Saturday, November 15, 2014

More Afghan War News Snippets

A writer discusses the lack of news awareness among the American public on Afghanistan; believing that it is consumed by the rapid rise of ISIS in the Middle East. He warns that this could lead to dire consequences - the U.S. taking its eye off the ball once again (as it did in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq). See "The Next ISIS Moment: Afghanistan's Impending Catastrophe", Brown Political Review, November 11, 2014.

The Special Immigrant Visa program for Afghan interpreters expires in December 2014. Thousands of loyal Afghan interpreters are now going to be denied visas. Learn more in "Congress Helping Afghan Translator", Roll Call, November 10, 2014.

The Marines recently celebrated the U.S. Marine Corps' 239th birthday at a ceremony on Bagram Air Field. Check out the photo - looks like a lot of fun.

Canada has significantly downsized its forces in Afghanistan - but some stragglers who have not gotten the word still remain scattered among the various ISAF, IJC, and TAAC staffs. You can learn more about Canada's continued presence in Afghanistan at their Facebook page.

The 3rd Infantry Division will soon send some troops to Afghanistan. Learn more in "3rd ID commander readies his troops for Afghanistan", Army Times, November 10, 2014.

The Special Forces of Australia has seen extensive service in Afghanistan. Learn more in "2nd Commando Regiment are the lesser-known warriors waging war on terror",, November 9, 2014.

Sketches of war are provided by Richard Johnson of The Washington Post in "Drawing up the drawdown" (October 6, 2014).

Have you ever wondered what the average Afghan National Army soldier eats? You can see for yourself in "Afghan forces revert to more familiar menu on former US bases", Stars and Stripes, November 9, 2014. While food on an Afghan army base is most times delicious and abundant (guests almost always are treated to the best food) the kitchens are a sight to behold. If your going to eat - don't look at the kitchen. (Note: comments from personal experience; lots of it).

The IJC commander speaks on the importance of getting the Afghan leadership up to speed. See a video on this topic.

The Army is having problems reporting inventory losses in Afghanistan. A report entitled "The Army Needs to Improve the Processes for Inventory Losses in Afghanistan", Inspector General U.S. Department of Defense, October 30, 2014. provides more information. CAUTION: Document is located on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), is classified FOUO, and may not be accessible because DoD doesn't want you to read it.

The author of Dispatches from the Kabul Cafe, Heidi Kingstone, writes on the future of women in Afghanistan in "Life in Kabul: Will Afghan women finally stop being seen as a freak show?", The Telegraph, November 7, 2014.

Photos of Afghanistan usually revolve around the war. But some photographers shoot photos about general life in Afghanistan away from the conflict. See "The beauty of everyday life in war-torn Afghanistan", The Week, November 6, 2014.

The 663rd Engineer Company (Horizontal Construction) recently returned from Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). They hail from Sheffield, Alabama and are an Army Reserve unit. Read more in "663rd Engineer Company returns with vast experience", DVIDS, November 6, 2014.

The British commitment in Afghanistan has been reduced considerably with its departure from Camp Bastion. Now is the time for some reflection on the mission and the cost in terms of money, energy, and blood. Read more in "Britain's Fourth Afghan War", Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), October 28, 2014.

Rebecca Frankel of Foreign Policy Magazine is interviewed by Peter Bergen of New America on her new book War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love. The interview is 42 minutes long. View the video at the link below.

A short video about force protection being handed over to the Georgian Army at Bagram Air Field. See "Georgians take over security at Bagram", NATO TV, November 9, 2014.

There are lots of folks drawing parallels with the situation in Iraq (rise of ISIS) and the departure of ISAF in Afghanistan - worries about the collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces. One such commentator, Paul Shinkman, provides his thoughts in "What Afghanistan Must Learn From Iraq", U.S. News & World Report, November 12, 2014.

A UK human rights activist expresses her concerns about Afghanistan in this article in NEXUS.

The story of a female Afghan policewomen is highlighted in "The Real Sheriff in Afghanistan", The Huffington Post, November 12, 2014.

The Danish foreign minister visits Afghanistan meeting the country's new president (Ghani) and CEO (Abdullah) in preparation for the Denmark commitment of military assistance to NATO's Resolute Support mission that will provide non-combative assistance in a training and consulting role. (The Copenhagen Post, November 14, 2014).

A book review of Why We Lost by Daniel P. Bolger is provided by The Wall Street Journal (November 13, 2014.).

Many observers are tracking the words and deeds of the newly elected president. View "Ghani on path to fulfill campaign promises", Central Asia Online, November 14, 2014.

Despite all the gains made in the medical sector in Afghanistan over the past decade some work still remains in the field of malnutrition. Read "Afghan malnutrition - the search for solutions", IRIN, November 11, 2014.

The Telegraph reports (November 14, 2014) that around 100 British special forces and military intelligence experts will remain in Afghanistan after 2014. Their primary mission will be to hunt for senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders. They will also stand by to conduct personnel recovery missions for British nationals and service members as well as force protection (Guardian Angel) duties. Three RAF Chinook helicopters will also provide transport. The SAS troops will likely be based at Bagram Air Base. A total of 500 Brits will remain in country after 2014.

The Russians are unhappy with the United States's inability to reduce the opium production of Afghanistan. Much of the drug finds its way to Russia. Read more in "Afghan opium inflames US-Russia tensions after failed drug war", Stars and Stripes, November 14, 2014.

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