Sunday, September 13, 2015
Paper - "Afghanistan: Back to the Brink". Prem Mahadevan of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) provides us his view of where things will go in Afghanistan. "This year has been the bloodiest one in Afghanistan since the beginning of the U.S.-led intervention in 2001". The author believes that "the conflict in this perennially fragile state is about to enter a new phase of intensity that will be difficult for the West to ignore". Read Afghanistan: Back to the Brink, International Relations and Security Network (ISN), September 8, 2015. www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?id=193480
Article - How to Lose a Civil War. James T. Quinlivan, using the historic examples of Chinese Nationalist Army, Vietnam, and Syria states that in a civil war the government forces attempt to hold too much undefendable territory. He cautions that the ANDSF may be overstretched in remote locations with little strategic value (for example, Helmand province). Read more in "How to Lose a Civil War: Lessons for Afghanistan and Syria", War on the Rocks, September 10, 2015.
Interview of Ben Anderson. The journalist and filmmaker that produced "Afghanistan After Us" is interviewed by Suzanne Schroeder. Read the interview in "A Discussion with Ben Anderson of VICE About the War in Afghanistan", War on the Rocks, September 7, 2015.
Law and Hybrid Conflict. A participant in a Pentagon symposium on hybrid conflicts organized by the office of the legal advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff has shared some notes with us. Read "What is Hybrid Conflict?", Lawfare Blog, September 11, 2015.
Movies about Afghanistan. In December 2014 Christian Bleuer, writing for the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), provided a review of movies about Afghanistan from 1909 to 2001. He has since, September 11, 2015, updated his work with a new article on movies about Afghanistan from 2001 to 2015. Very good articles - both of them.
Afghan Women and Their Clothes. The blue burqa is a symbol to many westerners as something that diminishes Afghan women. However, one columnist sees it somewhat differently. Read Clothes and Daggers by Rafia Zakaria, posted on Aeon, September 2015.
Afghan Millennials. "The first millennials were born in 1980, the same year the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. This generation of Afghans has only known war, but is also better educated than any prior generation and represents the country's future". Jean MacKenzie, a writer for The GroundTruth Project and the Afghanistan country director for Women for Women International, provides us with interviews of young Afghans. Read "The Millennials: a generation of war looks to the future", foreverstan.com, September 11, 2015.
Is it Too Late for Afghanistan? One commentator, Jean MacKenzie, provides us food for thought on how far Afghanistan has come since 2001 yet the persistent problems that still plagued the country - a divided NUG government, corruption, decrease in foreign aid, increase in security, and a faltering economy. Read "Afghanistan: the Ring Road May Now Be Paved, But Where Does It Lead?", The World Post, September 10, 2015.