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

Friday, October 9, 2015

Update for Friday, October 9, 2015

Although accounts have placed the death toll from the U.S. attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz at 22, MSF now says that 33 people are still missing, including 24 of their staff and 9 patients. They believe that bodies may remain in the hospital, but they have no access.

In a further clarification, the attack lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes and consisted of 5 separate bombing runs. The attacking aircraft exclusively targeted the main hospital building, sparing all other buildings and hospital grounds. A detailed report from the New York Times says the building contained the emergency room, intensive care unit, blood lab and X-ray area. MSF says there was no active ground combat in the area that night, in fact it was unusually calm. The hospital was treating injured Afghan soldiers, Taliban combatants, and civilians, but there were no weapons inside the compound. [Note: Injured combatants receiving medical treatment, under international law, are no longer considered combatants and may not be attacked. Whatever the explanation for this event, it was not an "accident." -- C] 

Attackers enter a restaurant in Kabul and fire indiscriminately, shooting 5 people of whom 2 subsequently die. The attackers were then shot dead by security forces.

People begin to return to Kunduz but food shortages continue. Afghan forces continue a house-to-house search for insurgents.

The Afghan government reports 246 civilians killed in September, a substantial increase from August. They also report, as usual, an implausibly asymmetrical toll of combatants, 3,760 insurgents vs. 349 government forces. [This "body count" braggadocio is reminiscent of the U.S. in Vietnam, for those of you old enough to remember. -- C]


Dancewater said...

and five more NATO troops died in Afghanistan - helicopter crash.

what a waste!