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, September 10, 2018

Update for Monday, September 10, 2018

Violence and chaos erupt around Afghanistan.

Taliban overrun a district in Jawzjan, at least 30 government forces killed or injured.

Fighting in Sar-e-Paul over two days has left at least 17 security forces dead. The toll is said to be provisional and may be much higher. Additional fighting is said to be underway on the highway to Jawzjan, and in fighting was under way on the main highway into neighboring Jawzjan province, and Taliban forces appeared to be gathering in Sheram to the east of the city.

Taliban capture four security posts in Faryab, with 17 government casualties reported.

Suicide bomber in Kabul attacks crowd commemorating the death of Ahmad Shah Masud, a Tajik leader who was assassinated in 2001 shortly before the U.S. invasion. His supporters were firing randomly into the air while driving through the streets. Police arrested some 100 demonstrators. Seven were killed in the suicide bombing.

Fighting in Samangan leaves 13 police and 4 Taliban dead.

Mortar kills 6 civilians in Helmand.

The U.S. threatens to arrest any judges of the International Criminal Court who charge U.S. soldiers for actions in Afghanistan. Really.

Pakistani commentator Imtiaz Gul considers the carnage in Afghanistan.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is in Kabul.

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