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, January 11, 2015

News of the Day for Sunday, January 11, 2015

A couple of stories today indicating that some militants in Af-Pak are adopting the Islamic State brand, and that foreigners identifying with IS are coming to the region. First, a video posted on-line shows a former Taliban spokesman addressing a crowd to announce that various Afghan and Pakistani leaders have pledged allegiance to IS. A Pakistani soldier is then beheaded with a machete.

Meanwhile, the police chief of southern Zabul says that Arab militants have entered the area, with their families. It is not clear how extensive support for IS is in the region or how seriously one should take all this.

Residents of Sangin, Helmand, also say IS is operating in the area.

Drone strike kills 8 in Nangarhar. But that doesn't count as "combat."

District intelligence agency chief and another person are injured by a roadside bomb in Herat.

Afghan national (association) football coach is stabbed, hospitalized. Unclear if the motive was personal or political.

Another one of those massive body count stories, with provincial police chief claiming 183 insurgents killed in month-long operation in Dangam, Kunar,  vs. 6 Afghan government dead. You'll have to decide if this is credible.


Anonymous said...

The Tolo story about fighting in Dangam district says that is in Logar province, not Herat.

Thanks so much for this long-running collection of news stories. It's a wonderful and valuable source.

Cervantes said...

Oh, sorry. I think the by-line distracted me.