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 19, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, May 19, 2013

Police chief Abdul Ghani, who led an anti-Taliban campaign in Farah, is shot dead outside his house by gunmen on motorcycles.

Ten more police are killed in two additional attacks. Attack on a security post in Ghazni kills 6, and a second attack in the same area wounds 4. In Nangarhar, 4 police are killed in an roadside bomb attack.

Clash in Ghazni province said to kill one ANA and 5 rebels.

Taliban said to suppress an uprising against them in Ghor province, unverified claim is made that they have beheaded 15 people.

President Karzai to make 3 day trip to India starting Monday. In a move likely to further inflame tensions with Pakistan, he plans to ask for military aid.

AFP discusses the failure of parliament to ratify the presidential Emergency Violence Against Women decree. Conservative lawmakers objected to the ban on child marriage and more generally argued that it is contrary to Islamic law. The president says he will try to rally support and get the bill passed later.

British documentary examines the state of Afghanistan. "As the US and British forces plan to leave Afghanistan by 2014, 'This is What Winning Looks Like' investigates the current state of the country, shining a light on the disturbing ineptitude of the forces in power, as well as rampant child and drug abuse, suicide bombings, and rising casualties and death rates."

Remember Iraq? David Hirst in the Irish Times does:

[I]n this “democratic” Iraq, one community, the majority Shias – or, more precisely, one man, prime minister Nouri al-Maliki – have emerged just as dominant, within the ruling apparatus, over the other two as Saddam and his Sunnis were in the former, despotic Iraq. Maliki’s is essentially a Shia regime. And though he may be an “elected” ruler, he has turned into not much less of a despot than Saddam himself. Consummate manipulator of the grey areas of constitution and law, he has amassed a positively Saddam-like array of personal powers. 

On April 23rd, there came what may prove to have been a fundamental turning point. Government forces stormed a sit-in in the northern town of Hawija, resulting in 50 deaths, while helicopter gunships bombarded alleged Sunni insurgents in villages roundabout. The operation may have been designed to deter any resort to violence on the protesters’ part by hitting them first – and hard. If so, it had the opposite effect, and what Maliki calls the [Sunni] “sectarian conspiracy” began preparing itself for real war. 


Dancewater said...

Iraq is a horrible mess, thanks to the US war of aggression and evil occupation.

Valarie said...

This is cool!