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 24, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, August 24, 2014

Suicide car bombing in Lashkargah, Helmand, injures 14 civilians and 2 police. The target of the attack is unclear. The bomber was apparently recognized by police and detonated his device prematurely.

Shelling from Pakistan injures a civilian in Kunar.

Afghan border forces are ordered to retaliate against any provocative moves by Pakistani forces. [Not sure what this means substantively but tensions between the two nations are evidently ratcheting up.]

The usual ridiculous claims from the Interior Ministry. This time they've killed 80 Taliban in the past 24 hours with zero government or civilian casualties. I link to it only to let you know that they put out these press releases every day. Any resemblance or relationship to the truth is unlikely to be found.

The Ministry of Defense, which is more credible, says the Taliban have made gains in Kunduz and elsewhere. Though they give no specific casualty totals, they speak of "the bloodiest operations in the past three months."

Pakistani military says 80 militants entered Balochistan from Afghanistan and killed a Pakistani soldier.

Karzai says his successor will be inaugurated Sept. 2, no fooling around.

Independent Electoral Commission expects to complete the vote audit by tomorrow. Then we'll see.

Woman driving a car in Kabul creates a sensation.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, IS resumes efforts to capture the Baiji oil refinery, government forces so far resisting with the aid of air strikes. It is not specified whether the air support is from the Iraqi air force or U.S.IS besieges the Turkmen town of Amerli, whose 20,000 residents are running out of food, water and medical supplies.  Qatari officials deny funding IS.A Spanish tanker loads with Kurdish oil in the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Turkey is cooperating with the sale of Kurdish oil in spite of objections from Baghdad. [The sudden friendship between Turkey and Kurdistan is quite a dramatic development. At Today in Iraq the war between Turkey and the PKK was a prominent feature. This rapprochement is an essential condition for Kurdish independence, and makes it seem likely.] And of course the bombings go on. Three explosions target security forces in Kirkuk, 11 people die in a bombing in Baghdad, and a bomb explodes in Irbil. [That's bad news.] This article also says that 20 sorties a day are launching from U.S. carriers in the Gulf, though I haven't seen that elsewhere nor is it clear what they are doing. 


Anonymous said...

i just want to appreciate your style, very simple. this is the only site where i feel the news to be true. great effort.

Cervantes said...

We do our best, thanks. Can't swear it's all true, but I do weed out the less credible sources.