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

Friday, November 11, 2016

Update for Friday, November 11, 2016

Taliban attack German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing 4 people and wounding hundreds in a massive explosion. No German nationals were injured, however.  German soldiers subsequently kill 2 men on a motorcycle who did not follow their directions. They are identified as civilians.

In Iraq, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein reviews atrocities committed by IS, calls for formal justice not collective punishment and revenge.

Iraqi forces continue to make slow progress in Mosul against heavy resistance. As of now about 48,000 people have been displaced by the fighting. Many are arriving at UN camps.

Kurdish forces are constructing a defensive berm about 40 miles west of Irbil, marking the boundary of territory they intend to keep.