Ghani Meets w/ MPs from 203rd Corps Area. President Ghani met with members of parliament from Khost, Paktia, Paktika, and Logar to discuss political and security issues. (@ARG_AFG Twitter, Apr 12, 2015).
Kandahar Blast Injures Civilians. Two people were injured in a mine blast in Kandahar province on Sunday. (Tolo News, Apr 12, 2015).
Kandahar Blast on Sunday Morning. One ANA was killed and two wounded in a mine blast in Police District 4 (PD4) in Kandahar on Sunday morning.
Badakhsahn Fighting. Afghan government sources say that intense fighting in northeast Afghanistan over 24 hours has resulted in 28 Taliban fighters killed. The fighting ended on April 11th. Six soldiers were killed and 12 wounded. (Gandhara Blog, Apr 12, 2015).
Save the Children Update. After five of its workers were killed in southern Urozgan province the international organization - Save the Children - is halting activities in that area of Afghanistan. The workers were kidnapped by the Taliban over a month ago and their demands for the release of political prisoners were not met. (Khaama Press, Apr 12, 2015).
Zulfiqar Operation. The Afghan government spokesmen are lauding the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the recently concluded operation in Helmand province. Ministry of Interior (MoI) Sediq Sediqqi said at a press conference that almost 500 insurgents were killed. Press reports say that Sangin district is slipping from government control. Time will tell.
Camp Moorehead 100-Mile Endurance Run. The SF dudes at Camp Moorehead just outside of Kabul are taking some time off to get in some physical fitness (PT). Camp Moorehead (named after a fallen U.S. Soldier) is now called Camp Commando. It is the headquarters for ANASOC and the training base for the ANASF and ANA Commandos. The Special Operations Advisory Group (SOAG), is part of NSOCC-A/SOJTF-A and headed by Colonel Fred Dummar, based at Camp Commando is comprised of U.S. and Slovakian Special Forces advisors. Read more in a news article by the Fayetteville Observer (April 12, 2015).
Afghan Spaceman. The United Nations declared April 12th as the International Day of Human Space Flight. In 1988 Afghanistan's Cosmonaut Abdul Ahad Mohmand flew into space on board a Soyuz TM-6 rocket lifting off from Kazakhstan. Unknown to many the Soviets (in ten short years - 1979 to 1989) had established a fairly robust Afghan Air Force. After 13 years in Afghanistan the U.S. Air Force continues to work with the Afghan Air Force . . . but I don't see any astronauts coming out of their training programs anytime soon.
Copper Mine Stalled. According to a recent news report China and Afghanistan remain deadlocked over a $3 billion copper mine after China demanded royalties be slashed by almost half. Not much progress has taken place since China won the mining concession in Logar province in 2007. China is reluctant to pay for a mine with no railroad to export copper, a horrible security situation, and falling worldwide copper prices. The Chinese firm withdrew its Chinese mining workers from the heavily guarded mining camp due to a resurgent Taliban in the area. Militant violence in the area is at its worst since 2001. In addition, there is international pressure on mining activities to be delayed due to excavations of Buddhist ruins at the mining site. (Town Hall, Apr 11, 2015).
Drones. Gregoire Chamayou writes about armed drones in "Of Reapers and Predators: A New Warfare Emerges", Real Clear World, April 8, 2015.
Women. Katrin Park has comments about women's rights in Afghanistan in "How Not to Empower Women in Afghanistan", Cicero Magazine, April 8, 2015.
End of War - Free the Prisoners? Guantanamo prisoners say that the Global War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom has concluded so they should be released. (Eurasia Review, Apr 11, 2015).
Tom Malinowski - State Dept - Visits Kabul. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor visited Kabul and was interviewed by the Gandhara Blog (Radio Free Europe). He chats about the Afghan leaders, human rights, transitional justice, and women's rights.
Policeman Defects - then Captured. A policeman has been detained 3 months after joining the Taliban with his weapon in Ghazni province. (Khaama Press, Apr 12, 2015).