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January 27, 2017

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What have they left behind? The fighting is still intense. Its just not given much coverage because it isn't done by or to "our boys".

Casualties are up:
http://www.voanews.com/a/officials-count-around-30000-war-dead-in-afghanistan-this-year/3650044.html

Around two thirds of the country is occupied by the Afghan National Army, less than 2015.

This war is not over. Internally displaced people numbers saw an increase in 2016. Helmand, is still largely Taliban controlled.

I read this article from the BBC the other day which clued me in a bit:

'What will Trump do about Afghanistan?'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-38730061

"only 63% of the country is currently controlled by the Afghan government, opium production is at record highs and corruption is still rife."

and:

"The Taliban now control more than 80% of Helmand.

A province, let us not forget, where most of the 456 British military personnel killed in the Afghan conflict lost their lives."

It doesn't look good. They've left a mess. I'll pick up on a couple of points that really only echo what is in the BBC article. They've been left to it. They've (ANA and government) retreated to the population centres. Well it seems that is quite a desperate strategy. A risky one, for them. The rest presumably is left to be controlled or contested by the Taliban or other groups fighting against a government mired in corruption. Clearly they aren't going to give up. So, yes, the war was a mistake, was then carried on in futility and was in the end a massive let down and an exercise in disastrous incompetence.

I don't see what future they can have, its a perpetual civil war. The answer though is clearly not to throw the lives of more of our young people away.

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