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, January 26, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, January 26, 2014

Suicide bomb attack on an army bus in Kabul kills 4 people, injures 22. Among the dead is radio journalist Shahid Naimi, who happened to be nearby. He is the second Afghan journalist to die this week, after NYT stringer Noor Ahmad Noori was found dead in Helmand province on Thursday. According to Reuters, the other three dead were defense ministry staff on the bus. However, LA Times reporter Hashmat Baktash says 2 of the dead were bystanders.

In a separate story, Khaama says the dead journalist was named Ahmad Shahid. The story gives some biographical details,

Two police officers are killed in Khost by a bomb placed in their vehicle.

Two young athletes are shot dead as they return from a sports complex in Takhar province. This Khaama Press article recounts several recent incidents of attacks on people engaged in sports.

Two civilians killed and 8 injured in consecutive explosions in Nangarhar province.

Karzai continues to refuse to sign security agreement with U.S., comparing it to the Durand deal between British India and Afghan King Abdul Rahman Khan, which produced the present border with Pakistan. (Many Afghans feel cheated by this agreement, which divided the Pashtun people.) Karzai continues to criticize U.S. actions, including air strikes and the operation of Bagram prison: "Bagram is a place where innocent people are tortured and insulted and made dangerous criminal," he said. (Control of the prison was ceded to Afghanistan about 1 year ago.)

Interior Ministry says 3 Taliban killed in past 24 hours and reports various operations around the country. They finally seem to have shut down the copying machine.

Investigatory commission appointed by President Karzai to investigate air strike in Parwan that killed civilians appears to have included fabricated evidence in its report, and exaggerated the number of casualties.