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, June 10, 2017

Update for Saturday, June 10, 2017

In breaking news, 2 U.S. soldiers reported killed, 2 injured, when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in eastern Afghanistan. I'll have further information once it becomes available.

U.S. air strike kills 3 Afghan border police and injures 2 in Helmand province. U.S. military confirms the "friendly fire" incident. Another report gives a much higher toll of 6 dead and 14 injured.

Shooting at a mosque in Paktia kills 3.

In Iraq, Kurdistan has scheduled a referendum on independence for September, with strong opposition from Baghdad, Turkey and Iran.

Suicide bomber kills at least 31 people in the town of Musayab, south of Baghdad.

Syrian army reaches the Iraq border, threatening clashes with U.S. forces. It has been little noted in the U.S., but U.S. warplanes have already attacked Syrian government forces in the area.

U.S.-led coalition is reported to be using white phosphorus munitions in populated areas of Iraq and Syria.

Many civilian casualties in Mosul as pro-government forces are relying on heavy weapons to dislodge IS from its remaining strongholds. "Heavy ordnance, such as 500-pound air-delivered bombs, are causing excessive and disproportionate damage to civilian life and property, which is prohibited under international humanitarian law, organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Center for Civilians in Conflict warned." Many of the recently recaptured areas of Mosul are rubble.