Andrew Drwiega writes that the rise of ISIL in Syria and Afghanistan may force the Obama administration to scrap plans for a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces at the end of 2016. Read more in "Has ISIL Rise Triggered Rethink in Afghan Strategy?", Aviation Today, January 9, 2015.
The Afghan telecommunications industry has seen tremendous growth over the past decade. This growth continues - read about some advances that the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) has planned for Kabul in "Pioneering 3.75G+ Mobile Broadband Services Launched in Afghanistan", Khaama Press, January 10, 2015.
General Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, has come out in favor of closing Guantanamo Bay prison. Read more in "Dempsey: Gitmo a 'psychological scar on our national values'", The Hill Blog, January 11, 2015.
And some more on General Dempsey. According to one news report the general is distancing himself from the Obama promise on Afghanistan. Obama made some bold statements on Afghanistan - saying that the country would never again be a base from which terrorists could launch attacks against the United States. Read more in a news report by The Washington Times (Jan 11, 2015).
The Herat marble industry was once held up as a sign of economic promise for Afghanistan. Marble stone can be found in abundance in the Herat region and several marble manufacturing firms began to refine the marble for export to foreign nations. Unfortunately, it seems that Iranian marble manufacturers are paying a higher price for the raw marble. Read more in "40 Marble Factories Stop Operations in Herat", Tolo News, January 11, 2015.
An interesting article by Franz-Stefan Gady about how other nations view the United States military. It isn't exactly the same as how the American serviceman thinks he is thought of! Read more in "International Perceptions of the U.S. Military, Revisited", The Diplomat, January 7, 2015.
The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) assisted in providing over 200,000 doses of influenza immunizations for the Afghan National Army. Read more in "Fighting the Flu", DLA, January 2015.
The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) discusses the possibility that the Ghani administration is willing to offer the Taleban some positions in the new Afghan cabinet. Read "Taleban for the Ghani Cabinet? A look at a BBC report", AAN, January 11, 2015.
A news article discussing President Ghani's scheduled trip to the United States. Read more in "Afghan president to visit U.S. as Taliban tension flares", The Washington Times, January 8, 2015.
The United States Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has issued a report entitled "Military Construction in a Contingency Environment: Summary of Weaknesses Identified in Reports Issued from January 1, 2008 through March 31, 2014." Available here.
Members of the North Carolina Army National Guard's 1450th Transportation Company are headed to Afghanistan. Read more in a news release by DVIDS (January 10, 2015).