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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Update for Thursday, April 28, 2016

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden makes an unannounced visit to Baghdad where he will hold "meetings with (the) Iraqi leadership focused on encouraging Iraqi national unity and continued momentum in the fight against ISIL," according to a statement. Exactly what Biden can contribute to resolution of Iraq's political crisis is not explicitly stated.

Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities have shut down al Jazeera's Baghdad bureau and forbidden its reporters from working in the country. The authorities cite only unspecified "violations of the official codes of conduct." [The company's Qatari sponsors are of course at odds with the Iranian sponsors of the Baghdad government. Just sayin'. --- C]

It seems IS is adapting to loss of oil revenue by opening fish farms and car dealerships. No telling how lucrative this will be.

In Afghanistana prosecutor is murdered in Heratan Australian aid worker is kidnapped in Jalalabad, and 3 police officers are killed in an "insider attack" in Laghman

The Afghan government continues to question the motives and actions of Pakistan regarding the Afghan Taliban as a Taliban delegation from its Qatar office visits Islamabad, shortly after Afghan president Ghani rejects the possibility of talks with some Taliban factions.

U.S. special envoy Richard Olson also accuses Pakistan of harboring "terrorist groups," presumably referring to Taliban and Haqqani network.

Afghanistan plans to complain to the UN Security Council about Pakistan.