Monday, April 6, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets (Mar 6, 2015)

Explosion in Kunduz City. The north of Afghanistan continues to experience growing unrest. Reports came in about an explosion in Kunduz on Sunday, April 5th.

Khost Suicide Attack by Haqqani Network. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) says that the Haqqani Network was involved in the deadly suicide attack that took place in Khost province. The bomber detonated his explosives among anti-corruption demonstrators. At least 20 people were killed and over 60 others injured in the attack. (Khaama Press, April 4, 2015).

High Peace Council Review Urged. A member of the executive board of the High Peace Council wants to see the government conduct a review of the organization's structure before serious peace talks with the Taliban commence. (Khaama Press, Apr 5, 2015).

Opinion - Speed Up Afghan Withdrawal. Doug Bandow, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, says that the "Administration Should Speed, Not Slow, Military Withdrawal From Afghanistan", The World Post, April 5, 2015. Doug says that the United States quickly accomplished its two main goals in Afghanistan early on - destroy al Qaeda and oust its Taliban hosts. The quagmire began in a half-hearted effort (the nation's leadership shifted its attention to Iraq) to nation-build in a country not quite ready for nation-building. He says it is time to leave and to let the Afghans sort things out by themselves.

Opinion - "Slow Motion Retreat" Bad for Afghanistan. Sean Parnell, an Army veteran of the Afghan conflict and book author, writes that our slow retreat from Afghanistan is placing that country's future in jeopardy and will erase hard-fought gains by the U.S. (The Washington Times, April 4, 2015).

Is Mullah Omar Dead or Alive? Speculation still abounds as to whether the 'leader' of the Taliban is dead or alive. The Taliban leadership recently released a biography of the leader. Read more in a news article by BBC News, August 5, 2015. See also a news report by Radio Free Europe, April 5, 2015.

Operation Freedom's Sentinel Award Criteria. The Army has spelled out the eligibility criteria for the award of the Global War on Terrorism Medals to Soldiers serving in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. See news report by Army Times (April 5, 2015).

A-29 Super Tucano Next Best Thing to an A-10. Rick Smith writing for The Motley Fool (an investment newsletter) cites the value of the A-29 soon to be given to Afghanistan as a close support aircraft. His article (April 5, 2015) provides us with the operational details of the A-29 as well as the likelihood of additional purchases of the aircraft for the Afghan Air Force beyond the initial 20 aircraft fielding to take place in 2016-2018.

Video - Profile of a RSM Police Advisor. Major Russell Waight, an AFPAK hand and advisor to the Ministry of Interior, talks about his career, being an Advisor, and working with the Afghan people. (4 minutes long).

Female War Journalists and Adrenaline. Read the story of a female photojournalist who keeps going back to the war. (The Guardian, April 5, 2015).

Women in the CIA. A recent rash of television shows have depicted women in the Central Intelligence Agency in a manner not totally consistent with real life. At least according to an Op-Ed by Maureen Dowd who recently interviewed several career CIA female employees about 'real life' in the CIA. According to some TV shows alcoholism and bed-hopping is a way of life for female CIA employees. Read "Good Riddance, Carrie Mathison"The New York Times, April 4, 2015.

Women in Special Forces - American Odyssey. This new show premiered on Sunday night (April 5th). It is interesting to note that it features a women Soldier of a Special Forces unit who is the sole survivor of her team that went in to enemy territory on a counterterrorism mission in Africa. She, according to one online review, is a member of a Female Engagement Team or FET. Hmmmm. I thought that the FETs were assigned to the Army and the Cultural Support Teams or CSTs were assigned to Special Forces teams. Looks like Hollywood knows something I don't. Evidently we are to suspend reality and push that "I Believe" button to swallow the story line presented by American Odyssey. Its great that the TV series attempts to portray women in the military in a positive light but sad that they can't shake Hollywood's concept of reality. The premiere showcased many of the left-wing causes - big, bad corporations, high-ranking military officers not caring of their Soldiers, drones are bad, hacking government computers is good (Snowden?), private military corporations are bad, and counterculture movements (Occupy?) are good. I am sure for the uninformed masses it is great entertainment - especially if you are a big-government conspiracy theory believer. It is too bad - as there was a lot of potential to highlight women of the FETs, CSTs, HTTs, and other like units in a positive light. Read a preview of the show by The Daily Beast, (April 5, 2015).

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