|ANASF prepare for wpns training|
India - Pak - Afg Meeting. Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah met with the Pakistan COAS Raheel Sharif in Kabul on Sunday, December 27th. This follows a flurry of meetings involving the head of the India government who first visted Kabul and then Islamabad. Are peace talks in the air? Maybe. But I doubt much will come of it. Read more on the recent meetings and prospects for peace in "The Observer view on India's role in bringing peace to Afghanistan", The Guardian, December 27, 2015.
French Restaurant Bombed. On January 1st a restaurant / guest house (Le Jardin) in Kabul's Qalai Fatullah area (Taimani PD4) was attacked; two people killed including a 10 year old child killed - about 15 others wounded It is in the vicinity of many foreign embassies and government buildings.
Bombers Experience a Premature Explosion. Three (maybe four) bombers had a bad day when their truck bomb blew up ahead of schedule in the Zer-e-Koh area of Herat on Saturday, January 2nd. (Khaama Press, Jan 2, 2016).
Child Suicide Bombers. "Terrorists in Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries are training children to blow themselves up in suicide bomb attacks. Minors are kidnapped or sold and then taken to terrorist training camps". Read more in "Children used as suicide bombers in Central Asia", Deutsche Welle, December 30, 2015.
Prisoners Freed by ANDSF. Afghan Special Forces freed dozens of prisoners (as many as 59) from a Taliban jail in Nahr-e-Saraj district, Helmand province the evening of January 1st. The freed were 37 soldiers, seven policemen, and the remainder were civilians. (Radio Free Europe, Jan 2, 2016).
Al-Qaeda Re-emerges. Al-Qaeda camps seem to be sprouting up in Afghanistan and there are worries that they will become breeding grounds for more attacks against the U.S. Read "As U.S. Focuses on ISIS and the Taliban, Al Qaeda Re-emerges", The New York Times, December 29, 2015. Read a history of U.S. action against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan over the years in "ISAF raids against al Qaeda and allies in Afghanistan 2007-2014", by Bill Roggio and Patrick Megahan, The Long War Journal, May 30, 2014.
Bagram Long-Term US Base? Some reports say that the Pentagon is looking to keep Bagram Air Field as a US base beyond 2017. This huge US base located 40 klics north of Kabul has been one of the principle transit hubs, logistical centers, and airfields (for air support) since 2002. The US Special Operations forces continue to operate from this base as well. Drones will likely be launched from here when Kandahar and Jalalabad shut down. (Tolo News, Dec 29, 2015).
Campbell: Delay Withdrawal. General Campbell, the commander of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, would like to delay the US troop withdrawal for as long as possible. (The Hill Blog, Dec 30, 2015).
Canadian General (Rtd) Speaks Out. A retired Canadian general says the Taliban's recent victories in Afghanistan could reverse progress made by western armies during more than a decade of fighting. "We're all holding our breath". (Edmonton Sun, Dec 28, 2015).
ANA Cadets Graduate from Indian Military Academy. 31 Afghan Army cadets graduated from the Indian Military Academy in December. Training the Afghan Army cadets is part of India's rehabilitation support towards the Afghan security forces. (Khaama Press, Dec 13, 2015).