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

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Update for Tuesday, June 19, 2018

As ceasefire ends, Taliban attack in Kunduz results in death of 7 Afghan soldiers and 2 police officers, and capture of a humvee. Apparently 7 of the attackers were also killed.

In an attack in Badakhshan, 17 Afghan soldiers are reported killed, and the Taliban seize control of a checkpoint. Twelve of the attackers are reported killed, including foreigners.

An attack in Farah is repulsed with heavy Taliban casualties, no word on government casualties.

A district governor in Nangarhar is assassinated.

Following the ceasefire, the Taliban are reported to have had a leadership shake-up.

Convoy of protesters demanding peace arrives in Kabul after a 37 day journey from Helmand. More on the convoy here.

Although the Taliban rejected president Ghani's request to extend the ceasefire, the government is still hopeful they will reconsider. However, the Taliban are unlikely to stop fighting as long as they are winning, although Michael Kugelman thinks the appetite for war among their rank and file may have lessened.




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