Update for Friday, August 7, 2015

Two bombings in Kabul overnight. A huge truck bomb near the army base in Shah Shaheed killed 15 people and injured more than 200, apparently all civilians. The blast left a crater 10 meters deep, according to AFP.

Later, a suicide bomber attacked the police academy, causing an as yet unstated number of deaths. No-one has claimed responsibility for either attack as of 12:50 ET.

This follows multiple attacks on police locations on Thursday which killed 9, and the death of 17 Afghan personnel in a helicopter crash, which officials are attributing to a mechanical failure.

U.S. general John Campbell says that Afghanistan is losing 4,000 security personnel per month, mostly to desertion. However, out of a total of more than 300,000 personnel, he does not think this is "unsustainable." [Well, it would be 48,000 in a year, that's got to hurt. -- C]

The Taliban leadership crisis continues, with dissenters contending that Mullah Mansour is a puppet of the Pakistani directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence. [It is not clear what factions may be behind the recent attacks, but clearly the turmoil in the Taliban does not bode well for prospects  for peace. -- C] As Salih Doğan Writes in Zahman:

One would have thought that the death of Mullah Omar would weaken the Taliban insurgency and Kabul would have the upper hand in the peace talks; however, the group had accelerated attacks in Afghanistan after NATO concluded its combat mission by the end 2014 and they inflicted a record number of casualties on the Afghan national security forces. Taking the existence of current splinter groups and a possible power struggle within the Taliban administration into account, it will be really difficult for the Afghan government to find one-man leadership to negotiate with.
Source : warnewstoday[dot]blogspot[dot]com
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