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, November 16, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, November 16, 2014

Suicide attack in Kabul on the car of Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament and women's rights advocate, kills three people and injures 20. Barazaki escapes injury. Reports NYT's Rob Norland:

During the Taliban era, Ms. Barakzai, 42, helped run underground schools for girls. She had enemies on many sides, including powerful warlords. She famously remarked of her fellow legislators, “Our Parliament is a collection of lords. Warlords, drug lords, crime lords.” er husband, an unsuccessful candidate for Parliament, took a second wife without consulting her. Ms. Barakzai remained married to him, but began campaigning against the practice of multiple wives for Afghan men.

Two Afghan soldiers are killed by a roadside bomb  but the MoD gives no information as to location.

Former president Karzai accuses U.S. of promoting extremism in the region. "Speaking during an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Karzai said senior U.S. officials would tell him that neighboring Pakistan was harboring terrorists responsible for attacks inside Afghanistan but urge him not to raise the issue with Pakistani leaders. He said the United States “has been both encouraging the thief to steal and the house owner to safeguard his house.” [He has a point. -- C] But . . . 

President Ghani meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, where the two subsequently make some non-specific statements about cooperation against extremism.

Update:  U.S. casualty reported yesterday is identified as Sgt. 1st  Class Michael A. Cathcart, of Bay City Michigan. Died Nov. 14 in Kunduz of small arms fire. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.