Friday, December 19, 2014

Daily News Snippets (Dec 19, 2014)

It looks like former President Karzai is busy forming up a political opposition. This is unfortunate. He should just go away to his villas in Dubai and let Afghanistan move on to a better future.

Khaama Press reports that 5 Taliban insurgents were blown up by their own explosives in Herat. I hate when that happens!  :)

News reports indicate that the Pakistan head of the ISI was recently in Afghanistan asking for assistance in defeating the "Bad Taliban". No word on whether the ISI will stop supporting the Haqqani Network. Time will tell. Learn more in a post on CNN (Dec 18, 2014).

Along the same lines some observers see ISI's ambiguous approach towards different groups in effort to counter Indian influence as fueling attacks. Read more in "Pakistani spy agency's relations with militants blamed for school massacre", The Guardian, December 17, 2014.

Afghan press are covering stories saying that 59 suspected insurgents were recently arrested in Kabul. Other reports indicate that a bicycle bomb went off near a Kapisa police hqs wounding 3 people. It appears that some suspects have been arrested in the recent killing of the Supreme Court Chief Secretary. The fight between the Taliban and government forces is continuing in Dangam district in eastern Afghanistan. 

Decades of war have devastated the Afghan hand-knotted carpet industry. A new public-private initiative will help traditional artisans to rebuild the supply chain to provide raw materials. Read more in "Bringing a supply chain back to life in Afghanistan", Supply Chain Quarterly, December 17, 2014.

Many are predicting that the Afghan economy will fall apart with the departure of Coalition troops and diminished funding from international donors. Read more in a news report by Mother Jones (Dec 17, 2014).

WikiLeaks has released a classified CIA study that casts doubt on the effectiveness of drone attacks against insurgents. Read more in "Drone strikes counterproductive, says secret CIA report", The Sydney Morning Herald, December 19, 2014.

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) improperly collected information through unauthorized surveillance of U.S. citizens and companies. Read more in "Pentagon's IED unit improperly collected intel", USA Today, December 18, 2014.

There are changes afoot in the world of U.S. Army aviation. The regular Army is switching out one type of aircraft for another with the Army National Guard. Read more in "Army Details Future Controversial Helicopter Swap", Defense One, December 18, 2014.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is investigating a Pentagon task force that spent a significant amount of money to develop the country's gem industry. It appears that the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations might be involved in "imprudent spending". Read more in a news article in The Hill (Dec 16, 2014).

German lawmakers have approved the continued Afghanistan training mission for the Bundeswehr. The German Army has the led for the Train, Advise, and Assist Command North (northern Afghanistan).

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