Role of Elders in Afghan Society. A short article posted on the website of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) provides insight in the role that the community elders play in resolving disputes at the local level. (UNAMA, July 13,2017).
UNOCHA Report on Afghanistan. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has published Issue 65 (1-30 June 2017) of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Bulletin.
Afghan Fiction. A excerpt from a book about war in Afghanistan. "Crossing the River No Name", The New Yorker, Jun 12, 2017.
Pakistan and Afghan Border Security. Pakistan is building a fence along part of its porous border with Afghanistan. The nearly 2,600-kilometer border is largely unguarded making it impossible to control illegeal cross-border movement. Of course, the demarcation of the border is disputed by Pakistan and Afghanistan - so there's that. Read more in "Pakistan Takes Unilateral Steps Toward Afghan Border Security", Voice of America, July 15, 2017.
Assistance Needed by Afghans Fleeing IS-K Fighting. Afghans leaving the areas where fighting is continuing between the government security forces and fighters of the Islamic State - Khorsan find that government assistance is not abundant. Read "Afghan Families Displaced by IS Claim Lack of Assistance", Voice of America, July 14, 2017.
Afghanistan's Opium Industry. The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) has published an article about the world's leading producer of opium (that would be Afghanistan). Read "AAN Q&A: An established industry - Basic facts about Afghanistan's opium-driven economy", AAN, July 11, 2017.
Afghan Girls Robotics Team. Twice rejected for U.S. visas, the all-girls finally arrived in Washington, D.C. early on Saturday (15 Jul) morning to compete in an international robotics competition. The U.S. State Department had to undergo an 'intervention' to realize the young ladies were not terrorists. We shall see if they all get back on the plane to return home! See "Allowed in by Trump, Afghan girls robotics team lands in DC", AP News, July 15, 2017.
Social Media and the Taliban. The use of information operations (IO) in a counterinsurgency conflict is paramount to gaining the populations support for both the insurgents and counterinsurgents. Initially the Taliban restricted its IO efforts to speeches in villages, night letters, and meetings. However, over the past 16 years of the current stage in the Afghan conflict the Taliban have become more savy. Read "Taliban Propaganda Meets the Digital Age", Gandhara, July 10, 2017. Read more about the importance of social media in the Afghan conflict.