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 20, 2014

News of the day for Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sticky bomb injures 7 employees of Ministry of Agriculture in Kabul. Two are in critical condition. No claim of responsibility as of now.

Afghan army claims to have killed Taliban "governor" of Kandahar and 3 subordinates.

Fars reports U.S. airstrike kills 4 people in Parvan. (No corroboration of this as of now and Fars is not always reliable on these stories. We'll see.)

Karzai appoints a panel to review the ISAF prison at Bagram. Not entirely clear what the agenda is here.

Iran hangs 6 Afghan nationals on drug smuggling charges. [No indication of it here but in the past Afghans have claimed Iran trumps up these charges against economic migrants.]

Defense Ministry says 2 Afghan soldiers and 18 insurgents killed in various operations in past 24 hours. [As always, no corroboration for the body count or claim that the dead were all armed insurgents. There are never any reported casualties to civilian bystanders. At least the Defense Ministry, unlike the Interior Ministry, does occasionally report casualties of government personnel.]