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, April 13, 2014

News of the day for Sunday, April 13, 2014

With 500,000 votes now counted out of more than 7 million cast, Abdullah Abdullah has a slight lead over Asaf Ghani. [However, as inveterate election watchers know, that means nothing at this point.] Abdullah is short of the 50% that would be needed to avoid a runoff in any case.

The Independent Electoral Commission ays it has received more complaints of fraud than in the 2009 presidential election, with a total of 870 complaints it classifies as "priority A," potentially affecting the results. it may need more time than anticipated to investigate them all.

Defense Ministry reports 7 militants killed and 18 detained; Interior Mnistr reports 13 additional arrests. As usual they don't appear to fight back: no reports of government or civilian casualties.

Several incidents are reported in Maidan Wardak. In at least one case, it seems, the Taliban did fight back. In an attack on a supply convoy, thee militants are killed along with a "shotgun" guard and a police officer. A driver and five police officers are injured.

If Ban on Money Laundering and Prevention from Financing Terrorism Law is not approved within next three months, all accounts of Afghanistan banks will be closed with the international banks and transactions will stop according to officials.The necessary legislation has been delayed in bickering between the central bank and Parliament.