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, October 5, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, October 5, 2014

As president Ghani takes the reins of power, investigation into the Kabul bank scandal resumes. Of some $913 million embezzled by former officials, $729 million is still missing. The theft involved members of president Karzai's family, including his brother.

Geolocation information in a tweet by Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid shows that he is in Sindh, Pakistan. He denies it, but it is what it is. Note that the Afghan government has consistently accused Pakistan of harboring Afghan Taliban leaders. Oops.

Local officials say security forces disrupted a planned attack on Eid-al-Adha celebrations in Faryab province.

Analyst Andrew Hammond sees the power sharing deal between Ghani and Abdullah as fragile, creating a danger of the country dividing along ethnic and regional lines should it break down.

And, back in Mesopotamia, the Marine lost at sea on Thursday is identified as Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, of Memphis, IN. Note that the campaign against IS does not have a name: it's just "operations in Iraq and Syria." Hmm.

IS captures the town of Kubaisa in Anbar (near Hit), threatening the Ain al-Asad military base which is essential to defense of the Haditha dam. IS captured Hit a few days ago.

Pakistani Taliban declares support for IS.