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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Update for Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Al Jazeera has a photo essay on civilians fleeing the fighting near Mosul. They are generally overjoyed to be free of IS rule but are now joining the ranks of millions of displaced people in Iraq.

Meanwhile, IS continues mass abductions, apparently intending to use people as human shields.

Iraqi soldiers find a mass grave in Hammam al-Alil, which may include the remains of former police officers known to have been executed en masse near the location. However, children's toys have also been found in the grave.

Peshmerga claim to be in control of Bashiqa after beseiging the town for two weeks. However, a few IS holdouts are said to remain.

Pentagon says it is providing close air support to Iraqi forces using Apache helicopters, to significant effect.

Attacks in Baghdad suburbs kill 14 people, including troops and civilians. IS is continuing its campaign of bombings in an around Baghdad; these incidents happen almost daily.