Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Daily News Snippets (Dec 17, 2014)

The European Union has updated its air safety list (Dec 14). It has banned Afghan Airlines from European airspace. Hmmm. (Silk Road Reporters, Dec 15, 2014).

Winter blackouts are once again happening in Kabul. The demand for energy is high during the winter and in the past few years has started to fail. Read more about the inability to provide sufficient power to Kabul in this news article (Khaama Press, Dec 16, 2014).

USAID has published an article entitled "The Women of Afghanistan: Looking Back, Moving Forward" in its November / December 2014 Frontlines edition.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has sent a letter to the Department of Defense expressing their concerns about the safety of a natural gas pipeline in northern Afghanistan in which the DoD has helped to repair. It seems that the repair work started has not been completed and the DoD agency (TFBSO) charged with overseeing the repairs is shutting down operations. Read the letter here (Dec 11, 2014).

While President Obama may say that we have reached a 'turning point' in the Afghan War there really will not be much change on the ground in Afghanistan. His symbolic speech in early December 2014 at Fort Dix announcing the cessation of combat operations is in stark contrast to the fact he has extended the mandate of U.S. forces to conduct combat operations and provide air support to the ANSF in 2015. And, of course, there were the two newest casualties of the war when two Soldiers were killed in an IED attack outside of Bagram Air Field. Read more in "NATO mission in Afghanistan unlikely to change much", Stars & Stripes, December 16, 2014.

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