Afghanistan's lower house of parliament approved agreements that will allow NATO to stay on past December 2014. The Bilateral Security Agreement and the NATO SOFA were approved; the next step is for the upper house of the Afghan parliament approval. (Defense News, November 23, 2014).
The Department of Defense released its revised FY 2015 Military Intelligence Program (MIP) request. The request includes the base budget and the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) appropriations for a total of $16 billion.
Goat Game: Thirteen Tales from the Afghan Frontier. Wick Walker writes about building a schoolhouse for Nuristan. (Medium.com, November 16, 2014).
The Department of Defense has published a directive that applies to the functions, duties, and responsibilities of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence - DoDD 5143.01, October 24, 2014.
India is offering training in solar energy to foreign professionals. Afghan students will benefit. (Business Standard, November 24, 2014).
Norway is hosting the "Oslo Symposium on Advancing Women's Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan". (The Nordic Page, November 23, 2014).
The chief of the Afghan High Peace Council, Salahuddin Rabbani, has resigned his position (although it is not confirmed that Ghani has accepted the resignation). Rabbani reportedly had disagreements with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. He was the son of former High Peace Council chief and ex-president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
The "Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf" is a listing of books suggested by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Air Force drone pilots conduct their training at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. There are a total of 31 drones or UAVs at the air base. Learn more in "Drone pilots train at Holloman Air Force Base", KOAT.com, November 21, 2014.
Some jihadists adopt a more peaceful and quieter life with age. Read more in "Mellowing Jihadist Not As Enraged by Western Culture As He Used to Be", The Onion, November 19, 2014.
And speaking of drones, it is reported that "The US Just Launched Its 500th Drone Strike" (Defense One, November 21, 2014).
President Ghani and CEO Abdullah have still not made much progress in the formation of a cabinet. It is hoped that the "National Unity Government" would be fully formed prior to the London international aid conference to be held in December.
The business climate in Afghanistan is horrible. The new president hopes to change that climate but government corruption stands in his way. The wide-spread hope is that he will appoint "technocrats" instead of corrupt politicians to head the ministries but thus far the Abdullah Abdullah camp has stymied his efforts to appoint a cabinet. Read "Afghan businesses hope for change", BBC World News, November 18, 2014.
An article wrote by Salma Malik discusses the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read "Burying the Past: A New Beginning for Pakistan and Afghanistan - Analysis", Eurasia Review, November 18, 2014.
There is an abundance of sub-standard medicines sold in Afghanistan that is made in Pakistan. The poor quality drugs can be sold freely in Afghanistan because there is no Afghan government regulation of pharmaceuticals. Read more in "Report: Sub-Standard Medicine Floods Afghan Markets", Associated Press, November 19, 2014.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzi says progress in his country was undermined by the United States ignoring the problem of Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. Can't say he is wrong! He also disses us on night raids, civilians killed in air attacks, etc. Watch a video (2 mins) of Karzai telling us "what for", Radio Free Europe, November 22, 2014.
The U.S. claims that al Qaeda is restricted to isolated areas of northeastern Afghanistan. But The Long War Journal seems to think otherwise. See the LWJ's post dated 19 Nov 14.
The retrograde of supplies and equipment from Afghanistan is a story that gets little attention. Of course, that is a good thing. Journalists and correspondents don't get paid to report good news - it doesn't make the news unless it is bad news. So the lack of attention on the retrograde mission is good news because that means things are going well in that aspect of the war. Read some good news in "Retrograde in full gear", U.S. Air Force News, November 19, 2104.
The Asia Foundation has posted an informative article about the "youth bulge" in Afghanistan (November 19, 2014) where the issues of diminishing international aid, unemployment, and a resilient insurgency are discussed.