Saturday, January 10, 2015

Afghan Daily News Snippets (Jan 10, 2015)

PTSD. The Veterans Alliance has published an infographic about PTSD among veterans. Some of the bits of info provided: 22 U.S. veterans kill themselves every day, the VA has some shortcomings in providing assistance for veterans suffering from PTSD, and 25% of 9/11 veterans are diagnosed with PTSD. U.S. veterans are at risk from PTSD because of war/combat exposure, multiple deployments, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 

The new Kabul Chief of Police, LTG Rehemi, visited COMISAF on January 8, 2015 for an office call. Rehemi was the PCoP for Balhk province prior to his current position.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced some major changes in the European infrastructure. There will be a closing of a lot of bases throughout Europe with lots of consolidation going on. The closures will save over $500 million annually. Over 15 sites will be returned to their host nations. Of course, this drastic reduction will not affect our capability (of course DoD would say that). DoD says that the savings will allow for the basing of the F-35 Lighting II joint strike fighter at RAF Lakenheath starting in 2020. From the novice observer looking in it appears we are cutting a lot of programs and infrastructure so we can fund the Air Force's F-35 program. Just saying. Read "DoD Officials Announce European Infrastructure Consolidation", January 8, 2015.

The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law has an ongoing program that examines the U.S. intelligence community. The center believes that the U.S. Intel community is too large, very fractured, and needs better oversight. Read more in "Secretive Private Intelligence Contractors Need Better Oversight", Defense One, January 8, 2015.

The Pentagon is seeking a 20% cut in U.S. war funding - bringing the request down to $51 billion. This is in addition to the $534 billion in the basic defense spend plan. The $51 billion is for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund. The OCO used to be called the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) fund until President Obama took office and decided we won the war on terrorism and changed GWOT to OCO. Read more in a news report by Bloomberg News published January 8, 2015.

Clive Williams, an adjunct professor at Macquarie University's Centre for Policing, Intelligence, and Counter Terrorism (Australia) provides his thoughts on the future of Afghanistan. Williams spent a few years in Afghanistan working for ISAF. Read "The great game of Afghanistan", Brisbane Times, January 9, 2015.

Reports by the Pajhwok news media indicate that Taliban gunmen kidnapped eight deminers on Friday from an NGO mine clearing operation in Logar province.

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