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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Update for Thursday, October 13, 2016

Taliban surround and massacre about 100 Afghan soldiers and police near Lashkar Gah, seizing 22 armored humvees, dozens of trucks and innumerable rifles, while also taking many prisoners. The Afghan army is now losing 5,000 security forces per month to casualties and desertion, while replacing them with only 3,000. Ill-trained recruits are being rushed to the front lines.

Eight additional security forces are said to have died in other engagements since then.

IS fighters are said to have been killed by air strikes in Nangarhar and Taliban said to have been killed in Farah. As usual, no corroboration for the reported body counts.

Three children are injured in a rocket attack in Parwan.

U.S. special forces are deployed in Farah to support Afghan troops as fighting is ongoing in the provincial capital.