According to one U.S. Senator the Pentagon botched the investigation of a bin Laden raid leak to the folks making the "Zero Dark Thirty" movie. (Stars and Stripes, Dec 4, 2014).
Ata Mohammad Noor, the governor of Balkh province, recently addressed a conference in Mazer-e-Sharif where he criticized the high level of corruption in the Kabul government. Comes under the heading of "the kettle calling the pot black". (Afghan Zariza, Dec 7, 2014).
Taliban Attacks. Recent attacks by the Taliban include the attack on a wedding party Saturday night in northern Balkh province killing four and injuring 12. Five Afghan policemen were killed when attacked by Taliban insurgents in southern Helmand province on Saturday night.
Rula Ghani is continuing her high-profile activities to improve the lot of Afghan women. However, not everyone is happy; some believe that the foreign-born, Christian first lady could pose a threat to Islamic values.(The Diplomat, Dec 7, 2014).
Cutting edge winter gear will soon be issued to the Army in 2015. There is a chance that the U.S. Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2015 during the Resolute Support mission may have the cold weather clothing next winter. Read more in "This Cutting-Edge Winter Gear Will Soon be Issued to Soldiers, Banned for Wear", Duffel Blog, December 7, 2014.
A senior Taliban militant captured by U.S. forces last year was secretly flown to Pakistan last week. The move could be part of a thawing out of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Perhaps it will lead to the cessation of Pakistani support for the Taliban? No, probably not. (Reuters, Dec 7, 2014).
The commander of Air Combat Command, General Hawk Carlisle, visited Bagram Air Field in the later part of November 2014 where he was briefed on current operations and mission capabilities and assets. (DVIDS, Dec 5, 2014).
The German government has voted in favor of plans to aid Afghan forces when the NATO-led ISAF mission ends. (Deutsche Welle, Dec 7, 2014).
A new book about Afghanistan is out (surprise) about an American woman who is breaking new ground for women in Afghanistan. Read a review of Mountain to Mountain: A Journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan, The Boston Globe, December 6, 2014.
Photo of woman in Kabul with legs bared goes viral on Internet. (The Washington Post, Dec 7, 2014).
The New York Times editorial board has penned an opinion piece entitled "Backsliding in Afghanistan" (Dec 6, 2014). The editorial leads you to the conclusion that President Obama is making "a huge mistake" in broadening the war.
Sharmadha Srinivasan writes in The Diplomat that the outcome of the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was a disappointment. The member countries failed to sign two major agreements on rail and road connectivity. Afghanistan will benefit with any improvement in the Central and South Asian economic environment - as all boats rise with the tide. (Dec 2, 2014).