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, July 1, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, July 1, 2012

Khwaja Ismael, head of the National Security Directorate for Herat is assassinated on his way to work. No claim of responsibility as yet.

Two civilians killed, four injured in a missile attack in Doulat Shah, eastern Laghman province. The missile was apparently fired by insurgents.

I'm not sure what this is all about,  but it's a diplomatic squabble between Iran and Afghanistan having to do with Afghan refugees in Iran. What's odd about it is that the Afghan diplomat seems to be apologizing for a crime by a refugee and calling on the Afghan consulate to take responsibility for the behavior of Afghan refugees in Iran. - C

Meanwhile, Pakistan is preparing to deport 400,000 Afghan refugees. "Pakistani officials have said that they can no longer also carry the burden of an additional 400,000 undocumented Afghans in the northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa."

Five killed, eleven injured when a bus strikes a roadside bomb in Ghazni. The bus was traveling from Kandahar to Kabul.

U.S. drone strike kills eight purported insurgents in North Waziristan .Pakistani intelligence officials said the target was troops of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, and that foreigners of unspecified nationality were among the dead. Note that it is clear from reports of this kind that despite their protestations, the Pakistanis are in fact approving at least some of these strikes, and quite likely providing the targeting information.

ISAF reports capturing a Haqqani leader in Wardak  and a Taliban leader in Helmand.