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, November 6, 2017

Update for Monday, November 6, 2017

U.S. soldier killed in a combat operation in Logar province, Afghanistan on Saturday is identified as 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Stephen B. Cribben. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group in Fort Carson, Colorado. The circumstances of the death have not been further described publicly.

Reports of civilian casualties in a NATO operation in Kunduz. There are conflicting reports on the number of casualties.

A district official in Faryab is assasinated.

The acting governor of Jawzan says IS is making gains in the province after defeating a rival Taliban faction. (IS in Afghanistan is really a branding of a breakaway faction of the Taliban. That they have any operational link with the group in Syria and Iraq is doubtful, particularly now that IS in that region has been reduced to a remnant.)

And indeed, the eradication of IS territorial control in Iraq continues with the rapid recapture of Quaim. IS still holds the town of Rawa and some remote desert outposts.

There are reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in Rawa and has now fled to Syria, purportedly in a yellow taxi. (I'm not sure how anybody would know this. -- C)

Kurdistan PM Nechirvan Barzani offers a deal to hand over border controls and oil revenues to Baghdad in exchange for 17% of  the federal budget.

However, there are reports that the federal government is taking a harsher attitude, and may want to reduce or eliminate the prerogatives of the KRG.

Suicide bombers attack a Shiite mosque in Kirkuk, killing at least five.


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