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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Update for Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Shiite militia severs the road from Tal Afar to Sinjar. Mosul is now completely surrounded.

Head of the Iraqi Sunni Endowment comes under fire while observing relief operations east of Mosul, but is unharmed.

Iraqi military says it has destroyed two bomb factories in Mosul with air strikes. This story also says that soldiers fired into the air to disperse civilians who were rushing a food distribution point in Zahra.

U.S. air power destroys another bridge across the Tigris, leaving only one intact crossing. (Video in the linked AP story shows civilians fleeing by foot.)

Iraq says its aircraft have killed Zeyad Kharoufa, chief propagandist for IS in Mosul.

Oil well fires closest to Qayyara are finally extinguished, bringing some relief to inhabitants.

Civilian casualties overwhelm a field clinic near Mosul. Most seem to be victims of IS mortar fire.


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