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, April 21, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, April 21, 2013

Taliban attack police checkpoint in Ghazni, kill 6 police officers. Dayak district governor Sayed Fazl Ahmad Tolwak says they had an insider accomplice, who escaped with the assailants.

Taliban amputate a hand and a foot of each of two employees of a private security company in Herat province, after abducting them and holding a trial. The company provides security services to ISAF logistics convoys; however the Taliban apparently accused the men of robbing travelers. The victims are currently hospitalized.

Thirty students of a girls' high school fall ill of apparent poisoning  in Takhar province, according to a Fars report quoting Xinhua. (Such incidents have occurred many times.) Khaama gives the number of victims as 48. A similar incident on Thursday affected 17 girls.

Four Pakistani soldiers are killed by a roadside bomb  in North Waziristan near the Afghan border.

Bombing in a bazaar in Paktika injures 9. (Consider that this is an everyday occurrence in Afghanistan; imagine the impact of a similar incident in the U.S.)

A large demonstrtion in Jalalabad calls for removal of Nangarhar governor Gul Agha Shirzai over allegations of corruption.

In and indication of the distrust between the neighboring countries, a Bakhtar editorial accuses Pakistan of deliberately fomenting insurgency in Wardoj district in order to disrupt economic development and maintain Afghanistan in an impoverished state. (I cannot comment on the veracity of this allegation. C)

A mass grave is found in Bagram district, probably a legacy of the Soviet occupation. (Just a reminder of the long history of war in Afghanistan.)

Interior ministry claims 10 insurgents killed in various operations in the past 24 hours.

Report by a private agency finds insurgent attacks up sharply this year.