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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Update for Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Car bomb at an outdoor market in Sadr City kills at least 63 people. (Most reports currently give the toll as 64 but the linked Asharq al-Awsat story is otherwise relatively detailed.) IS takes responsibility. IS also says it was a suicide attack, but Iraqi officials deny that.

Shiite pilgrims are in Karbala to recognize the birthday of Imam Hussein. Presumably security is tight but I can find no mention of it. (This Shiite source says millions of pilgrims are there but I expect that's an exaggeration.)

Italy will send 500 troops to protect the Mosul dam as an Italian contractor works to repair it.

In AfghanistanTaliban overrun two checkpoints near Lashkar Gah and kill 15 police.

Suicide car bombing in Nangarhar kills 10 civilians, injures 23.

President Ghani is off to London to attend an "anti-corruption summit." This after British PM Cameron is overheard telling the Queen that Afghanistan is one of the two most corrupt countries on earth. I don't tend to agree with Mr. Cameron but . . .

I didn't have a chance to note the joint U.S.-Afghan commando raid that freed Ali Haider Gilani, the son of a former Pakistani PM who had been held captive in Afghanistan by al Qaeda. Gilani is now back in Pakistan.









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