U.S. / Canadian Family Freed. A family held captive in Pakistan for five years by the Haqqani Network were released and now is back in Canada. But there is some difference of opinion between Pakistani and U.S. officials on the circumstances of the captivity. (Reuters, Oct 19, 2017).
Personnel Rotation Policies for Afghanistan. A former enlisted Soldier writes on how he saw three units rotate through Afghanistan during his 12-month deployment. (Foreign Policy, Oct 20, 2017).
Book Review: "Our Latest Longest War". A book by Aaron O'Connell is reviewed. The book implies that the American and NATO efforts were doomed to failure due to massive cultural ignorance in Western forces. This " . . . is not a book for optimists." Sixteen years of "we are on the verge of winning . . ." are . . . . well, . . . read the book I guess. "Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan", Small Wars Journal, October 19, 2017.
Training for Senior Military Advisors. The Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Interior (MoI) has seen a host of advisors come and go over the past decade and half. Some of these advisors have been effective while others have been found wanting. The effectiveness of an advisor at the MoD or MoI is determined by a host of factors - personality, education, experience, age, background, selection for the position, and advisor training. The Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute has published a tract that looks into the senior leader advisor attributes necessary to be successful. Read "Training for Senior Leaders Going into an Advisory Role - Is there a Training and Education Gap?", Peace Stability Journal, Volume 7, Issue 2, October 2017, pages 22-25.
Korengal Valley and Hip Straps. A Navy medic assigned to a scout sniper platoon wondered why no one used hip straps on their heavy packs. He later would explore the use of hip straps in the science world. See "The Surprising Science of Backpacking", Outside Online, October 16, 2017.