On November 29, 2014 several General Officers of the ISAF staff (General John Campbell, MG Ed Reeder of SOJTF-A, and others) visited the Ahmed Shah Massoud Mausoleum in the Panjshir Valley. View pictures from the visit on Facebook.
While Americans enjoyed the holiday weekend their allies in Afghanistan grew increasingly weakened. Read more in "The Drumsticks of War", Time.com, November 30, 2104.
Many Afghans see corruption as the enduring legacy of President Karzai. Read more in "Afghans See Corruption as Enduring Legacy", Institute for War & Peace Reporting, November 30, 2014.
The international donor conference for Afghanistan will soon be held (early December 14) in London. Ahead of the London conference, concern is growing that the world could forget Afghanistan - and the country could forget its commitments to women's rights. Read more in "Afghanistan: what will happen when the troops - and their dollars - depart?", The Guardian, November 27, 2014. Also see "Return of the Goodwill? London conference as symbol of new start", Afghanistan Analysts Network, December 1, 2014. It appears that both Ghani and Abdullah will attend the meeting.
John Kerry, Secretary of State, congratulated the people of Albania on their 102nd Independence Day held on November 28, 2014. He stated that Albania was a strong and reliable NATO ally and thanked the Albanians for their support of the ISAF and Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
A recent news article laments the plight of Afghan interpreters who thought they could immigrate to the United States but instead have been abandoned. Read more in "Left to the mercy of the Taliban", BBC News, November 26, 2014.
The Pentagon plans to impose strict standards of private security firms that provide support in war zones in the future. (The Washington Post, November 26, 2014).
Members of the 21st "Mountain" Brigade of the Polish Army have arrived at FOB Gamberi in Laghman province to provide security and force protection to the Train Advise Assist Command - East (TAAC-E). Many of them will be used in the "Guardian Angel" role. (DVIDS, November 24, 2014).
Paul D. Miller writes a comprehensive article saying that America should stay the course in Afghanistan - extending its support and commitment for years to come. Read more in "America, Don't Give Up on Afghanistan", The New Republic, November 30, 2014.
A paper entitled "Revisiting the Social Movement Approach to Unconventional Warfare", wrote by Doowan Lee and Glenn W. Johnson has been posted to Small Wars Journal (December 1, 2014).
A recent news report says Afghan roads are too expensive to maintain. While the growth of roads in Afghanistan is commendable the bottom line is there is no money in the budget to maintain the roads so they deteriorate rather quickly. (Tolo News, December 1, 2014).
John Nagl, a retired Army officer who served in the first two Iraq wars and an author, has penned an opinion piece for The New York Times entitled "The President Needs a Secretary of War" (November 30, 2014).
President Ghani is reportedly conducting backdoor talks with the Taliban according to Tolo News (Dec 1, 2014). See "Ghani Resumes Backdoor Talks with Taliban".
The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) has published an online post entitled Ten Years of Afghan Constitution: Why Dialogue is Important (December 1, 2014).
Kabul Police Chief to Stay. It appears that President Ghani has rejected the resignation of the Kabul police chief and that he will stay on the job. See "Kabul police chief to stay on job after resignation rejected", Stars and Stripes, December 1, 2014. Other news reports say that the police chief will stay on the job until a successor is appointed.
A Special Forces officer, Thomas Doherty, has penned a paper entitled "Letting Them Scrape a Knee: Advising for Third Order Effects", Small Wars Journal, December 1, 2014. He writes on advising the ANSF in Afghanistan and how helping with logistics can actually hurt.
Some international aid agencies are sending some of their foreign staff out of country due to the security situation in Kabul. So far in 2014 36 aid workers have been killed and 95 wounded throughout Afghanistan (according to the Aid Worker Security Database). Read more in a recent news article by The New York Times (December 1, 2014).
A U.S. Army officer, LTC Daniel L. Davis, writes a piece on counterinsurgency for The American Conservative entitled "COIN Is a Proven Failure" based on his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The relationship between Afghanistan and NATO has improved significantly with the replacement of "Karzai the Crook" with the new President Ghani. The new president is hoping that the new phase will bring peace and stability to the country. (Stars and Stripes, December 1, 2014).
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that Afghanistan will face more violence but that the local Afghan forces are capable. (Yahoo! News, December 1, 2014).