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

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Update for Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why is this not a surprise? Newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visits Afghanistan, signals delay in planned U.S. troop withdrawal. According to the New York Times:

"Mr. Carter said that he had seen varying reports about Afghanistan, including some that said the Taliban were undergoing a resurgence and others that claimed that a small group of militants had rebranded themselves as members of the Islamic State.
"He said that he needed to travel to Afghanistan so that he could meet with senior American and Afghan officials and make his own assessment of the situation. He will begin with meetings with President Ashraf Ghani and with Mr. Ghani's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah."