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, January 25, 2017

Update for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

U.S. "president" Trump's bizarre comment at CIA headquarters about seizing Iraqi oil gets a response from Iraqis. In case you haven't been paying attention, Trump said during the campaign that the U.S. should have "taken" Iraq's oil resource to pay for the 2003 invasion, and repeated before CIA staff that "Maybe you'll have another chance." As The Independent notes:

Taking the oil would require a permanent U.S. occupation, or at least until Iraq's 140 billion barrels of crude run out, and a large presence of American soldiers to guard sometimes isolated oil fields and infrastructure. Such a mission would be highly unpopular with Iraqis, whose hearts and minds the U.S. is still try to win to defeat groups such as IS and al-Qaida.
It would also be a war crime.

Iraqi military now says it controls all of Mosul east of the Tigris.

However, fears are growing for the estimated 750,000 civilians still trapped in west Mosul where shortages are said to be worsening and the battle is likely to risk substantial civilian casualties.

Muqtada al-Sadr denounces plan to move U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Al-Sadr said the Cairo-based Arab League as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s main pan-Islamic body, should take a decisive stand on the issue or dissolve themselves. The Najaf-based cleric also called “for the immediate closure of the US Embassy in Iraq” should Washington go ahead with its promised embassy transfer in Israel.

UN says U.S.-led coalition air strikes in the Mosul campaign have killed civilians, but can't estimate the numbers.


JoePrivate said...

Great post. Keep up the good work.