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, July 14, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, July 14, 2013

ISAF says 5 taliban killed in an airstrike in Paktia. The Afghan provincial police chief says in fact 12 were killed.

Two children lose their legs to a roadside bomb in Kandahar province. As is often the case, Wakht news agency report is written in broken English. Arghistan (which they spell Arghustan), is not a province, but a village south of Kandahar province.

Two men planting mines are killed by an ISAF airstrike in Kandahar province.

A Turkish truck driver kidnapped April 16 on his way to Mazar-e Sharif has been released. He was handed over to a Turkish provincial reconstruction team in Jawzjan. The story does not say whether any ransom was paid or other concessions made.

UK newspaper the Mail reports that Prince Harry witnessed a war crime by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Really. Excerpt:

Prince Harry was no more  than 220 yards away when a US trooper standing aboard an armoured vehicle cocked a .50 calibre machine gun and fired successive bursts at Afghan shepherds tending their goats, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The shocking incident, which  was confirmed last night by the Ministry of Defence, triggered a war crimes investigation by US military police. It took place on Harry’s first frontline tour of Afghanistan, which, until today, has been shrouded  in secrecy. . . .

According to a British eye- witness the three shepherds were peacefully minding their own business when they were engaged. Given the force of the heavy machine gun rounds it is likely  they suffered serious or fatal  injuries, though their bodies were never recovered.
This would have happened in 2007. Note that although the story says the M.P.s investigated,  I am unaware that anyone has been prosecuted for this murder, nor that any investigation has been publicly acknowledged. I wonder if the U.S. corporate media will bother to report this? -- C