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 5, 2016

Update for Saturday, November 5, 2016

NATO confirms that civilian casualties occurred as a result of air strike in Kunduz in support of an operation in which two U.S. troops were killed. Says some of the dead were Taliban family members.

DoD identifies soldiers killed in action Nov. 3 as Capt. Andrew D. Byers, 30, of Rolesville, North Carolina, and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan A. Gloyer, 34, of Greenville, Pennsylvania, assigned to
Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado.  

Separate sticky bomb attacks in Kabul and Nangarhar  injure four police officials from Kapisa (in Kabul) and kill a driver and injure a district governor (Nangarhar).

Rocket fire kills one civilian, injures three in Assadabad, Kunar.

IS militants abduct 6 civilians in Ghor, days after massacring 31.

U.S. says it killed Taliban leader Faruq al-Qhatani in an airstrike in October in Kunar.

Roadside bomb kills 11 wedding guests in Faryab.

Ben Norton in Salon discusses Afghanistan as the forgotten war.

In Iraqseventeen civilians fleeing Hawija are killed in an explosion. Other accounts give higher casualty totals.

Iraqi forces advancing from the south take Hammal al-Alil, said to be the last IS stronghold south of Mosul, some 30 kilometers from the city.

Satellite images show daunting defensive works in Mosul.