Afghanistan
Obviously Afghanistan has been the primary focal point in the War on Terror since September 11, 2001 when the United States was attacked and about 3,000 people were murdered. The US government identified Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda organization based in and allied with the Taliban, the Islamic government in Afghanistan, as the perpetrators of the attacks. While political and military mistakes have been made in this 10 year conflict, we have been successful and destroying the violent Al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership and allowing a government friendly to its neighbors to hopefully evolve. This evolution will take time and be difficult, so our commitment should not waver, but our need for regular military forces in Afghanistan has ended. Continuing to watch and appropriately react to developments in Afghanistan will be an important political issue.

Afghanistan Violence Continues as Gunmen Attack Intelligence Facility

8/16/18
from The Wall Street Journal,
8/16/18:

The latest in a week of attacks that have claimed at least 311 lives.

Gunmen attacked the Afghan intelligence service’s training facility in central Kabul on Thursday, a day after a suicide bomber struck a classroom full of students in the city. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which follows almost a week of high-profile assaults largely by the Taliban that have killed at least 311 people, mostly government soldiers and police. The Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, neither confirmed nor denied their fighters carried out the raid. The Afghan intelligence agency known as the National Directorate of Security said that security forces killed two attackers aged between 18 to 20 years and armed with suicide vests and machine guns in a six-hour-long standoff. No casualties were reported among security forces. The wave of bloodshed that has swept Afghanistan in recent days started with the Taliban’s attack on the eastern city of Ghazni on Friday. The violence swept into Kabul on Wednesday, when a suicide bomber struck a classroom of students studying for their university entrance examinations in the west of the city.

In advance the three-day Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha next week, the Taliban has been flexing more beyond the battlefield.

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