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, December 24, 2016

Update for Saturday, December 24, 2016

As the Iraqi push into Mosul stalls, U.S. forces are "embedding more extensively." U.S. combat brigade commander Col. Brett Sylvia tells Reuters "We are deepening our integration with them. We are now pushing that into more of the Iraqi formations pushing forward, some formations that we haven't partnered with in the past where we are now partnering with them." He refuses to say whether U.S. forces are in Mosul.

After a pause to consolidate and wait out bad weather, the Mosul offensive is said to resume.

Christians are hesitant to return to towns near Mosul feeling  a lack of security. Most remain in Kurdistan.

U.S. DoD inspector general criticizes delays in getting arms and supplies to peshmerga.


First female Afghan military pilot asks for asylum in the U.S.,  saying that the status of women in Afghanistan has not improved and she cannot achieve her aspirations there, or be safe.