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

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Update for Wednesday, October 5, 2016

U.S. service member killed by an IED explosion while on patrol in Nangarhar. I will provide more information when it becomes available.

Taliban are reported to control much of Kunduz, despite previous claims by the government to have gained control of the city. Food is in short supply.

Amruddin Wali, a provincial council member, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban were openly moving around the strategic city, whose residents were in a state of fear and leaving their homes. “Only the governor’s house, the intelligence and police headquarter and the city’s main square are under the government’s control,” he claimed, saying airstrikes were underway and a number of houses and markets had been destroyed.
Explosion targeting a government minibus in Kabul causes an unknown number of injuries. Many people are said to have been taken to hospital, but no reports of deaths so far.

A two day international conference on Afghanistan begins in Brussels. Afghanistan, whose government and military are largely dependent on international largess, will seek additional donor funds.

In Iraq, a U.S. air strike mistakenly kills 20 Sunni tribal fighters allied with the government in a village near Qayyara. Oops once again.

The squabble between Turkey and Iraq over the presence of Turkish troops in Bashiqa continues.