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, March 31, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, March 31, 2013

Two Australian soldiers, another coalition soldier, and an Afghan soldier, are injured by an IED in Helmand province. This Australian news story does not identify the nationality of the third coalition soldier. Two of the injured were transported by air, indicating relatively serious injuries.

Two children are killed by a NATO helicopter strike in Ghazni. After first saying the strike was in support of Afghan troops, ISAF retracts that explanation. This was apparently an attack on Taliban positions. (Note: This has been reported independently by various sources, but for some reason not by the major wire services. At first I was reluctant to post it because I wasn't sure of the reliability of the sources, but the stories all seem very credible and generally consistent. This link is to a Qatari newspaper. - C)

Afghan authorities say they have foiled a plot to blow a damn in Herat province.

ISAF hands control of police training center in Maidan/Wardak to Afghans.

At the same time, U.S. special forces hand over control of Nirkh district in Wardak, easing a dispute with the Afghan government. President Karzai has accused the Afghan forces working with the Americans of human rights violations and disloyalty to the Afghan government.

Hamid Karzai is in Qatar for talks with Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Contrary to some prior speculation, he is not expected to have contact with any Taliban representatives or intermediaries, although the opening of a Taliban political office in Qatar is presumably on the agenda.

Are you worried about the U.S. federal budget deficit and fiscal responsibility? Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost U.S. taxpayer up to $6 trillion, concludes a study conducted at Harvard. "As a consequence of these wartime spending choices, the United States will face constraints in funding investments in personnel and diplomacy, research and development and new military initiatives." (Yeah, or we could make rich people who got George W. Bush into office pay for their wars. -- C)


Dancewater said...

The Guardian also reported on the two children killed in the NATO bombing.

Dancewater said...

DOD Inspector General finds $900 million stockpile of Stryker parts

The Army program charged with keeping thousands of eight-wheeled Strykers running over the past decade had its eye so much on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it neglected to keep its books.

It accumulated nearly $900 million worth of Stryker replacement parts - most of them in an Auburn warehouse - with much of the gear becoming outdated even as the military continued to order more equipment, according to a Defense Department Inspector General report released late last year.

Take, for instance, the $57 million worth of obsolete infrared equipment the Army has not installed in Strykers since 2007. It lingered at the Stryker warehouse until the Inspector General called attention to it last year.

Or, the 9,179 small replacement gears called pinions the Army bought as a temporary fix for a Stryker suspension problem that surfaced between 2007 and 2009. The Army took care of the root malfunction in 2010, but kept buying pinions.

It needed only 15 of the gears. The 9,164 extra pinions are worth $572,000, the Inspector General reported.

Read more here:

Dancewater said...

what a waste our military is.....