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, June 7, 2015

Update for Sunday, June 7, 2015

Afghanistan's upper house of parliament, the Mesrano Jirga, condemns a U.S. drone strike on Friday on a funeral, which is said to have killed 4 civilians. It appears the funeral was for a Taliban leader, and that many of the attendees had crossed the border from Pakistan. [Obviously, just because people are attending the guy's funeral does not make them legitimate targets for a flying death robot. -- C]  (I have found no mention of this incident in U.S. media.)

Taliban capture a district in Badkhshan province, overrunning the police HQ.

Bomb in Uruzgan kills 6 civilians.

Teachers in Kabul go on strike over pay and working conditions. Teachers often do no receive their salaries for months.

The elite SEAL Team Six fighting force which killed Osama bin Laden has warped into an unaccountable organization which has engaged in 'excessive' and 'indiscriminate' killing, according to a new account of the secretive unit.

Former servicemen from the legendary Navy unit said that the unit has veered off course in recent years and become engaged in bloody all-out combat in Afghanistan against low-level militants and 'street thugs' - rather than the targeted anti-terrorist raids for which it is famed. . . . 



Among the accusations are:  
  • Claims that a British general confronted the unit over alleged indiscriminate killing of civilians in Helmand province
  • Afghan claims that eight schoolboys were slaughter in a 2009 raid on the village of Gazi Khan in Kunar Province
  • A former SEAL officer saying endless missions amounted to ‘killing fests’
  • A member of the unit being accused of mutilating a militant’s body after a raid
  • SEALs engaging in hand-to-hand combat using customized Tomahawk axes 
Some described being sent through Afghan villages in search of 'subcommanders' and 'street thugs' - sometimes racking up 25 kills without landing a major target.
"Internal investigations by the Joint Special Forces Command cleared team members of wrongdoing." [Of course -- C]

Mysterious rash of murder in Kabul has city on edge. One victim was a member of
the National Directorate of Security's (NDS) Advisory Board, and there are fears the incidents may be related to the breakdown of an agreement with the Pakistani ISI.

Meanwhile, Britain is sending more troops to Iraq, 
while Republican candidate for U.S. president Scott Walker won't rule out a full-scale re-invasion by the U.S.

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