Refined Opium and the Taliban. The insurgents revenue stream has become more robust as the Taliban have developed the capability to refine opium into morphine and heroin. Read an article by Mujib Mashal entitled "Afghan Taliban Awash in Heroin Cash, a Troubling Turn for War", The New York Times, October 29, 2017.
WhatsApp and Telegram Banned? There are some reports that the government of Afghanistan has banned popular messaging applications. The move may have been a government attempt to prevent terrorists and insurgents from using the messaging service with its encrypted application. (BBC, Nov 3, 2017).
Human Terrain System - How to Preserve Capability. Dr. Brian R. Price, an Associate Professor of History in the Department of History and International Studies at Hawaii Pacific University, advocates the sustaining of a 'human terrain' capability within the DoD. He offers possible avenues for this to include an organic team within BCTs, posting in embassies, or within SOF organizational structure. The Human Terrain System played an important role within Brigade Combat Team (BCT) staffs in the later years of the Afghan conflict. Read more in "Human Terrain at the Crossroads", Joint Force Quarterly 87, National Defense University Press, October 2017.