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, March 22, 2015

Update for Sunday, March 22, 2015

Preparing to travel to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, President Ghani talks to reporters. He portrays a perilous security situation as spring "fighting season" approaches. Among key points he makes:

  • Pakistan's military operations in the border regions are pushing militants into Afghanistan. Nevertheless he sees Pakistan as a "key partner" in the peace process.
  • Afghanistan is in talks with neighboring states to lay the groundwork for peace talks with the Taliban. However, the government has yet to have face-to-face meetings with Taliban representatives.
  • He expects the fiscal situation of the Afghan government to be a key issue in his U.S. visit.
  • He seems to find Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, which they don't like) to be rather scary. 
And indeed, it seems that the largely Shiite Hazara minority in Ghazni has actually sought protection from the Taliban from IS.  The Taliban have long persecuted the Hazara, but the commanders with whom the Hazara elders met agreed to help them. However, this is perhaps a bit misleading. "IS" in Afghanistan is apparently a brand name adopted by certain Taliban factions, as the movement fragments. The Hazara are seeking an alliance with particular Taliban factions. "'Whether Daish exists or not, the psychological impact of it is very dangerous in Ghazni, which is home to all ethnicities,' Ghazni's deputy governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Reuters."

Hundreds gather for the funeral of Farkhunda, a woman who was beaten to death by a mob in Kabul after accusations that she had desecrated a Koran. She is said to have been mentally ill. Although president Ghani and most other leaders have condemned the mob violence, some religious leaders have said it was justified. (For what it's worth, investigators have also said that the accusation that she desecrated a Koran is false. Not that it matters. Her brother also denies that she was mentally ill.-- C)








Ghazni's deputy governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Reuters. - See more at: http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Fearing+IS%26sbquo%3B+some+Afghan+Shi%27ites+seek+help+from+old+enemies&NewsID=448941#sthash.x7PR09FR.dpuf
the psychological impact of it is very dangerous in Ghazni, which is home to all ethnicities," Ghazni's deputy governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Reuters. - See more at: http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Fearing+IS%26sbquo%3B+some+Afghan+Shi%27ites+seek+help+from+old+enemies&NewsID=448941#sthash.x7PR09FR.dpuf
"Whether Daish exists or not, the psychological impact of it is very dangerous in Ghazni, which is home to all ethnicities," Ghazni's deputy governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Reuters. - See more at: http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Fearing+IS%26sbquo%3B+some+Afghan+Shi%27ites+seek+help+from+old+enemies&NewsID=448941#sthash.x7PR09FR.dpuf
"Whether Daish exists or not, the psychological impact of it is very dangerous in Ghazni, which is home to all ethnicities," Ghazni's deputy governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Reuters. - See more at: http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Fearing+IS%26sbquo%3B+some+Afghan+Shi%27ites+seek+help+from+old+enemies&NewsID=448941#sthash.x7PR09FR.dpuf
"Whether Daish exists or not, the psychological impact of it is very dangerous in Ghazni, which is home to all ethnicities," Ghazni's deputy governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Reuters. - See more at: http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Fearing+IS%26sbquo%3B+some+Afghan+Shi%27ites+seek+help+from+old+enemies&NewsID=448941#sthash.x7PR09FR.dpuf


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