Saturday, March 7, 2015

Daily News Snippets (March 7, 2015)

A recent report released by the Director of National Intelligence predicts that a number of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will return to the Taliban insurgency or terrorism activities if they are released. The report is based on trends identified during the past eleven years. Overall, the number of those confirmed and suspected of reengaging in terrorism is about 29 percent. There are about 122 detainees left in the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Read more in "US intelligence finds Gitmo prisoners returning to fight", The Hill Defense Blog, March 5, 2015.

The Army has recently defined the requirements for the wearing of bronze service stars with the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Operation Freedom's Sentinel is a qualifying operation for the award.  Read more in "Rules for wearing service stars with Afghanistan Medal", Army Times, March 5, 2015.

The German news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) provides us with their thoughts on why Afghanistan's security forces are dwindling. The news article comments on the recent report issued by SIGAR that states the number of ANA members has declined by more than 8.5 percent since Feb 2014 - the lowest force strength since August 2011. Some of the factors for the smaller force includes combat casualties (up drastically over last year), desertions, discharges (term of service has expired), and some accounting irregularities. Contributing factors are the poppy growing season where soldier go on unauthorized leave to assist with the harvest, excessive absences (not returning at end of leave date), and attending to family matters during an unauthorized absence, and lower morale among the members of the ANSF. (DW, Mar 5, 2015).

Gandhara Blog has a video posted about the ". . . hundreds of female convicts in Afghanistan." Children up to the age of seven live with mothers in the prison. Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent Freba Mohd Zaher visited prisons across Afghanistan to investigate the conditions for the women and children behind bars. (March 5, 2015).

The 2015 MRE menu is out and Duffel Blog has evaluated the top five MRE meals. See if your favorite is at the top of the list. (March 6, 2015).

The Sayedabad district executive director (Wardak province) was killed by unknown gunmen a few days ago (early March). The incident took place as he was leaving his office heading to his home.

The Georgian 51st Battalion stationed at Bagram Air Field (BAF) carried out a humanitarian mission in its operational area. The mission was performed in the village of Musa Bala in conjunction with U.S. Marines and the Afghan National Security Forces. (The Messenger Online, March 6, 2015).

The author of Green on Blue, Elliott Ackerman, explains how he came to write his book on Afghanistan. Ackerman spent time as an advisor to Afghan commando units. (, March 5, 2105.). Watch a short video with Ackerman. The book can be purchased on

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