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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Update for Sunday, February 19, 2017

Iraqi PM Abadi announces start of offensive to recapture western Mosul. Iraqi federal police are attacking from the south, attempting to capture the airport. Planes dropped millions of leaflets on the city announcing the offensive and calling on Jihadis to surrender.

They claim to have taken several villages to the south and west of the city.

People in areas retaken from IS are purging every remaining vestige of their presence, including destroying the homes of IS members and digging up their graves.

A British general predicts the fight for Mosul will take 3 months.

An Iraqi human rights organization says that people in western Mosul are starving and that they know of 25 children who starved to death in January.




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