Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Daily News Snippets (Dec 30, 2014)

After years of ignoring them, Pakistan has begun to crack down on violent Islamists. Read more in a news report (The Washington Post, December 28, 2014).

Russia is in the process of drafting a framework agreement that would govern the providing of weapons to Afghanistan. Read more in a news report (Radio Free Europe, Dec 29, 2014).

The Taliban have declared victory against the foreign invaders with the observance of the end of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Read more in "Taliban declare 'defeat' of U.S., allies in Afghanistan", Thomas Reuters Foundation, December 29, 2014.

William Dalrymple, author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42, writes up a piece comparing the first Anglo-Afghan War to the present conflict. Read "Road to Gandamak", The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, October 19, 2014.

The head of the Ulama Council of central Maidan Wardak, his son and a bodyguard were wounded by a bomb planted on a vehicle on Sunday morning.

Taliban Declares Victory. The Taliban has cranked up its Information Operations machine in celebration of the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. Read more in "Taliban: U.S. Leaving Afghanistan in Defeat", Foreign Policy, December 29, 2014.

Shashank Bengali writes that "U.S. airstrikes remain crucial to Afghan forces in Taliban battles", Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2014.

Pakistan remains a very strong ally in the fight against terrorism. The suspected mastermind of the 2008 militant attacks on Mumbai that killed 166 people has won his appeal against detention in Pakistan. Hmmmm. (Voice of America, Dec 29, 2014).

Some press reports say that the closing ceremony for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan was "held in secret". Read more in "One sentence that shows how badly America failed in Afghanistan", VOX.com, December 29, 2014.

Robert Scales, a retired major general and former commandant of the Army War College, has penned a piece about the infamous U.S. Army M16/M4. Read "Gun Trouble", The Atlantic, December 28, 2014.

Which country is the worst Narco-State in history? According to RAWA News it is Afghanistan.

Russia's special representative to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, has warned that Islamists in Afghanistan are concentrating along the Tajik and Turkmen borders. He believes that the number run into the thousands and that a number of training camps exist in northern Afghanistan as well. (Radio Free Europe, Dec 29, 2014).

Max Boot says you can re brand (ISAF to Resolute Support) the Afghan War however you want but Afghanistan is still at war. (Los Angeles Times, Dec 30, 2014).

Pakistan has increased the requirements for the process of buying SIM cards. The government started requiring call centres, franchises, and authorized dealers to have every customer scan his or her Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) and thumbprint into biometric machines as part of the process of buying SIM cards. This will make it difficult for criminals and terrorist as the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked Afghan-based subscriber identity module (SIM) cards from access to roaming services. (Central Asia Online, Dec 29, 2014).

Pakistan is not a fan of the U.S. TV spy drama "Homeland". Seems their feathers have been ruffled by the unflattering portrayal of Pakistan's powerful spy agencies. It appears the TV show links the Haqqani Network with the Inter-Service Intelligence agency. (Newsstalk ZB, Dec 29, 2014).

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