Saturday, December 6, 2014

Daily News Snippets (Dec 6, 2014)

Read President Ghani's statement at the NATO Ministerial Meeting held in Brussels, Belgium on December 2, 2014. Available on the Office of the President's website here.

Kate Clark of the Afghan Analysts Network (AAN) provides more information about the Taliban "Bird Bomber" that the ANSF reported carrying a bomb, GPS, and camera. She chases down the facts and determines that the bird carried a GPS and camera but no explosives. Read more in "Bird Bomber: Police kill 'dangerous' houbara bustard", AAN, December 5, 2014.

A news article by PBS Newshour highlights the activities of a non-profit called Global Partnership for Afghanistan. It is an organization started to help small farm holders restart their farm businesses in Afghanistan. Read more in "Helping Afghan farmers regrow the economy", PBS Newshour, December 4, 2014 by Larisa Epatko.

The Guardian  provides us an interactive infographic that tells us where all the Afghan aid money has gone. (December 4, 2014).

The 45th Sustainment Brigade's headquarters has returned from their 8-month long deployment to Afghanistan. While deployed they were the hqs for the Central Command Material Recovery Element (CMRE) charged with sorting, tracking, and recovering all U.S. military equipment from the operational area. (DVIDS, December 4, 2014).

According to Central Asia Online the Ministry of Interior (MoI) appointed former Balkh province police chief General Abdul Rahman Rahimi as the new Kabul police chief. The seat became vacant when General Zahir Zahir resigned on November 30, 2014. Zahir is now the chief of the crime branch at MoI.

NATO has pledged support for the Resolute Support mission but they are not going to get all of their troops to Afghanistan on time. The U.S. has decided to fill the gap. Read more in "U.S. moves ahead with plan for extra troops in Afghanistan until allies finalize plans", The Washington Post, December 5, 2014.

The United Nations political chief, Jeffrey Feltman, addressed the London Conference in Afghanistan. You can read his remarks in "UN political chief urges revamped approach to boosting development in Afghanistan", UN News Centre, December 4, 2014.

Watch a video of former British Soldiers chatting about their hopes for Afghanistan on British Forces TV. (5 mins).

Casey Michel writes a not so favorable outlook for the CASA-1000 project that would export electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read more in "An Historic, But Pointless, CASA-1000 Accord", The Diplomat, December 5, 2014.

The Taliban's high profile attacks in Kabul are having an effect; if not strategically, then at least in the amount of fear and press generated. Read more in "Taliban Making High-Profile Attacks Ahead of US Drawdown",, December 5, 2014.

As the ISAF mission comes to a close and the Resolute Support mission begins (1 Jan 15) folks are trying to figure out just what the mission is. See "Afghanistan 2015: a mission in flux", Stars and Stripes, December 5, 2014, by Chris Carroll.

Some news reports indicate that President Ghani is conducting negotiations with the insurgent group Hezb-e-Islami. The group, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, is probably interested in a power-sharing arrangement. HI fought against the early Communist regime and then the Soviet Union invasion and occupation. Read more in "Ghani holds negotiations with Hezb-e-Islami", Central Asia Online, December 5, 2014.

The 419th Sustainment Support Battalion is completing its mission on Bagram Air Field and heading home. Learn more in "Task Force Guardian prepares for redeployment", Fort Hood Herald, December 3, 2014.

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