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

Monday, June 13, 2016

Update for Monday, June 13, 2016

An Iraqi government spokesman acknowledges that Shiite militias have committed crimes against civilians in the battle for Fallujah and says that arrests have been made. This follows a claim by Anbar governor Suhaib al-Rawi that militias had executed 49 men and that hundreds had gone missing over the three days from June 3 through 5; and that detainees were tortured.

Government forces screening people fleeing Fallujah claim to have found more than 500 IS fighters trying to blend in with the refugees. If this is true, it suggests that the IS fighting force in Fallujah may be collapsing. Nevertheless, the fight remains a heavy slog against booby traps and suicide bombers.

Nevertheless the government continues to claim victories, such as the destruction of an IS communications facility, and the conquest of a village west of Fallujah.

Some 4,000 people have fled through the safe corridor recently opened by Iraqi forces

Here is a photo essay on the exodus.

Government forces also continue to advance toward Mosul.