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, August 21, 2018

Update for Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin, of Spokane Washington, is killed in a helicopter crash in Sinjar, Iraq on Monday morning. Galvin was an MH-60M pilot assigned to Delta Company, Fort Campbell, Ky.-based 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, according to a statement from U.S. Army Special Operations Command. The Pentagon says the operation was a raid against IS targets, and that there is no indication that the  downing was the result of enemy action.

Iranian backed militias are withdrawing from cities in Anbar, Salahudin and Nineveh provinces. This seems to be related to effort to curb Iranian influence in Iraq.

A coalition of four parties including the parties of Muqtada al-Sadr and current PM Abadi announces its intention to form a government. However, the group is still short of a majority and is vying with the Fatah coalition associated with the Iranian-backed militias.

In AfghanistanEid al-Atah passes in relative peace with the exception of a mortar attack in Kabul which interrupted a talk by president Ghani and injured six people.


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