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, May 12, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cross-border shelling by Pakistani military kills one child, injures five people, in Kunar province. There are said to have been two separate barrages, of 30 and 35 missiles, in different locations.

District attorney for Marjah, Helmand province, is killed by an IED. Lal Mohammad's vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb while he was on his way to work.

An Afghan delegation will visit Iran today  to investigate what they claim are killing of numerous Afghan laborers who entered Iran illegally from Farah province.

Ten Afghan migrants are said to have been killed by Iranian border guards in Herat.

Two Afghan diplomats are killed, along with others, in an explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan. It does not seem they were targeted -- the target is said to have been a nearby police van.

In a further indication of the historical tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan, president Karzai condemns a deadly attack on the offices of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Karachi. This is an ethnically based Pashtun party. As we noted last week, the border between the two nations, drawn by the British in 1893, divides the Pashtun homeland.

Karzai meets with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. He repeats his demand that the U.S. hand over its Afghan prisoners in Guantanamo to Afghanistan, and reiterates that Afghanistan does not recognize the "Durand Line," the border with Pakistan.