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 27, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, April 27, 2014

British MoD denies Taliban claims that they shot down the Lynx helicopter that crashed yesterday near Kandahar, killing five. Three of the dead were from the air corps, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire; the other dead were in the RAF, and army reserve. None has yet been named.

Afghan police say they kiled 5 insurgents in Paktika, including 2 foreign nationals. One police officer is said to have been lightly injured in the operation.

At least 15 mortar shells are fired from Paktika into North Waziristan. The story does not explain who may have done this, or why, but notes that the Pakistani military has been firing rockets into Afghanistan.

Abdullah Abdullah claims victory in the presidential election, claims there will beno need for a runoff once fraudulent votes are removed from the tally. He has criticism for the Independent Electoral Commission. However, according to the tally released so far, he will face a runoff with Ashraf Ghani.

Ghani says his campaign will continue and he predicts victory in the second round. 

Two civilians and a police officer are killed, 7 civilians injured, in an explosion at a marketplace in Ghazni. There is no claim of responsibility as of now.

Government begins a campaign to round up addicts in Kabul and put them into recovery centers. It is not clear whether commitment will be involuntary. The linked article discusses the epidemic of opiate addiction and the adequacy of resources in the country.