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, November 15, 2018

Update for Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Taliiban assault in Farah province kills 45 government forces, including the district police chief. The attackers seized arms and ammunition and are said to have captured a military base.

According to this account, the attack originated as an insider attack at a joint army and police base.

According to TOLO, the Taliban captured 60 prisoners as well. Retaliatory helicopter strikes are said to have killed many Taliban. The security situation in Farah is becoming desperate.

Taliban attack police outposts in Zabul. The government says the attack was repelled, with 8 Taliban and two police killed.

The U.S. State Department says special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is making progress in peace negotiations but provides no specifics. Khalilzad has postponed a previously scheduled visit to Pakistan.

Fighting in Maidan Wardak said to kill 9 Afghan soldiers and 5 insurgents.

In a mysterious incident, the body of a senior Pakistani police officer has been found in Nangarhar province. He was kidnapped in Islamabad. A letter found with the body claimed responsibility on behalf of the IS Khurasan faction, but their motive for doing this is not clear.