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

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Update for Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Talk about burying the lede. U.S. air strike on a building in Mosul is said to destroy millions of dollars worth of currency used to pay IS operating expenses. But here's the most interesting part of the story, which is at the end:

The U.S. considers the Mosul strike extremely sensitive, as the building is in an area where civilians are also located, and there was a significant risk of civilian casualties. . . .  U.S. commanders had been willing to consider up to 50 civilian casualties from the airstrike due to the importance of the target. But the initial post-attack assessment indicated that perhaps five to seven people were killed. In recent weeks, the U.S. has said it will assess all targets on a case-by-case basis and may be more willing to tolerate civilians casualties for more significant targets.
So U.S. military officers are deciding how many innocent people to kill in order to achieve objectives they set. They don't appear to be asking for anybody else's two cents on this.

Suicide bombing near Baquba kills an intelligence officer and injures the director of intelligence for Diyala province.

Seven sunni mosques and numerous shops are firebombed in the Baghdad area and Muqdadiya, apparently in retaliation for IS attacks on Shiite targets, specifically two bombings in Muqdadiya on Monday that killed 23 people, and an attack on a shopping mall in Baghdad that killed 18.

In Afghanistan, it remains unclear whether the Taliban will engage in peace talks.

Afghan police officer claims Pakistani military were behind the attack on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif nine days ago.

Taliban release Canadian Colin Rutherford, taken prisoner 5 years ago. Qatar is said to have played a role in obtaining his release, said to be on humanitarian grounds.



Dancewater said...

Isn't it wonderful that Obama ended all the wars?

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