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, October 16, 2016

Update for Sunday, October 16, 2016

Although government forces have regained control of Kunduz city proper, fighting continues in the vicinity and thousands of displaced people are not returning, due to the uncertain security situation and damage to the city infrastructure. People are staying in camps in Mazar-e Sharif.

However, Mazar-e Sharif may not be so safe either, as a planted bomb in the city injures 3 people.

The Afghan government plans to investigate the recent Taliban takeover of Kunduz. Whatever.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the battle for Mosul appears imminent as Iraqi planes drop leaflets over the city warning of the coming battle, U.S. artillery begins heavy shelling of IS positions, and Massud Barzani says the time for the offensive has come. We will provide daily updates once it begins.