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 29, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, September 29, 2013

Taliban capture a police district HQ in a remote region of Badakhshan province. Efforts are said to be underway to retake the building. Interior Ministry spokesman says police evacuated, rather than resist, to avoid civilian casualties.

Interior Ministry says 14 Taliban killed in various joint operations with coalition forces around the country. As usual, they report zero government, ISAF or civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, south of the border, remote controlled car bomb explodes in a market in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 33. Peshawar is the gateway to the tribal region where Taliban and al Qaeda militants operate freely. There has been considerable violence there recently.

Also in Pakistan, U.S. drone strike kills 3 suspected militants in North Waziristan.

International Monitoring and Evaluation Committee warns donors may cut aid to Afghanistan over corruption.

Drago Kos, chairman of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committe (MEC) quoted by Reuters said, “The biggest problem in this country is impunity. People don’t see the bad guys are being sanctioned, people do not trust the government.” While speaking at the release of group’s six-month report, Drago Kos said, “There’s no reaction from the police or attorney general’s office.”

Oxfam says Afghanistan must do a much better job of protecting women police. "These recruits have signed up to serve their country, in a country where their service is not always accepted. For in Afghanistan, a country where many women are not allowed to work, do not know their basic rights, and where men and women are separated in public, the people who’s job it is to uphold the law and protect the population are critical."

Afghan Senators accuse local officials of falsifying security reports.

Several Afghan Senators on Sunday expressed concerns over growing insecurity across the country and accused the government of ignoring the security threats. They pointed out that the local security officials in the provinces submit wrong reports about the security situation in their area to the central security organizations. As a result, Kabul does not get to know about the reality and proper measures are not taken.

The Senators said that with every passing day the security situation is deteriorating in several provinces across the country. They blamed the Defense and Interior Ministries for their inability to take any stringent measures in this regard. Due to their failure, the Taliban has succeeded in taking control of several districts across the country.
 No kidding.