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 30, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, November 30, 2014

Taliban kill a foreign aid worker, his two children and an Afghan citizen in a raid on the offices of a foreign charity. The facility apparently belonged to a Calfornia-based organization called Partnership in Academics and Development. The children were teenagers.

After the attack, the latest of several in recent days, the Kabul police chief resigns. President Ghani is expected to make an address later today.

TOLO is reporting the new Kabul police chief will be Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi, who has been provincial chief of police for Balk.

A battle in Kandahar province is said to kill 19 insurgents and 3 ANA soldiers. As usual, there is no corroboration of the typically lopsided casualty count. The Taliban have yet to comment.

Taliban overrun an Afghan army base in Helmand and kill 14 ANA soldiers, according to local officials. [Locals are, in my opinion, usually a more credible source than federal agencies, with the Ministry of Defense being somewhat more believable than the Ministry of the Interior.  I generally do not link to MoI announcements. -- C]

Update on Mesopotamia: U.S. and allied warplanes conduct massive bombing campaign on the Syrian city of Raqqa, capital of the Islamic State. As many as 30 strikes are reported. No word as yet on damage or casualties.