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, February 1, 2015

News of the Day for Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015

Officials claim 3 foreign insurgents killed by an Afghan military air strike  in Badakhshan province. The dead are said to include a Tajik and a Chechen. This is the first I have heard of Afghan forces using air power. The article does not say what type of aircraft was used.

The three DoD contractors killed earlier this week are identified as employees of Praetorian Standard, of North Carolina. They were Walter D. Fisher of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Jason D. Landphair of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Mathew E. Fineran of Summerville, South Carolina.

Protests continue in Kabul against Charlie Hebdo and 24 people are injured, including 17 police injured by thrown rocks and 7 injured protesters, apparently by police gunfire.

Eight cabinet ministers and the chief of the National Directorate of Security will be sworn in. However, 9 additional cabinet nominees have yet to be confirmed.

This is interesting. The Taliban claim to have captured IS leader Mullah Abdul-Rauf Kazim and 45 followers in Helmand province.

Meanwhile, it is reported that many Taliban fighters are going over to IS. According to this report, the motive is not so much greater ideological affinity as it is frustration over the Taliban's failure to establish governance over substantial territory.

A protest in Herat over a parliamentary decision to strip power from provincial councils. As I read this, provincial councils had a monitoring role over federal government activities, which has been eliminated. This is an issue of federalism, concerning the relative power of the federal government vs. the provinces.  However, the issue here seems to focus on corruption and governmental integrity, rather than policy, with each side claiming the other acts out of illicit self-interest.

Pakistan continues to arrest Afghans who are in the country illegally.


whisker said...

Three Resolute Support Mission (RSM) contractors died when an individual wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform opened fire on a group of coalition contractors at the Northern section of the Hamid Karzai International Airport Complex yesterday.