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

Monday, October 5, 2015

Update for Monday, October 5, 2015

Government forces appear to be in control of central Kunduz although fighting continues.

The city continues to suffer from severe shortages  of food and medicine. "There is a shortage of blood and medicines at the Kunduz Regional Hospital. The hospital building is crowded with injured persons, some of them lying in walkways for lack of hospital beds," according to a witness interviewed by Xinhua.

Afghan officials make statements appearing to try to justify the attack on the MSF hospital. Note that even if Taliban were present on the grounds, the action would still constitute a war crime, which means such statements would actually be an admission of guilt.

Update: And, right on cue, Gen. Campbell says the air strike was requested by Afghan forces, was not in response to a threat to U.S. forces as previously claimed.

In the incident early Saturday, Campbell said Afghan forces advised U.S. special operations forces on the ground that they needed U.S. air support, and the airstrike ensued. He said several civilians were “accidentally struck.”
Right. Accidentally. While specifically and precisely bombing the ER, the operating room, and the intensive care unit. Repeatedly. Over an hour. Makes perfect sense to me.

The Long War Journal provides an overview of the state of the battlefield, including a map. According to their analysis, 27 of Afghanistan’s 398 districts are under Taliban control, and another 36 districts are contested. "“Control” means the Taliban is openly administering a district, providing services and security, and also running the local courts. Often, the district centers are under Taliban occupation or have been destroyed entirely." The Taliban have a presence in additional districts.


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good puppet governments always justify any actions the masters take.

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That seems to be happening. Read Glenn Greenwald on this, also a less polemical account by Thomson-Reuters.

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