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

Friday, March 21, 2014

War News for Friday, March 21, 2014

AFP reporter killed in Kabul hotel attack -- Sardar Ahmad, a staff reporter at the Agence France-Presse news agency, was killed in a Taliban attack on Kabul's Serena hotel, it was confirmed Friday. Ahmad, 40, was shot dead along with his wife and two of his three children when four teenage gunmen attacked the hotel on Thursday evening.

One of the civilians killed in the attack was a former Paraguayan diplomat who was in Afghanistan as an election observer, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga said.

Reported security incidents
#1: Four gunmen opened fire on guests in a luxury Kabul hotel restaurant in the latest violent attack in Afghanistan's capital city. The four gunmen were swift as they entered the luxury hotel in Kabul, although it took them a few minutes to find the restaurant that was their target, Afghan officials said on Friday as they pieced together details of the brazen attack that killed nine people, including four foreigners and two children who were shot in the head. Police killed all four attackers after a three-hour standoff, with shooting resounding through the cordoned off streets outside. He said the four foreigners killed were from Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan and India, but the New Zealand and Pakistani foreign ministries denied that any of their citizens were among the dead.

#2: Afghan officials say an explosion during a ceremony marking the Persian New Year has killed three people in the southern province of Kandahar. Police spokesman Zia Durani says militants used a new style of weapon in Friday's attack. He says they threw an explosives-packed bottle that blew up when it landed on the ground. Durani says those killed included the head of the provincial media center chief and two policemen. He says seven other people were wounded.


Cervantes said...

Still a lot of confusion over the nationalities of the dead in the hotel attack - but regardless, this is a significant event. It suggests that the Afghan security forces are either incompetent or corruptible, and that there are still plenty of young men willing to die for the Taliban. It's causing aid agencies to pull out and making the upcoming elections look increasingly implausible. Right now, I'm not sure what the best hope is for Afghanistan.