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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Update for Tuesday, February 17, 2015

As you have noticed, I'm no longer documenting the daily grind of skirmishes and bombings. You can take it for granted that continues. However, I will try to post at least 2 or 3 times a week, especially as events warrant.

Taliban storm a police compound in Pul-e-Alam, Logar, and kill 22 police. One attacker detonated a suicide bomb at the entrance, clearing the way for the other 3 to enter. All the attackers were ultimately killed; the last detonated another suicide vest. [Reported casualty tolls vary but this seems to be the latest.]

In a separate attack in Kandahar province, 6 police are killed.

An office of the European Union issues a report stating that the Kabul government is losing control of the countryside. [Not that they ever had it.] The report states that insurgent and government casualties are now roughly equal. [Belying the consistently lopsided casualty reports issued by the government in which dozens of insurgents are typically claimed to be killed with no or minimal government casualties. That is why I have stopped linking to those press releases.] Excerpt:

In its latest report, Afghanistan Security Situation , released on 13 February, EASO noted that Taliban, Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan, and other insurgent groups operating in the country are carrying out more large-scale attacks against the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

Referring to the 31 December 2014 termination of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, the 211-page report says the withdrawal of foreign troops "has had an impact on the areas that they used to secure. In those areas, which are now left to the ANSF, insurgents increasingly take control of territory and attack administrative centres and security installations". . .

Noting that Afghanistan's security forces bore their highest numbers of casualties in 2013-14 since the insurgency started, the report says that "for the first time in the conflict, insurgents have been able to inflict nearly as many ANSF casualties as they suffered themselves".


Dancewater said...

no sign the war is ending....

Afghan Civilian Deaths hit record high

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