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, September 1, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, September 1, 2013

Local civilians find the bodies of 7 Afghan soldiers in Ghazni province. The men had apparently been kidnapped at various times, then shot, and their bodies dumped in a common location.

The car of Lal Agha Kakar, a mayor in Nangarhar, is destroyed by a sticky bomb and his driver is seriously injured, in Jalalabad. Kakar was not in the vehicle. The story does not say of what city or town he is mayor. (After a quick search, I have not found the name of the mayor of Jalalabad, which seems the most logical guess.)

Local officials in Herat say the Afghan army killed 7 insurgents in a night-time action.

Truckers on the Kabul-Herat highway strike over deteriorating security. "The Kabul-Herat highway, particularly the area passing through Kandahar, has become the site of routine attacks by insurgents and Illegal Armed Groups (IAGs) against travellers, and most often oil tankers. In addition to being targeted by Taliban insurgents, striking drivers in Kabul said IAGs abduct people on the Kabul-Herat highway for ransom with impunity." They also complain of simple armed robbery.

A firefight is reported between security forces and would-be suicide bombers in Zabul. As of this report, the situation was unresolved. Four police and 4 civilians had been injured by gunfire; the insurgents are apparently holed up in a residence.

Karzai cans his interior minister for the second time in a year. The new IM, formerly ambassador to Pakistan, is presidential hopeful Umer Daudzai.

Eight mining workers are killed by a roadside bomb in Bagram, Parwan province, and four are injured.