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 18, 2015

News of the Day for Sunday, January 18, 2015

(I actually would have posted sooner but I've had Internet access problems.)

Five Pakistani men are arrested in Afghanistan in connection with the Peshawar school massacre. Pakistani says it has detained additional people on its own territory.

Four Afghan Public Protection Force soldiers are killed, 14 injured in a suicide bombing in Helmand. The APPF is a special unit that protects foreign compounds and provides highway escort.

A district education director is murdered in Ghor province.

Army spokesman announces yet another "clearing" operation in Dangam, Kunar, on Friday, claims great success. (This battle has been going on for weeks, and is always being won. We shall see.)

A poll finds widespread distrust in the peace process, with many believing that High Peace Council members do not really want peace.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are in a dispute over fees charged to Afghan importers at the port of Karachi. Lest we forget, Afghanistan is landlocked and must depend on a viable relationship with Pakistan for access to world markets.

A death sentence is pronounced for the killing of two Finnish aid workers last July.

Taliban shoot down a helicopter, killing the ex-boyfrend of Britney Spears. (No, I'm not making this up.) John Sundahl, 44, was working as a private helicopter pilot. He met Britney in AA and helped her get sober.
Unknown armed men murder journalist Aqil Waqar in Hajian village of Batikot district, Nangarhar province.

Five health care workers are abducted in Herat.

Two civilians are injured in an explosion in Kandahar.

Nominee for Minister of Agriculture Mohammed Yaqub Haidari is wanted for tax evasion in Estonia

Afghan National Army commander General Murad Ali Murad confirms that Islamic State is active in Afghanistan.