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

Monday, August 10, 2015

Update for Monday, August 10, 2015

In an address to the nation, President Ghani blames Pakistan for harboring the insurgency and says that the recent attacks in Kabul are a "game changer." He says that Pakistan cannot simultaneously broker peace talks while harboring the Afghan Taliban and that relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have come to a critical point.

Ghani said that at the time Pakistan President Nawaz Sharif said the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan – "now the time has come for him to prove it", he said.
"We have earned the support of the region in our stance against insurgents and the peace process. We are not vanishing, we are integrating," he said.
He said Pakistan has to bring the Taliban to the talks tables and secondly stop harboring the insurgents – this includes barring them access to hospitals and other necessary services, he added.
He said Pakistan needs to have the same policy definition in regard to terrorism for Afghanistan, as it has for itself. . . .
He said that Pakistan's decisions in the upcoming weeks will have a direct impact on Afghanistan's relations with them

[Obviously, Afghanistan is in no position to confront Pakistan militarily. It is not clear what Ghani can do about the situation but it seems to me the international community has been putting up with Pakistan's jive for to long. -- C]