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, October 22, 2015

Update for Thursday, October 22, 2015

A U.S. commando is killed in combat in Iraq, in a joint operation with Kurdish forces near Hawija. The operation freed prisoners and also resulted in the capture of some IS fighters.

Update: U.S. soldier killed in action is identified  as army Master Sergeant Joshua L. Wheeler of Roland, Oklahoma, assigned to U.S. Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

More information on the raid near Hawija in which a U.S. soldier died. The Kurdistan government requested U.S. assistance in the raid, apparently after receiving intelligence that the captives faced imminent risk of execution. They also apparently believed there were Kurds among the prisoners, but they were all Arab members of the Iraqi security forces, local residents, or IS fighters suspected of spying. In addition to the dead American, 4 peshmerga fighters were injured in the action. Five IS fighters were captured and an unstated number killed.

U.S. has deployed A-10s to Incirlik to participate in strikes against IS.

Meanwhile, returning to Afghanistan, former staff sergeant Robert Bales, who murdered 16 Afghan villagers, gives an interview to GQ in which he is sorry for letting down his buddies but still thinks he did the right thing by murdering Afghans. Seriously. Not that it matters, the only way he's coming out of prison is feet first. (We hope.)

Afghan forces are said to counterattack to recover the town of Babaji from the Taliban, who overran it on Friday. Most civilians were able to flee but some remain trapped. They are near the city of Lashkar Gah which is considered threatened. The Taliban are armed with Russian heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, and mortars.

Kunduz provincial council is concerned about the weapons the Taliban captured when they overran the city,.


Dancewater said...

That war has not ended either, in spite of the fantasy land that Obama supporters live in.