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

Monday, January 12, 2015

News of the Day for Monday, January 12, 2015

At long last, president Ghani announces cabinet nominees. The 3 month delay was apparently caused by disputes between Ghani and Abdullah. There are as yet no nominees for Attorney General or Chief Justice.

Reuters gives a run-down of the nominees for major positions. There is certainly plenty of political diversity, based on my quick reading. NYT discusses the horse trading behind this and suggests that the national unity government will continue to be stressed.

After previous denials, Afghan officials confirm that IS agents are operating in Helmand.

A police officer kills the district governor and police chief of Nawzad, Helmand, and injures other senior officials. TOLO calls the district Nad Ali. The place has quite a history.

Institute for War and Peace Reporting discusses the challenges faced by NGOs in Afghanistan.