Saturday, November 22, 2014

Afghan Daily News Snippets

Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at Tufts University, has penned a piece entitled "Should the Central Intelligence Agency be less centralized?", The Washington Post, November 20, 2014.

Kenneth Katzman, a specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, has scripted Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance in a Congressional Research Service (CRS) pub dated November 4, 2014. (RS21922).

Special Operators will get new wheels! The "Sneaky Petes" need the ability to penetrate remote, hard-to-reach locations in a stealthy manner. A new research grant hopes to lead to the development of a prototype motor bike that will do that. Read "Company Developing Hybrid Energy Motorbike for Special Operators", National Defense Magazine, December 2014.

Leadership, Haircuts, and PT. A commentator worries about "A Failure of Leadership" within the Army. (Combat Cav Scout - From the Op, November 2014).

Jed Ober opines about the new "National Unity Government" that has taken charge in Afghanistan. Read "Stopgap Democracy: Afghanistan's Shaky Government", Foreign Affairs, November 20, 2014.

Malaysia has been one of the many in the Coalition to fight the Taliban and reconstruct Afghanistan. It looks like the country will continue its support. Read "Malaysia Continues to Provide Opportunities for Development in Afghanistan", National News Agency of Malaysia, November 21, 2014.

Pennsylvania's senior U.S. senator, Bob Casey, is attuned to the problems facing Afghan women. He believes that it is important to strengthen women's rights and that includes more participation in the Afghan government and its security forces. Read "Casey: Women in Afghanistan are key to success of their country", Lancaster Online, November 20, 2014.

The U.S. government is a strong back of the TAPI international pipeline project and hopes it will succeed - as it will benefit Afghanistan as well as Central Asia. (Silk Road Reporters, November 20, 2014).

The NATO E-3A mission in Afghanistan is now complete. The last of the crew members have left Mazar-e-Sharif (MeS), Afghanistan. The airplanes were deployed as part of Operation Afghan Assist. (DVIDS, November 19, 2014).

The Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) will hold its 10th Annual U.S. - Afghanistan Business Matchmaking Conference on December 9, 10, and 11, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Read more here (PR Newswire, November 20, 2014).

A women reporter working in Afghanistan has many challenges. One intrepid female reporter uses a disguise (young boy) to get around safely. (New York Post, November 20, 2014).

A commentator on drone warfare, Conor Friedersdorf, thinks that news organizations should stop reporting that "militants" were killed when they can confirm no such thing. Read "Drone Strikes Never Kill 'Humans'", The Atlantic, November 20, 2014.

The use of blue force trackers (BFTs) are an important addition to the ability of the U.S. military to keep tabs on the location of friendly units, reduce friendly fire incidents, and to increase situational awareness of the battlefield. However, as the BFTs become more able a new set of problems are prone to develop. Read "Blue Force Tracker Becomes Self-Aware, Has Existential Crisis", DuffleBlog, November 20, 2014.

India is wary about the future of Afghanistan. It would like to see Pakistan stop its support of the Taliban, would look forward to an Afghan economy that would benefit India, and worries about the increasing drug trade in Afghanistan. Michael Kugelman, a senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has penned a piece entitled "What Indians Really Think About the Foreign Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan", The South Asia Channel - Foreign Policy, November 20, 2014.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction worries about Afghan corruption. Read more in "IG: Corruption in Afghanistan Getting Significantly Worse", National Journal, November 18, 2014. See also "IG: U.S. renewal money in Afghanistan wasted", USA Today, November 19, 2014.

A visionary and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, speaks to a United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) about motivation, leadership, and addiction. (Posted on YouTube by USASOC PAO, November 21, 2014. 15 mins).

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has awarded ten contracts in 2014 totaling over $1 billion to expand its geospatial intelligence programs. One service the NGA will provide in the future is the "Map of the World" - a data portal designed to provide content. One of the customers for this service is the Army - whose Situational Awareness Geospatially Enabled (SAGE) project aims to provide an advance look of unfamiliar territory. SAGE is part of the Distributed Common Ground System - Army (DCGS-A) and is currently in use in Afghanistan. Read more in "NGA on campaign to expand Map of the World",, November 20, 2014.

 A writer worries that the fragile gains made for women in Afghanistan will diminish over time as a result of the withdrawal of ISAF. Britain is encouraged to continue its support of Afghan women. Read "Britain urged to give unstinting support for women's rights in Afghanistan", The Guardian, November 21, 2014.

"Saving Mes Aynak" is a documentary about the copper mine that sits on top of an ancient Buddhist site in Logar province. The Chinese want to start digging for copper but an archaeological site is at risk. (PBS Newshour, November 19, 2014).

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