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, August 10, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, August 10, 2014

Suicide bomber targeting an ISAF convoy in Kabul kills 4 civilian bystanders, injures dozens. An ISAF vehicle is lightly damaged. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claims responsibility.

I don't know why I bother to link to this garbage, maybe just so nobody will accuse me of ignoring it. The Interior Ministry is really outdoing itself today, claiming 96 Taliban killed in the past 24 hours, which is three or four times the usual, with the usual zero government or civilian casualties. Sure.

The Independent Electoral Commission begins the process of formally invalidating ballots. (This is going to be at least as bad as Florida and the hanging chads, I expect.)

Afghan exports unexpectedly fall 20% in the first quarter. (This refers to legal exports, such as dried fruits and carpets, not Afghanistan's leading export which by all accounts is doing just fine, thank you.) The Chamber of Commerce blames this on political instability surrounding the disputed presidential election, but I must say it's hard for me to see what the link is.

Britain's Prince Harry recalls his service in Afghanistan. "Prince Harry has recalled the ''horrendous'' images he saw during two tours of Afghanistan when he encountered children who had died from roadside bombs and soldiers lying on the battlefield." He served as a helicopter pilot who transported casualties to the hospital.

In Iraqthe Interior Minister claims IS murdered 500 Yazidis. In better news, Kurdish forces create an escape corridor from Mt. Sinjar and tens of thousands of people make it to a refugee camp. However, conditions there are still grim. The refugees tell horrific stories. "Maher, 16, of the Qassem family, but from the village of Yarmouk, said he watched with binoculars that he stole from a soldier, as Islamic State fighters stopped tens of people. "They separated the men and women, and they took some of the women away on trucks. They shot the men," he said. "I went crazy. I couldn't sleep, eat or drink, I couldn't talk to anybody."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is in Iraq to discuss humanitarian aid  while U.S. airstrikes on IS vehicles continue. No major territorial gains on any side are reported.

Read more here:


Up Front said...

Thank you for your reports. You continue to provide a most valuable service for the people in AF.

Cervantes said...

Thanks, but they need a lot more than we can give them.