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, January 18, 2016

Update for Monday, January 18, 2016

Three Americans are kidnapped from the home of an Iraqi interpreter, reportedly in Dora. They are believed to have been taken by Shiite militiamen, and to have been employees of a construction company. There are conflicting reports as to whether they were taken to Sadr City, or in the direction of the airport. A source to which I do not link, by policy, says the apartment was actually a brothel. (This means the Americans were not necessarily an originally intended target, as militias often raid such places out of moral intolerance.) I will post an update if I can find corroboration or other details.

IS reportedly cuts salaries in half due to economic distress.

In Afghanistan, "peace talks" will open today which unfortunately aren't very likely to lead to peace since the Taliban are not participating.