Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets (Apr 7, 2015)

Qarabagh Blast Kills Afghan Police. An explosion killed four police and two civilians in a blast on Monday, 6 April. They were killed in the Qarabagh district on Kabul after a police vehicle struck a roadside mine. (Tolo News, Apr 6, 2015).

MoD Minister Nominated - Finally. General Afzal Ludin has been nominated at the new Minister for the Ministry of Defense (MoD). He will soon be introduced to Parliament for a vote of confidence. (Tolo News, Apr 6, 2015).

New Taxes Protested by Kabul Businessmen. Afghan traders have shut their shops and are marching in Kabul to protest tax hikes. They say the taxes are unfair hikes in what they must pay the government. (Yahoo! News, Apr 6, 2015).

Two of 31 Harzara Hostages Dead. According to Khaama Press (Apr 6, 2015) two of the 31 abducted Hararas were found dead in Zabul province. Their bodies were found in Khak-e-Afghan district. One was murdered and the other (an older man) died of weakness. The hostages were abducted on February 24, 2015 by militants suspected to be part of the ISIS group in Afghanistan.

ISIS Recruiting in Taliban Territory. In what some observers see as a changing of the guard the Islamic State is recruiting in Afghanistan. (CNN News, Apr 6, 2015).

Bergdahl - "Attempted to Go Over to the Other Side". Computer forensics may derailed Bergdahl's defense. (The Weekly Standard, Apr 6, 2015).

"The Real Afghan War". An essay taken from chapter five of Anand Gopal's "No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes", - or "How an American Fantasy Conflict Created Disaster in Afghanistan". (The Huffington Post, April 6, 2015).

Info about Korean Hospital at Bagram. Korea has been operating a hospital at Bagram Air Field (BAF) in Parwan province since 2010. The hospital provides quality medical care for Afghan citizens. Read more in "Koreans sow seeds of hope in Afghanistan", The Korea Times, April 5, 2015.

Biometrics and the Changing World of Spies. The use of biometrics is hampering the ability of spy agencies to conduct their business. Iris scans and facial recognition software coupled with more and more public cameras in airports, train stations, stores, and public areas are making life difficult for the spy world. The routine collection and analysis of fingerprints, iris scans, and facial images are helping to ferret out terrorists and immigration fraudsters all over the world - but it is also making it difficult for undercover agents to remain anonymous. Read more in "To Catch a Spy", Foreign Policy, April 6, 2015.

Senators Visit to TAAC-E. A number of U.S. Senators recently visited Train, Advise, Assist Command East at Tactical Base Gamberi in early April 2015. The TAAC-East commander, BG Bentley, says that one example of how TAAC-E is assisting the 201st Corps is in helping to establish the Regional Military Training Center (RMTC) for the 201st Corps which will give the corps the capability to train new soldiers assigned to the corps. This is probably a bad example - as advisors assigned to the 201st Corps have been "assisting" with the establishment of the RMTC at least since 2010 (see press release by CJTF-101, August 2010). I would have to say that is very slow progress. In 2012 FedBizOpps.Gov issued a solicitation for the construction of the RMTC. (DVIDS, Apr 5, 2015).

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