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 3, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, June 3, 2012

British MoD identifies Welsh soldier killed on Friday as Corporal Michael Thacker of Swindon.

U.S. DoD identifies two soldiers killed on May 27 as 21-year-old Spc. Kedith L. Jacobs, of Denver, and 22-year-old Pfc. Leroy Deronde III, of Jersey City, N.J.

Afghan Defense Ministry announces that 4 Afghan soldiers have been killed and 16 injured in various incidents in the past 24 hours.

Two U.S. drones fire four missiles at a house in South Waziristan, near the Afghan border, killing by various accounts either five or six people said to be "militants." This was the second such strike in two days.

Provincial Chief of Education for Baghlan province, Mohammad Saeed, survives an assassination attempt.

A district "counter criminal chief" in Nangarhar province, Mir Akhtar, is not so fortunate. He is assassinated in an attack on his vehicle which also injured a bodyguard.

The European Union has suspended a payment of $37 million to a fund administered by the UN to finance the Afghan police, citing corruption. Personnel of the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOFTA) told a monitoring committee that the fund paid salaries of non-existent police officers, and created high-paying positions for politically connected individuals.

Twenty schoolgirls are poisoned in Taloquan, Takhar province. There have been six such incidents recently.

Hamid Karzai tells Time Magazine that the U.S. did not respect the homes of Afghan villagers, and fought the "war on terror" in the wrong country. (Meaning, I take it, that the real problem is in Pakistan, as he has said many times. -- C) He thanks U.S. and NATO for improvements in education and health care, but criticizes them for failing to bring security to the country.

China is building stronger ties with Afghanistan.