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, November 22, 2015

Update for Sunday, November 21, 2015

Sorry I haven't posted for a week -- been busy, also no huge developments, but the usual slog of war.

However, a classified report prepared for upcoming talks of NATO ministers apparently calls for increased involvement in Afghanistan, including more forward deployment of "trainers" in conflict areas. It also calls for sharing intelligence with Afghan forces, to "help prevent incidents such as recent Taliban attacks for which local authorities were unprepared." Really? NATO up till now has not been warning Afghan forces when it knows of impending attacks?  Hmm.

Militants have recently been targeting the Hazara minority. Taliban have taken 8 Hazara prisoner, in this case accusing them of stealing sheep. While this may be a personal dispute, recently 7 other Hazara were murdered by unknown assailants. The Hazara are Shiites, considered apostates by Sunni extremists.

A kidnapping on the Kandabar-Zabul highway also appears to have targeted Hazara.

An eleven year old child is arrested in Kunduz province who is said to have been preparing for a suicide attack. Police say he was kidnapped years ago and trained as a suicide bomber, and that the Taliban are preparing other children for the role. (Could be true, could be propaganda. -- C)

A report commissioned by president Ghani finds failures of leadership behind Taliban capture of Kunduz.

Thousands of families are displaced by violence in Nangarhar by militants using the IS brand name. (Again, the real nature of their association with the IS in Syria and Iraq is unclear. These are former Taliban.)

Chris Sands and Fazelminallah Qazizai find that political divisions following the recent national election have created governmental paralysis and allowed insurgent gains. More and more Afghans are fleeing the country as chaos seems to loom.






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