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, September 20, 2015

Update for Sunday, September 20, 2015

The NYT's David Phillips tells the story of the second battalion of the Seventh Marines, whose veterans are plagued by PTSD and suicide. (You may need a subscription.) The 2/7 served in Helmand Province and saw the hardest combat.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the security situation continues to deteriorate as taliban destroy 2 police vehicles and 5 shops in Logar.

 Taliban attack a police post in Badakshan, kill 6 police and take a tank, a truck, 5 automatic rifles and a machine gun.

Taliban order villagers in Ghazni to evacuate.

Roadside bomb kills 5 police in Paktia.

Two civilians killed and 2 injured in separate explosions in Kandahar.

Five civilians injured in an explosion in Samangan. (Note that the violence is spreading to formerly relatively peaceful areas.)

Militants using the Islamic State brand have forced the closure of 58 schools in Nangarhar, leaving 300,000 children without education.

Pakistan claims an attack on an air force base in Badaber was launched from Afghan territory.