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, February 21, 2016

Update for Sunday, February 21, 2016

First, the ridiculous flapdoodle over the missing iridium is over. The material was found intact, apparently dumped after the thief realized it was worthless to him. (Radioactive material needs to be handled with respect, but the paranoia people have about it is bizarre.)

There is apparently an uprising against IS in Fallujah. We'll have to see where this goes.

Bombing in southern Baghdad kills 4 soldiers.

Bombing in northern Baghdad kills 2 and injures 7.

Sabotaged pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey has yet to be repaired due to security issues, and exports from Kurdistan to Turkey are still curtailed. If the PKK is indeed responsible for this it must mean that the PKK and the Kurdish Regional Government are now in a shooting war. I have to say this seems like a very stupid move for the PKK to have made. They haven't got a friend in the world.

In Afghanistan, a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone crashes. The incident was not due to hostile action but did cost U.S. taxpayers about $60 million. But who's counting?

Afghan troops abandon Musa Qala in Helmand, which the MoD says is not a retreat but a "tactical move." Whatever.

Bombings in Paktika kill numerous civilians.

Even as officials continue promising to restore electricity to Kabul soon, after the Taliban destroyed lines transmitting power from Uzbekistan, the Taliban destroy another pylon in Baghlan, further reducing power to the capital.