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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

War News for Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pakistani Taliban snub cease-fire extension

Army to assist civil govt in polio eradication campaign

Reported security incidents
#1: gunmen kidnapped Ahmad Shah Wahid, the deputy minister of public works, as he was travelling in his car to work, officials said. No group has taken responsibility for Wahid's kidnapping, but abduction is a lucrative business in impoverished Afghanistan and scores of Afghans and foreigners have been captured and money demanded in return for their release.

#2: A group of Afghan policemen were kidnapped Wednesday while traveling in civilian clothes, and the Taliban later claimed they had killed seven of them. In a statement emailed to journalists, the militants said they had killed the policemen in an ambush in the Said Abad district of Wardak province, and that they found documents on the policemen that showed they were members of the Afghan Civil Order Police, an elite police unit. Ataullah Lodin, a spokesman for the governor of Wardak province, said authorities there had reported that a dozen of the officers had been kidnapped by insurgents.

#3: Up to 18 Taliban insurgents were killed while seven others wounded in Afghan army operations within the last 24 hours, the country's Defense Ministry said Thursday morning.