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

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Update for Saturday, November 12, 2016

Suicide boming at Bagram airbase kills 4, injures 14. There is as  yet no word on the nationalities of the casualties, but it appears the explosion occurred among laborers lining up for work.

Update: Explosion at Bagram killed 2 U.S. military personnel and 2 U.S. civilian contractors, injured 16 additional U.S. and 1 Polish military personnel. This is an astonishing lapse of security. Some additional detail from NBC News.


Afghanistan establishes a special tribunal to prosecute corruption. We'll see what comes of this.

The battle for Mosul continues, with Iraqi forces making slow gains amid intense fighting while some civilians manage to flee. IS continues to try counterattacking with suicide car bombers, with little success as tanks manage to stop them.

Asharq al-Awsat interviews some escaped civilians who describe harsh IS rule.

Iraq has not been publishing casualty totals, but CNN describes a hospital near Mosul struggling to cope with wounded soldiers as well as some civilians.

Gareth Brown for the New Arab publishes a photo blog of a recaptured suburb of Mosul.