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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Update for Saturday, April 30, 2016


Iraq's political crisis deepens as Sadrist protesters enter the Green Zone and storm the parliament chamber over failure to make political reforms. Many members of parliament fled, others are hiding in fear of the mob, although only fairly minor violence has been reported. All roads into the capital are closed. [I should note that although Muqtada al-Sadr leads a sectarian militia that was accused of atrocities against Sunnis during the civil war, he claims to be an Iraqi nationalist and that his current protest is a condemnation of the sectarianism of the Shiite-dominated government. What his long-term intentions may be is unclear.]

Suicide truck bomb attack on a market in Nahrawan, southeast Baghdad, kills 19 and injures 48. Although this attack caused many more casualties than the recent attack in Brussels, it will of course be largely ignored in the U.S. and Europe. [Some reports say the target was a nearby Shiite pilgrimage procession, but recent reports say the marketplace was the target.]

Update on the Kunduz hospital attack: Matthew Rosenberg in the NYT has details on the heavily redacted report released yesterday by the Pentagon. All I can say is, even if this is true, if this is the standard the U.S. military uses to decide whether to destroy a building full of human beings,  "intention" has nothing to do with it. This is a war crime. You don't blow people up if you don't know who they are.




0 comments: