Friday, April 10, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets (Apr 10, 2015)

Mes-e-Sharif Courthouse Attacked. The Taliban attacked the MeS courthouse in Balhk province with rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons on Thursday killing at least eight people and wounding many more. Several security officials were killed including a district police chief. Read more in a news report by Voice of America, April 9, 2015.

Kunar PCoP Survives Road Blast. The Provincial Chief of Police for Kunar survived a roadside blast in the Surubi area - about 50 kilometers east of Kabul along the Kabul-Jalalabad highway. The incident took place on Wednesday.

TAAC-South Aviation. Full-spectrum aviation support is provided to the Afghan forces by Task Force Corsair. This multi-functional aviation task force is comprised of Soldiers from the 82nd Aviation Regiment deployed from Fort Bragg, NC. The Task Force operates under the leadership of the NATO Train, Advise, Assist Command - South which is responsible for operations and the advisory effort in the southern regions of Afghanistan. Learn more in "Task Force Corsair assists from above", Fort Hood Sentinel, April 9, 2015.

Retired Col Speaks About Insider Attacks. Retired Army Col Derek Harvey tells us about the difficulty of stopping insider attacks in Afghanistan and the most recent Green-on-Blue incident in Jalalabad in an online video by Newsmax, April 8, 2015, 12 minutes.

What is Ahead for Afghanistan? The Asia Foundation interviews two experts on Afghanistan. Karl Eikenberry (former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan) and Erik Jensen (director of Stanford's Rule of Law Program) gives us their thoughts on "The Road Ahead for Afghanistan". (April 8, 2015).

Ghani After Washington Tour. The warm glow of President Ghani's goodwill tour in the United States has subsided and the realities of trying to govern Afghanistan are back in the forefront. Sixteen cabinet ministry positions are unfilled, some parliament members are asking for $500,000 bribes for their vote to approve cabinet ministers, the CEO Abdullah Abdullah and President Ghani have a strained and complicated relationship, the Taliban are about to kick off their 2015 fighting season, and the Independent Directorate for Local Government (IDLG) (responsible for sub-national governance) is paralyzed without a leader. Read more in "Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Returns to Kabul", by Adbullah Sharif, The Huffington Post, April 9, 2015.

MoD Cabinet Nominee Withdraws. According to Tolo News (April 8, 2015) the nominee for defense ministry withdrew his nomination due to serious disagreements between President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah.

Trading Money for Votes. Accusations of corruption were tossed between members of the Afghan parliament in regard to the approval of the cabinet officers chosen by Ghani. Tolo News, April 8, 2015.

Tension Within NUG.  The National Unity Government (NUG) is having some growing pains. It has been more than a 1/2 year since its formation but the camps of Ghani and Abdullah are having trouble getting along - and that affects the governance of Afghanistan. Khaama Press, April 8, 2015. 

Paper on Afghan Constitutions. Afghanistan has had six constitutions - the latest one established in 2004. Aruni Jayakody has wrote a paper entitled "Evolution of Fundamental Rights in Afghanistan: 1924-2004, April 2015. Posted on the website of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU).

Bergdahl. Michael Ames writes an extensive article on the disappearance of Bowe Bergdahl and the Soldiers that spent months searching for him. Read "Untangling the Mysteries Behind Bowe Bergdahl's Rescue Mission", Newsweek, April 9, 2015.

University of Michigan Cancels Film Showing. The film 'American Sniper' was supposed to show at the university but it got cancelled due to protest by Muslim student groups. Then the university faced some backlash on that decision. Read more in a news report by Fox News, April 9, 2015.

Military Offers Fast Track to U.S. Citizenship. The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, known as MAVNI, will double to 3,000 enlistments in 2015 and then go up to 5,000 in 2016. Currently the program is capped at 1,500 recruits. The program helps the Army recruit personnel for its medical programs as well as recruits with foreign language skills and cultural knowledge and understanding. Certainly this is valuable program - especially in light of the long-term counterinsurgency wars we have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and the future nature of warfare (hybrid warfare) that this country is likely to face in the future. Many MAVNI recruits have a college education, already speak English, and are in their mid-20s. Recruits must have lived in the United States for two years and they undergo an extensive background check. Learn more in a news report by the Wall Street Journal (April 8, 2015).

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