Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Daily News Snippets (Mar 11, 2015)

Pajihwok Afghan News reports that 27 people were killed or wounded in a car bomb suicide attack in Lashkergah.

Afghanistan for many years was at the forefront of the "Global War on Terror" (GWOT). However, once President Obama took office, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq turned into "Overseas Contingency Operations" (OCO). This was an attempt by the administration to 'rebrand' the conflicts, move away from the 'terrorism' narrative, and pave the way for a withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan. Well, the global war on terror is still with us, if under a different name. We are still in Afghanistan and are about to pass the AUMF that authorizes combat operations in Iraq (once again). In recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, James Clapper - the director of national intelligence - says that the terrorism threat is as bad as it ever has been. Read more in "In campaign against terrorism, U.S. enters period of pessimism and gloom", The Washington Post, March 7, 2015.

Cricket. In a sport that most Americans know little about, Afghanistan seems to be doing well. One commentator feels that the bowlers and batsmen from Kabul have become the world's favorite underdogs. Read more in "Afghanistan's Little Cricket Team That Could", Foreign Policy, March 9, 2015.

The ICRC has been active in Afghanistan for many years. One of the services the ICRC provides is ". . .artificial limbs and physical rehabilitation for people disabled by the war in Afghanistan . . . ".There are seven ICRC centers and the largest is located in Kabul. Take a guided, interactive tour of the Kabul center at the link below:

Matthew Dearing, an assistant professor at the National Defense University, questions the U.S. implementation of the Leahy Law in regards to Afghanistan. The law prohibits U.S. funds being sent to foreign security forces implicated in human rights violations. A recent report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) suggests the Leahy Law is applicable. But wouldn't that set back all the advances recently made over the past decade? Read more in "Nation Building is Dirty Business", Foreign Policy, March 10, 2015.

Some security analysts are predicting the defeat of the Haqqani Network - saying that the latest offensive by the Pakistani military in North Waziristan dislodged them from their support base and the groups terrorist activities has caused diminished popular support. Hmmm, we shall see. Read more in "Haqqani Network on verge of collapse, analysts say", Central Asia Online,  March 9, 2015.

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