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 6, 2016

Update for Monday, June 6, 2016

NPR photographer David Gilkey, his translator Zabihullah Tamanna, and their driver, an unidentified Afghan soldier, are killed by a rocket attack on a convoy in Helmand province. [I'm not sure why NPR employs photographers, but apparently they do. -- C]

Member of Parliament Shir Wali Wardak is killed by a bomb planted near his house in Kabul. Five of his bodyguards are injured.

Taliban ambush in Sari Pul kills a district intelligence chief, his deputy, three intelligence officers and two civilians.

Global Witness, a London-based organization, says mining of lapis lazuli supports Taliban in Badakhshan. However, their estimate that Afghanistan's total mineral resources are worth $1 trillion is convincingly rebutted by Forbes columnist Tim Worstall. Most of the resources included in that total could not be extracted profitably.

In Iraq, government forces and allied militias continue their slow advance toward Fallujah.

As civilians continue to try to flee, the Norwegian Refugee Council says IS fighters are shooting them.

Iraqi forces find a mass grave of 400 people north of Fallujah as they work to clear the area.

Sunni tribes, speaking through the Anbar Provincial Council, call for removal of Shiite militias from the battle for Fallujah, accusing them of abuses and atrocities against civilians.

Muqtada al-Sadr calls for an "uprising" as reforms are still not implemented. It is not clear what he means.


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