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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

News of the Day for Wednesday, July 3, 2013

(Whisker is traveling in remote realms today so I'm filling in. -- C)

U.S. air strike kills at least 16 in Pakistan. The dead are "suspected" of being members of the Haqqani Network. The Pakistani Foreign Affairs Ministry condemns the strike as counterproductive.

Afghan army chief of staff Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi says Pakistan controls the Afghan Taliban and could end the war in weeks if it wanted to. (Ouch!)

Court reverses the conviction of three men who had tortured a female relative because she refused to become a prostitute:

As word spread in Kabul on Wednesday, Western officials said they were still gathering details but would probably have a response in the coming days. Afghan women’s rights activists reacted with alarm, and said they would press to have the three defendants retried.
“There’s smoke coming out of my hair. I am so angry,” said Manizha Naderi, the executive director of Women for Afghan Women. “This poor girl was in the basement for months. If she wasn’t rescued, she would be dead. She was starved and burned and had her fingernails pulled out. How is this not attempted murder?”

Human rights advocates in Afghanistan and abroad condemn Karzai's latest appointments  to the Human Rights Commission, as International donors meet with Afghan officials to assess progress on the so-called Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework regarding human rights, corruption and good governance. Donors reaffirm commitment of $16 billion but express "concerns."

Taliban kill 3 Indian guest workers in Kabul.