"The Breadwinner". An Afghan film is receiving support from the American actress Angelina Jolie. (Khaama Press, Dec 6, 2015).
Moscow: From Kabul to Damascus. Ryan Evans reviews the history of the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and puts the Russian intervention in Syria today in perspective. He says not to worry but keep a careful eye on the big bad bear. See his (very long) analysis in "Moscow's Clients From Kabul to Damascus: Strength and Strategy in International Politics", War on the Rocks, December 9, 2015.
Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). The new catch-word for those fighting terrorism is CVE. Some are discrediting it as a flawed concept while others say that it gets to the root causes of terrorism. The term is also a factor in the political arena as well. Shannon N. Green, a senior fellow and director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. provides her perspective on CVE in Preventing Violent Extremism: Promise and Pitfalls, CSIS, December 2, 2015.
Divisions Within the Taliban? Recent reports of shooting of Taliban leader reveals serious divisions within the Taliban. See "The Implications of the Taliban Shootout", The Diplomat, December 9, 2015.
Afghan Health Gains? Questionable. Rod Nordland of the NYT writes that the reported gains in health care for women in Afghanistan are under scrutiny. Read "Reported Gains in Afghan Maternal Health Are Found to Be Implausible", The New York Times, December 4, 2015.
PTSD and War Contractors. "Despite increased rates of post-traumatic stress among private contractors, little has been discussed about prevention and treatment. More and more contractors entering into combat environments are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress when they return home". See "Why We Should Be Talking About Military Contractors With PTSD", Task & Purpose, December 9, 2015.
Time to Leave Afghanistan? Tom Mockaitis, an international security analyst and military historian, thinks the time has arrived to adjust our strategy and objectives. (The Huffington Post, December 26, 2015).
Dismal Mood in Kabul. A writer compares his visit to Kabul in 2008 with a more recent visit. The situation for many of the city residents is not hopeful. Almost everyone knows someone who has fled to Europe. Read more in "Desperation Rules Afghanistan", by Sanjay Kumar, The Diplomat, December 10, 2015.
Looking at Afghanistan Conundrum. Dr. Manoj Kuma Mishra, the program coordinator of the School of International Studies at Ravenshaw University in India provides his thoughts on Afghanistan in "Evolving a Coordinated Response to the Afghan Conundrum", Eurasia Review, December 10, 2015.
SSR, Gender Equality, and Local Ownership. ". . . it is increasingly recognized that mainstreaming gender issues and promoting gender equality in SSR programming is essential to success and is a key factor in developing meaningful local ownership." Read more about gender issues and Security Sector Reform (SSR) in "Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality", Security Sector Reform Resource Centre, December 2015.
Research on Women and Terrorism. Laura Sjoberg has penned an essay entitled The Women of Daesh: Thinking about a Decade of Research on Women, Gender, and Terrorism, E-International Relations, December 6, 2015.
General Order No. 1. Time to Update this asinine regulation. Finally a dose of common sense from an observer! While all our allies in Afghanistan can have a brew or two daily members of the American military can only look on with envy. Read "Reevaluating General Order 1X", Small Wars Journal, December 5, 2015.