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, July 31, 2016

Update for Sunday, July 31, 2016

AP's Hamza Hendawi and and Qassim Abdul-Zara give an overview of the tactical situation in northern Iraq. Before the assault on Mosul can begin, the Iraqis must secure a 20 kilometer radius around Qayara air base so that it is not subject to rocket attacks and U.S. forces can move in. The base must also be repaired so it can land heavy transport craft. While Iraqi forces are making gains in the area, the assault on Mosul is not expected to begin until the fall, and there is no specific tactical plan for it as yet.

IS attacks a gas field in Kurdistan, killing 4 employees, peshmerga forces regain control. The same group then attacked an oil station some miles away, killing another employee and causing damage.

In Afghanistan, militia of warlord and vice president Rashid Dostum is accused of atrocities in Faryab.

Air strikes in Nangarhar said to kill 20 IS fighters. Seven IS fighters and 2 Afghan security force members (unidentified affiliation) said killed in a battle in Jawzjan.

Taliban reported to kill 24 police in various attacks in Helmand, as Taliban gain control of Khanshin district and are expanding attacks from there, and are besieging the government compound in Nad Ali. They are said to control 60% of the province. This report also says that 4, not 2 security personnel were killed in the Jawzjan fighting. This report, however, claims that Taliban were repelled in an attack in Khanshin.






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