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 30, 2016

Update for Sunday, October 30, 2016


I haven't really bothered to closely follow the day-to-day violence in Afghanistan, which recently has been fairly low-level but continual. But today we have some links that offer overall perspective.

This has been the bloodiest year yet for Afghan security forces, with about 5,500 killed and 9,600 injured.  Note that this is one reason why I don't link to every report of fighting, because generally speaking the government does not disclose its own casualties in battles. We see these reports of 9 or 12 or 30 Taliban killed and no mention of government casualties, or a suspiciously lopsided number. The total public reports of specific casualty totals in given engagements are nowhere close to 5,500 dead. This piece also mentions that the government has lost control of territory this year, down to 63% of the country from 65% in May.

Most of the billions of dollars the U.S. has spent building roads in Afghanistan has been wasted.

The so-called National Unity Government of Ghani and Abdullah is shattering.

Violence against journalists in Afghanistan is at unprecedented levels, with 377 cases reported so far this year.

0 comments: