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, June 26, 2016

Update for Sunday, June 26, 2016

Iraqi military says it has recaptured all of Fallujah and declares the battle for the city to be over.

However, the humanitarian crisis of refugees from the city has only intensified. The Euphrates has in effect become an internal border preventing Sunni Arabs from Anbar from entering the capital district; while aid has been delayed by the government blocking access to Anbar for relief agencies. Thousands of men, presumably detained by government or militia forces, are still missing. Officials say that thousands of men have been screened and released, but that 7,000 remain in detention  and that more than 2,000 have been identified as suspects.

Muqtada al-Sadr calls for the government to resign. His parliamentary bloc has been boycotting, making it difficult to secure quorums.

AhlulBayt discusses opposition to calls for the breakup of Iraq  from various quarters including Sunni and Shiite Arab politicians, and Kurds other than the Kurdish Democratic Party. (I must say, however, that the current policy toward Sunni refugees does not bode well for national unity. -- C)

In Afghanistan,  there is considerable violence as militants claiming the IS brand have abducted some 30 civilians in Nangarhar, while the government claims it has killed 131 militants in the same district in both air strikes and land battles. It says 12 civilians and security forces were killed in the same action but does not further specify. (As usual, there is no way to verify these typically lopsided casualty totals. -- C)

A rocket strikes Bagram airbase. No mention of damage or casualties.

Air strike said to have killed a Taliban commander in Kunduz area.

Clash in Faryab said to have resulted in death of 26 militants and one member of a civilian militia supporting the government. Again, no way to verify the extremely lopsided casualty total.

Mine explosion (probably an IED) kills one civilian and injures 3 in Herat.

There is an epidemic of kidnappings on highways by Taliban in Baghlan.

U.S. jets attack Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, but the U.S. withholds any more specific information. (Since the Taliban presumably know where they were attacked, it's not clear who this information is being kept secret from.)


How to Lose Weight said...
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Dancewater said...

How many times has Fallujah been "liberated"?

Cervantes said...

I count three so far.