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, March 12, 2015

Update for Thursday, March 12, 2015

Nobody could have predicted: U.S. trained Iraqi forces have committed atrocities. The link is to ABC news, which broke the story, but they have a very annoying auto-lay advertisement. If you want to avoid that, IBT has picked up the story. (Sorry ABC, but you didn't have to do that.)

The investigation, being conducted by the Iraqi government, was launched after officials were confronted with numerous allegations of “war crimes,” based in part on dozens of ghastly videos and still photos that appear to show uniformed soldiers from some of Iraq's most elite units and militia members massacring civilians, torturing and executing prisoners, and displaying severed heads.
 The U.S. has been "training" these forces for a decade, and they either drop their weapons and run when an enemy shows up, or they massacre civilians and torture prisoners. Maybe we should think of a different approach.

Meanwhile, Iraqis say 22 Iraqi soldiers were killed by an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition, but as always, the U.S. military denies it.

[A] military source said 22 soldiers had been killed when an aircraft, which he said was from the U.S.-led coalition, bombed the headquarters of an army company on the edge of Ramadi city, Anbar's provincial capital. A military spokesman for the coalition said it had carried out an air strike in the area on Wednesday but that it had hit a position held by Islamic State fighters. "This strike did not result in any friendly casualties," Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gilleran said.

Sorry Lt. Colonel, but I don't think they would make that up.