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, March 2, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, March 2, 2014

Truck bomb under construction explodes prematurely in Puli Alam, Logar province, killing 13. A police spokesman says the dead included 9 militants, plus 2 women and 2 children. He says the militants included Pakistanis. (Implication is that the women and children are relatives of the owner of the home where the incident occurred.)

National Directorate of Security says it has foiled a suicide bomb plot in Kabul, and arrested 4 people.

Ten people are injured by a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar city. (The only place I could find this was Wakht, which generally has nearly indecipherable English, but as far as I can tell nobody was killed -- including, apparently, the attacker.)

AP's Deb Reichman discusses the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban on June 30, 2009. While the U.S. has negotiated for his release, it appears he left his post intentionally and could be charged as a deserter. The story dances around the suggestion that under the circumstances, his freedom may not be a high priority for the U.S.

NATO supply route from Pakistan via Turkham re-opens following a court order. The crossing had been blockaded for 3 months in protest of U.S. drone attacks.

Twelve taliban escape prison in Kandahar using a forged document. Their names were somehow added surreptitiously to a list of prisoners legitimately scheduled for release.

Much news from Pakistan. Thirteen people are killed in attack on a polio vaccination team in Jamrud. (This is a big problem for the planet, folks. If the polio virus gets loose, most children in areas where it has long been eliminated are no longer  immunized.) Three Frontier Corps troops are killed and 7 injured by an IED in Kalat. However, Pakistani Taliban announce a one-month ceasefire to resume negotiations suspended after the killing of 23 FC prisoners. The Prime Minister is conferring with military leaders over whether to honor the suspension of hostilities.

And, back in Iraq, the violence goes on. Six members of security forces are killed in towns north and west of Baghdad, familiar places from Today in Iraq -- Baiji, Balad, Hawijah. Five are killed and 25 injured as the Iraqi army shells Fallujah, "indiscriminately," according to a hospital spokesman. Gunmen attack employees of the electric company in Mosul, injure 2. Somewhat conflicting numbers on the death toll in February, but tallies range from 703 to 790. The lower, UN figure, excludes deaths in Anbar, for some reason. This is down from January (3 fewer days, of course), but 3 times the toll from last year.


Dancewater said...

really tragic to see what the evil US war of aggression has left the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here's hoping the US Congress will obstruct Obama if he decides to start up or join in a war in the Ukraine.... like they did with Syria.

I am so very, very, very sick of the evil that the US government and US people visit on the rest of the world.

Cervantes said...

Pretty sure U.S. is not going to have anything to do militarily with the Ukraine situation -- not losing sleep over that, at least.