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, February 8, 2018

Update for Thursday, February 8, 2018

As I feared, we're going to have to start covering Syria. U.S. air strike said to kill 100 Syrian troops after they attack a base of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish militia allied with the U.S. Here is further detail from Reuters. "Some" U.S. troops are embedded with the SDF but none were reported injured.

Seth Frantzman discusses the paradoxes of U.S. alliances in the region.

Erdogan vows to extend the assault on Afrin to Idlib.

Iraqi army and Shiite militias launch a fresh assault on militants in the Tuz Khurmatu region, with U.S. air support. Peshmerga confirm that they coordinated in the effort which indicates that this was legitimately an attack on IS remnants. The militia say they will withdraw from Kurdish villages after the operation.

One reason the Taliban can control territory in rural Afghanistan is because they offer honest justice and services. This article discusses the burden on the citizenry of government corruption in Farah province.

U.S. conducts air strikes in Badhakshan against Taliban targets.



First and foremost thank you for a great update. What can we do with Syria? Not much since Syria and Russia are very very! close. Putin and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are good friends, Russia will not stand by and let our US troops get to close to finish any objectives regarding al-Assad, that is for sure. The only options i see is covert ops destroying Syrian infrastructure and eliminating key enemy personel using stealth so no one in Syria would be able to tell who did this operation or assassination. Otherwise we will have to literally buy Syria and his friendship with al-Assad from Putin, a he is a businessman first with cash money on his mind this is very important that money is definitely first followed by the office of president of Russia being second, and a KGB/FSB alumni is his third and most dangerous and unpredictable split personality, at any given time you dont know what personality you are talking with when speaking to him. One fact is that 99% of what he says to foreigners are strategically placed lies. Nothing happens in the Russian government spontaneously or as an accident, its all premeditated, studied, have speeches and letters made for any outcome good or bad. Its a nauseating system to work for, no wonder they all are badly functional alcoholics.

Cervantes said...

Well that's an interesting grab bag of thoughts.

I would say the first thing we need to ask is what U.S. interests are in Syria. Is it really any skin off our nose if Putin and Assad are close? Why would we want to damage Syrian infrastructure, and who are the "enemy" personnel? Assad is a tyrant but there is no way for the U.S. to make the government of Syria better, nor is there any reason why it is particularly our problem or responsibility anyway. There certainly isn't any contribution the U.S. military can make, as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

good to see you're still here doc.
peace and longevity