Sunday, November 23, 2014

Afghan Daily News Snippets

Officials in Wardak province are criticized by Afghan workers employed by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for a lack of progress in the reintegration and reconciliation of Taliban members. Each province has a council that works for the High Peace Council located in Kabul. The NGO's are also accusing the provincial level government officials of a lack of coordination with other actors (NGOs) in the province. Read more in "Afghan Local Officials Taken to Task", Institute for War & Peace Reporting,  November 2014.

Japan will be providing $19.2 million for animal disease control to the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL). (Central Asia Online, November 20, 2014.)

The German cabinet has approved a new mandate for the Afghanistan mission. More solders (850) will be sent to serve in northern Afghanistan and will be aimed at training Afghan security forces. (, November 20, 2014).

A watchdog group says that over a quarter of a million hectares of land has been illegally seized by powerful officials and warlords. (Reuters, November 19, 2014).

The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations is under investigation by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Seems that the $800 million program has "accomplished nothing". (USA Today, November 19, 2014).

The 2014 Survey of the Afghan People conducted by The Asia Foundation has prompted a number of analysts and observers to provide their take on the report. One of the Asia Foundations' officers provides her view on the report. (The Asia Foundation, November 19, 2014).

A Special Forces officer and veteran of the Afghan Conflict reflects upon lessons learned in Afghanistan and provides recommendations on the way forward to combat the Islamic State. Read Michael G. Waltz thoughts in a Washington Times article dated November 20, 2014.

The many decades of war in Afghanistan has produced millions of refugees that fled to Pakistan to escape violence. Many of these refugees are currently returning home to Afghanistan. But they face many challenges - especially the children. (UN Refugee Agency, November 20, 2014).

The President of Afghanistan - Ashraf Ghani - was once a professor of anthropology at John Hopkins University from 1983-1991. Read more here (The John Hopkins Newsletter, November 20, 2014).

Now that the British have vacated Helmand province a series of "post-mortem" is taking place. Read "The Challenges of British Counterinsurgency in Helmand - Why did it go so Wrong?", E-International Relations, November 17, 2014.

Washington State University (WSU) recently received a national award for work to improve food security in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Program (AAEP) team earned the award for the three-year program that was completed under the USDA this fall. The program worked closely with Afghanistan's federal agricultural agencies. New funding will provide an opportunity to expand the program to additional provinces. (WSU News, November 21, 2014).

A female professor recounts her brief stay in Afghanistan to teach at a university in Herat. See "Professor recounts experience in Afghanistan", Western Courier, November 21, 2014.

There will be a meeting of international donors who will pledge contributions to Afghanistan held in December. Learn what President Ghani must do to secure billions in future funding. (The Washington Post, by Sudarsan Raghavan, November 22, 2014).

A new pub is out about Personnel Recovery - DoD Instruction 3002.04, DoD Personnel Recovery - Non-conventional Assisted Recovery (NAR), November 17, 2014 is available at the below link. You must have a DoD PKI certificate to access.

An opinion piece is posted on Sunday Review of The New York Times entitled "When Is a War Over?", by Elizabeth D. Samet. The article addresses the way that short wars become long ones and how we tend to ignore history at the same time we rush headlong into a conflict. Within the article a military officer talks about his time in Nuristan - and how he wished he knew more about the language, culture, history, and terrain of Afghanistan prior to deployment.

An article by Daniel Altman (teacher of economics at New York University) says that the State Department should get serious about the upcoming Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) in order to line up supporters for continued funding for overseas development projects. (Foreign Policy, November 20, 2014).

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