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, June 26, 2014

News of the Day for Thursday, June 26, 2014

Whisker is traveling today.

A NATO service member, of unspecified nationality, is killed in action in southern Afghanistan.

Two civilians and a policeman injured by bomb in Kandahar province.

Drone crashes in Bamyan province, nationality unspecified but presumably U.S.

Afghan troops launch counteroffensive against Taliban assault in Sangin, Helmand province. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesperson says 150 Taliban killed, while local officials say 20 police, 13 soldiers, and more than 50 civilians dead. Although Interior Ministry says Afghan forces have not requested NATO support, in fact NATO says it has provided close air support, reconnaissance, and intelligence. (Note: Interior Ministry is a notoriously unreliable source of information.)

Abdullah releases and audiotape purporting to be the Maidan Wardak governor convincing an army officer not to prevent ballot stuffing. Video released by Abdullah purports to show ballot stuffing.

A spokesperson for the very same governor of Maidan Wardak says 8 Taliban killed including a commander and 2 Pakistani nationals in an operation last night.

U.S. says Lakshar-e-Taiba responsible for May 23 attack on Indian consulate in Herat. The organization is based in Pakistan.

while local officials in Helmand said 20 police and 13 soldiers had died, as well as more than 50 civilians - See more at: