Sunday, July 9, 2017

Afghan War News Snippets

More Visas for Interpreters. A U.S. Senate committee has approved 4,000 more Visas for Afghans who worked for the U.S. military as interpreters or support staff. The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program is designed to help Afghans who assisted the U.S. in the Afghan conflict to immigrate to the United States. See "U.S. Senate Committee Approves 4,000 More Special Visas for Afghans", Gandhara, June 29, 2017.

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan? None. Despite having over 8,400 U.S. troops engaged in the Afghan conflict supporting a corrupt and dysfunctional Afghan government the Trump administration has yet to nominate a U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan over six months into its time in office. See "Lack of US Ambassador to Afghanistan Draws Criticism", Voice of America, July 7, 2017.

China's Silk Road - More Than an "Economic Highway". China is making quite an ado about its "Silk Road" connecting China with the rest of the Eurasia continent in an economic belt. Afghanistan is playing a small part in the overall plan. Slowly, and under the radar, China is positioning naval and ground forces at strategic locations around the world. There are current plans to position elements of the People's Liberation Army Marine Corps (PLAMC) in Djibouti and Pakistan. Could we see some Chinese military in Afghanistan at some point in the future? Sounds far-fetched but . . . Read more in "The Muscle Behind China's New Silk Road Is Over the Horizon", Reconnecting Asia, June 26, 2017.

Norwegian Refugee Council. The NRC is busy in Afghanistan helping Afghans to learn a livelihood so they can support their families. Read "New hope for young Afghans", Norwegian Refugee Council, July 7, 2017.

Afghan Procurement Reform. The Afghan government is changing how it conducts its procurement process. Read more in an article by The Diplomat, July 8, 2017.

Afghanistan's 'Hill of Widows'. Read about "Zanabad" - the city of women that is home to a cluster of women who have eked out independence after being widowed. Read "Afghanistan's 'hill of widows' live in a world apart", Daily Mail, June 22, 2017.

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