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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Update II for Saturday, October 3, 2015

[I didn't want this information to step on the previous post -- C]

DoD identifies casualties from crash of C130J at Jalalabad Oct. 2.

Killed were: 
Capt. Jonathan J. Golden, 33, of Camarillo, California. 
Capt. Jordan B. Pierson, 28, of Abilene, Texas. 
Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, 26, of Moundsville, West Virginia. 
Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, 21, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
All four were assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. For more information, media may contact the 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs Office at 325-696-2863.
Also killed were: 
Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, of Pensacola, Florida. 
Airman 1st Class Kcey E. Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia.
Both were assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. For more information, media may contact the 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs Office at 781-225-1686.
The Telegraph's Danielle Moylan has more detail  on MSF's account of the U.S. air attack on their hospital in Kunduz. Some accident:

“This attack is abhorrent and a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law,” said Meinie Nicolai, MSF President. “We demand total transparency from Coalition forces. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as ‘collateral damage’.”

MSF said that for more than an hour, beginning at 2:08am, their hospital was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids every 15 minutes. The main central hospital building, housing the intensive care unit, emergency rooms, and physiotherapy ward, was repeatedly hit very precisely during each aerial raid.

“The bombs hit and then we heard the plane circle round,” said Heman Nagarathnam, MSF Head of Programmes in northern Afghanistan. “There was a pause, and then more bombs hit. This happened again and again.

“When I made it out from the office, the main hospital building was engulfed in flames. Those people that could had moved quickly to the building’s two bunkers to seek safety. But patients who were unable to escape burned to death as they lay in their beds.”
UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein says that an attack on a hospital is a war crime.