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, August 14, 2016

Update for Sunday, August 14, 2016

Maybe it's hot where you are, but Iraq and much of the Middle East are broiling in unprecedented heat. Baghdad has topped 109 Fahrenheit every day since June 19. Consider how many displaced people lack shelter. Climate change is devastating agriculture in the region -- which by the way was a contributing cause to the dissolution of Syrian society. One has to wonder whether the region, including Iraq, can sustain its current population in coming years.

Peshmerga continue to capture villages near Mosul.

In disturbing news, the fire that killed 13 babies in Yarmuk hospital is now said to have been arson, contrary to earlier reports that it was caused by an electrical fault.

I should take note of events in Syria, where Kurdish and Arab forces have taken the town of Manjib
severing the route between the IS capital of Raqqa and Turkey. While IS is continuing what appears to be a steady collapse, Syrian and Russian forces have trapped some 300,000 people in Aleppo, where they face dire conditions.

Muhammad Nuruzzuman discusses IS and it's current condition. Let's not forget this key point:

Human sovereignty, Qutb firmly upheld, was contradictory to God’s sovereignty—a rebellion against the laws of God. Inspired by Qutbian radical ideas, the Islamic State and its parent organization Al Qaeda are out to establish God’s sovereignty by reviving their much dreamt Islamic caliphate. Muslims worldwide, however, neither practically make up a single nation (umma) nor are most of them after the restoration of a caliphate. The Islamic State, as it stands now, is a caliphate without Muslims, not to talk of the umma. Most Muslims feel neither any religious nor political affiliations with it; rather, they view it as a big troublemaker for the Muslim community worldwide. If public opinion surveys are any indicators, the Islamic State represents neither the Muslims nor Islam.
 In Afghanistan, the feud between Abdullah and Ghani continues, with Abdullah claiming he has not been allowed to exercise the powers granted to his office by the national unity agreement.

Nine police killed in attacks in Baghlan and 2 in Nuristan.

School principal murdered in Helmand.

Seventeen villages are under Taliban control in Baharak, Badakhshan.

Bomb destroys a school in Zabul.

Taliban launch a coordinated attack in Nuristan.

In news of the bizarre, a spokesperson for U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump claims that Barack Obama invaded Afghanistan in 2009.


Greatest Genius said...

I have neither heard, nor seen, nor read much about the Pakistani Taliban, nor the Haqqani network for years, certainly not nearly as much as was reported several years ago. Ultimately since ISIS started capturing headlines within the last 2 years there has been much less reporting about Pakistani terror groups. These Pakistani terror entities used to kill as many people as ISIS does but, strictly regarding killing by an Islamic terror entity and reporting of that killing, ISIS is the new Pakistani taliban, not literally but in the sense I indicated. I recall the days when the Pakistani taliban would kill about 100 people per week.

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