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 4, 2016

Update for Friday, November 4, 2016

Iraqi forces continue to press into Mosul, entering the Al Zahra district. According to residents, IS was expecting the attack and had withdrawn most forces two days ago, leaving 4 pockets of resistance. Nevertheless the remaining IS fighters are putting up a fierce fight with nearly constant gunfire reported and suicide vehicle bomb attacks, none successful.

Iraq also claims capture of 6 additional districts  in Mosul: Malayeen, Samah, Kadhra, Karkukli, Quds and Karama (although the latter had been claimed earlier).

Malayeen, Samah, Khadra, Karkukli, Quds and Karama

Read more on UNIAN:
Malayeen, Samah, Khadra, Karkukli, Quds and Karama,

Read more on UNIAN:

Oxfam reports on the toxic effects of the oil well fires set by IS.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has fled Mosul, even while calling on his followers to fight to the death.

The UN continues to report that IS is executing alleged deserters.

IS has launched a diversionary counterattack in Shirqat, apparently taking control of some buildings.

 In Afghanistan, angry mourners bury the 30 civilians killed by a U.S. air strike in Kunduz. There is as yet little information about what happened but the U.S. military, not yet admitting to any civilian casualties, has pledged to "investigate."

A reporter for Ariana News was killed in an explosion in Helmand.

As I predicted, Pakistan will not imprison Sharbat Gula but will deport her.