Monday, December 15, 2014

Daily News Snippets

The Taliban have continued their high-profile attacks in Afghanistan; especially around the Kabul area. The U.S. withdrawal has encouraged the Taliban to take on the government forces and to try and embarrass the new government of President Ghani. Read more in "An Especially Deadly Day in Afghanistan", The Atlantic, December 13, 2014.

The Afghan Ministry of Interior stated in a post on its website on Sunday, December 14, 2014 that over 19 armed Taliban were killed in recent operations that took place in Kunduz, Faryab, Badakhshan, Sar-e-Pul, Ghazni, Herat and Ghor provinces.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have stepped up their activities in Kunar province. The insurgents attacked several security forces check posts in Dangam district according to Khaama Press (Dec 14, 2014). See a similar post by Pajhwok Afghan News (Dec 14, 2014).

According to Khamma Press (Dec 14, 2014) an Afghan woman was killed by mortar fire in Khanabad district, Kunduz province on Sunday. The incident was a clash between two illegal armed groups fighting each other.

Sandra I. Erwin wrote an article posted on the website of National Defense Magazine (Dec 13, 2014) about a recent document produced by the RAND Corporation on behalf of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). The article, entitled "Military Study Criticizes Direction of U.S. National Security Policy", provides some info and context about the USASOC paper.

Read a book review of "The Good War: Why We Couldn't Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan". The book, authored by Jack Fairweather, takes a close look at the Afghan War. Read the review "Hard Lessons to be Learned from the War in Afghanistan" in Winnipeg Free Press (Dec 13, 2014).

The United Nations Security Council voted to back the new agreement for NATO to train, advise and assist Afghanistan's security forces after December 31st. Read "UN backs agreement for NATO to train Afghan forces", Army Times, December 13, 2014.

The Taliban offensive usually subsides at this time of the year in Afghanistan. However, this year is different. Read "Taliban attacks in Afghanistan surge as Coalition ends combat mission", The Long War Journal, December 14, 2014.

National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Sean Carberry spent the last few years in Kabul as an NPR reporter. He has arrived back in the states after NPR shut down their Kabul office. Listen to an interview of Carberry on NPR - "Exiting Afghanistan, And What We Leave Behind", (Dec 14, 2014).

Hot Dog Carts have now surfaced in Kabul. I guess that is a sign that the city is slowly becoming 'westernized". Read more in "Hot dogs on wheels drive the food truck trend in Kabul", Stars and Stripes, December 14, 2014.

Afghan War Photos by Stars and Stripes (Dec 8, 2014).

The Jamestown Foundation provides us with their observations of the China Afghanistan relationship in "Assessing China's Afghan Peace Play" (December 5, 2014).

BG Mitchell R. Chitwood, U.S. Army Reserve, is being assigned as director of the Rule of Law Field Force - Afghanistan. See DoD press release.

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