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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Update for Thursday, April 27,2017

Two U.S. service members killed, 1 injured in Achin province, Afghanistan. This is the same area where the U.S. has been engaged with IS fighters, where the GBU-34 bomb was dropped earlier this month. Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar was killed in action in the same area April 8.

Update:  U.S. troops killed in action are identified as army rangers Sgt. Joshua Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Illinois, and Sgt. Cameron Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio — both assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Benning, Georgia.  The operation was attempting to capture an IS-K leader. He was not captured but it is unknown whether he was killed.

The UN reports a 54% increase in war-related deaths of Afghan women in  the first quarter of this year compared with last year, and a 17% rise in child deaths. Most resulted from ground fighting. The majority are blamed on the Taliban but there has also been an increase in civilian casualties resulting from aerial operations. Nevertheless, the total number of civilian casualties has declined slightyl due to people fleeing areas of fighting.

Increasing numbers of children are suffering from malnutrition in Kandahar province.

The Afghan government has still not released a definitive casualty total from the April 21 attack  on the army base at Mazar-e-Sharif. Tolo News has reported that a total of 256 soldiers died, and the number may be higher. The defense minister and army chief of staff resigned  on Monday because of the incident. The Ministry of Defense has announced that "at least" 135 were killed but apparently this is not considered a credible total. Members of parliament call for the prosecution of responsible officials.

Authorities have detained 35 soldiers from the base under suspicion that they may have provided inside help to the attackers.





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