Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Daily News Snippets (Dec 9, 2014)

Missy Ryan, of The Washington Post explains the Resolute Support Mission in a recent news article (Dec 7, 2014). See "In Afghanistan, a tight timeline for new U.S.-led training and support mission".

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Tactical Base Gamberi in eastern Afghanistan where he met with the troops that comprise Train Advise Assist Command - East (TAAC-E). Read more in "Hagel: Afghan training is key in war's final act", Salon, December 7, 2014.

A US drone reportedly killed 13 alleged militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan. An 'important commander' believed to be inside a Pakistan compound may have been killed. Read more this news article posted on The Guardian (December 8, 2014).

Slovakia is set to join the new NATO-led non-combat mission in Afghanistan called Resolute Support. It will provide over 66 Slovak servicemen in January 2015. The proposal to send the troops will first need to be approved by the Slovak parliament.

Monish Gulati, a Senior Fellow with the Society for Policy Studies, new Delhi, provides insight into the relationship of Pakistan and Afghanistan and the latest US decision to continue combat operations in the context of the prevailing geopolitical situation in Afghanistan. See "Post-2014 AF-PAK Dynamics: Now US Change of Heart? - Analysis", Eurasia Review, December 7, 2014.

Fort Bragg continues to deploy units and troops into Afghanistan. Drew Brooks, a military editor and reporter for The Fayetteville Observer points out that Fort Bragg has a number of units deployed to Afghanistan to include the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, members of 3rd Special Forces and more. Read "Brooks: Fort Bragg's role in Afghanistan continues" (December 7, 2014).

The F-35 will be replacing the A-10 at some point in the future. However, many advocates of the A-10 question the merits of this action; saying the F-35 is not suited for close air defense. Today we learn that the F-35 can't run on warm gas from a fuel truck that sat in the sun. Seems the design of the F-35 has heat transferred from its air frame into the fuel. The fuel acts as a heat sink -absorbing the heat of the aircraft. But if the fuel is too hot already then it can't absorb heat and the F-35 shuts down. Not a big concern unless you are pumping fuel from fuel trucks that have been sitting next to the runway in places like . . . Iraq or Afghanistan. But really, how often do we go to places like that? Read more in this news article by Foxtrot Alpha (December 8, 2014).

More on the Air Force's ill-advised plan to retire the A-10. See "The Fight Over the A-10 Is About More Than Just a Plane"Task & Purpose, December 8, 2014.

News reporters are commenting on the security situation in Afghanistan as the U.S. and NATO pulls out (almost) its combat troops leaving just 12,000 some trainers and advisors behind. Read more in "Afghanistan mired in war as US combat command ends", Yahoo! News, December 8, 2014.

An Afghan interpreter working for U.S. Army Special Forces turned his contacts, English skills, and business acumen into a successful business venture. His support of U.S. Special Forces teams in remote areas provided valuable assistance to the small, lightly-defended teams conducting village stability operations and setting up Afghan Local Police. Unfortunately, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has targeted the former interpreter and the evidence would seem to indicate unfairly. Read more in a news article in The Daily Beast (Dec 8, 2014).

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