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, September 2, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pro-government militia kills 8 civilians, after mistakenly blaming them for a Taliban attack that killed one of their members. In addition to the 8 deaths, from 3 to 8 people were injured, depending on accounts. The incident took place near Kunduz. Authorities are seeking the commander, known as Qadeer.

U.S. suspends training of Afghan Local Police, will "re-vet" 16,000 current members of the force, in response to recent attacks on ISAF forces. Although the Afghan army is implicated in 19 of 34 such attacks this year, their training will continue.

ISAF says the double suicide attack in Wardak on Saturday was the work of the Haqqani network.

Taliban deny responsibility for the beheading of a 12 year old boy in Kandahar province last week, apparently intended as a warning to his brother who was collaborating with the police.

NATO soldier dies in a non-combat related incident. As usual, no further information as of now.

ISAF arrests a member of the Afghan National Police who killed two NATO troops in May. He was apparently trying to join the army at the time of his arrest. (That's rather audacious.) He is said to have been a Taliban infiltrator.

And a personal comment: Something extraordinary happened in Tampa on Thursday. A man accepted a major party's nomination to be president of the United States, at a time when almost 70,000 American troops are fighting a war in a distant land -- the longest war in our nation's history. He did not mention it, even once. What has become of this nation, when such a thing can happen?