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, November 24, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, November 24, 2013

In an odd twist, the Loya Jirga overwhelmingly backs the security pact with the U.S., but president Karzai says he won't sign it as is and intends to continue negotiating. It is unclear why he called the jirga, which required essentially locking down the capital city for 6 days. "Even Mr. Karzai’s allies were at a loss to explain what he hoped to gain from the perplexing series of events around what was expected to be a straightforward deal."

Chair of the Jirga, Sibghatulullah Mojaddedi, lectured Karzai, warning that if he delays signing the agreement, ``I’ll resign and leave the country.’’ Mojaddedi is a long-time confidante of Karzai, adding to the perplexing nature of these events.

Two civilians are killed and a police officer injured  in Jalalabad by a bomb planted in a trash can.

Two members of the Afghan border police killed in an insider attack in southern Kandahar province. The perpetrator escaped.

A member of the Takhar Province provincial council, Qari Khal Mohammad, is killed by explosives planted in his vehicle.

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