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, March 6, 2016

Update for Sunday, March 6, 2016

The reported death toll keeps rising, but as of 10:30 ET al Jazeera is reporting 60 dead and 70 wounded in a suicide truck bombing near Hilla. IS has taken responsibility. The location was a checkpoint where a long line of cars was waiting, which accounts for the large casualty toll.

We keep hearing different stories about when the assault on Mosul will begin, but AP today reports it is still months away. A major concern, obviously, is that security at the dam be good enough that the Italian contractors can quickly undertake repair work.

In Afghanistan, Afghan and Pakistani forces trade fire across the border in Nangarhar. This probably won't amount to anything but it's a reminder of how hostile the two countries are.