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 28, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, July 28, 2013

Three children are killed, four injured by an explosion in Farah City. The incident is apparently accidental, the result of unexploded ordinance in a scrap metal yard. (This is a common side effect of war, of course.)

Eighty British troops conduct a secret mission in southern Helmand province. UK forces officially withdrew from the province in 2010. MoD says an unspecified number of Taliban were killed or captured during the operation.

A farmer is killed by a roadside bomb in Kandahar province.

A child is rescued from kidnappers in Laghman province. The story does not state whether the motive for the crime was political or economic. However, since the incident was announced by the National Directorate for Security, one suspects the former.

President Karzai plans to visit Pakistan in an effort to mend relations. He has repeatedly accused Pakistan of harboring Afghan Taliban insurgents. (And he's right!)

Afghan government claims 30 militants killed in various operations in past two days. (This is approximately the standard number for these announcements. Also as usual, there appear to have been zero government or civilian casualties. Believe what you will -- C)

Parwan governor Abdul Basir Salangi and his bodyguards beat up a journalist who had criticized a book Salangi has written.

Attempt to assassinate northeastern Baghlan police chief Asadullah Shirzad by remote controlled bomb fails, but two civilian bystanders are killed. Also, governor of northern Samangan province Khairullah Anosh and two of his bodyguards are injured in a separate attack.