Sunday, December 3, 2017
Commentary on Afghanistan
"The Nation State and Afghanistan". Paolo Cotta Ramusino, a professor at the University of Milan (Italy) presented the contents of this article at the Herat Security Dialogue held in October 2017 in Herat, Afghanistan. Italy, of course, is the lead framework nation for the Train, Advise, and Assist Command - West (TAAC West). Read "The Nation State and Afghanistan", Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies, November 20, 2017.
"Turning the Corner". For years U.S. commanders in Afghanistan have used the phrases very similar to 'turning the corner' to describe how things are getting better in Afghanistan. And each year we found out that the corner is still some distance away. Read more in an essay by Paul McLeary entitled "U.S. Has 'Turned the Corner' in Afghanistan, Top General Says", Foreign Policy, November 28, 2017.
"The Great Game" Revisited. Shifting regional alliances, a change in Afghan governmental policy, Iran making up with the Taliban, and other factors have influenced the conflict in Afghanistan. The world and regional powers are still meddling in the affairs of Afghanistan. Read more in "World powers jostle in Afghanistan's new 'Great Game'", BBC News, January 12, 2017. (Old news, but still valid).
A Stalemate? One writer examines the conflict in Afghanistan and predicts that the ANDSF and Taliban will ramp up operations in the years ahead to break the stalemate. The Taliban will attempt to seize urban terrain while the ANDSF will conduct major operations to regain key territory in the countryside. But neither is likely to win. Read "The Battle for Advantage in Afghanistan", STRATFOR Worldview, November 29, 2017.
Pakistan - Key to Resolving the Conflict. Harsha Kakar, of the Observer Research Foundation (India), writes on the importance of Pakistan ceasing support to the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban. "US Afghan Success Lies in Forcing Pakistan to Act Against Terrorists", Eurasia Review, December 2, 2017.
India, Afghanistan, and . . . the Taliban. Does India have a role in the Afghan conflict? To an extent it does . . . but in what form of participation? Can it contribute to an Afghan political reconciliation? Kabir Taneja, an Associate Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, provides his thoughts in "India and the Afghan Taliban", The Diplomat, November 30, 2017.
NATO Stuck in Europe? A selection of experts weigh in on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Read "Is NATO Stuck in Afghanistan?", Carnegie Europe, November 15, 2017.
Gender Equality for ANDSF - A Wasted Effort. A lot of time, money, and effort has gone into implementing gender equality into the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. However, the targeted numbers have never been attained and the reality on the ground for those females in the security forces is far from perfect. Read more in "The Dangers of Forcing Gender Equality in Afghanistan", The New York Times, November 21, 2017.
Afghanistan affects Maritime Security. M. Ashraf Haidari, the director-general of policy and strategy for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, provides a framework for understanding how a land-locked country like Afghanistan can affect the greater security and stability of the maritime environment in the Indian Ocean region. Read "Afghanistan's Stabilization Can Ensure Maritime Security", The National Interest, November 19, 2017.