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

Monday, January 2, 2017

A link for Monday, January 2, 2017

Mark Landler in the NYT discusses the history of the Obama administration in Afghanistan. The initial naive hope that the U.S. investment would ultimately create a stable, self-sufficient and reasonably legitimate state was dashed a long time ago. On the other hand the administration felt it could not walk away, given the rise of IS and other movements that could find harbor in Afghanistan as as filed state. So we wound up with 10,000 U.S. troops pretty much stuck there, apparently forever.

Too long, do read, but that's my pistachio shell synopsis. What happens next? No word from the incoming gang on what they plan to do.