereabouts of a separate group of 64 Iraqi men who were spirited away on two RAF Chinooks to a ‘black site’ prison, located at an oil pipeline pumping station, remain unknown.


They are dead. They were killed by the UK troops.

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