Thursday, April 16, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets

Islamic State 'Psychological Warfare'. A former Afghan spy chief (National Directorate of Security) Amrullah Saleh says that the presence of the Islamic State amounts to propaganda and does not reflect reality on the ground. Read more in a news report by Gandhara (Radio Free Europe), April 14, 2015.

Ismail Khan on ISIS. In an interview the former warlord, governor, cabinet member, muhjahideen fighter, and "Lion of Herat" says that the Islamic State is a huge problem. (Yahoo! News, April 14, 2015).

IED in Kandahar. A road planted IED killed two civilians in Podena village of Arghandab district on April 15th. (@KandarharMedia, Twitter).

Kabul Hail Storm. Kabul saw some big chunks of hail fall on Wednesday.

Faryab Province Under Taliban Control? A member of the Afghan parliament representing northern Faryab province says that insurgents have much of the province under their control. He says that a prominent leader of the ANSF in the area is corrupt and he has sent his family to Canada and Sweden to live. He also says that clearing operations are ineffective - as soon as security forces depart a 'cleared area' the insurgents move back in. See news report. (Gandhara Blog - Radio Free Europe, April 15, 2015).

Blackwater. The private military corporation known as Blackwater was in the news again. This company provided many security contractors (and other specialties) to the Iraq and Afghan conflicts over the years. Former employees involved in an incident in Baghdad years ago were just sentenced to lengthy prison sentences. James Risen and Matthew Rosenberg look into the history of Blackwater in their article "Blackwater's Legacy Goes Beyond Public View", The New York Times, April 14, 2015.

Afghan Cabinet. Some nominees for the cabinet are having difficulty with current or past dual citizenship status. Many are 'technocrats' with years of foreign work experience and residence but that is a hard sell for some conservative members of the Afghan parliament.

Soft Security Issues in Central Asia. Kazakhstan has taken regional leadership on soft security issues (water management, regulating migrations and refugees, disaster preparedness, etc.) in Central Asia. Read more in "Addressing Soft Security Challenges in Kazakhstan and Central Asia", Central Asia Program (CAP), February 15, 2014.

MARSOC and Glock 19. It appears that the Marines Special Operators will be using the 9mm Glock 19. Read a recent news report in the Daily Caller, April 145, 2015.

Women in Combat and the "Silent Majority". Those members of the military who favor the integration of women into infantry units and on Special Forces Operational Detachments (ODAs) usually will not be suffering the consequences - as they are far removed from those units activities on the battlefield or the training environment. On the other hand - there appears to be a majority that are keeping their opinions to themselves - worries about retaliation for not supporting the administration's efforts and because they are avoiding the label of 'chauvinist'. Read more in "Women in Ground Combat Units: Where's the Data?", by Anna Simons in War on the Rocks, April 15, 2015.

Women and Ranger School. The Washington Post has a news story about the women that are helping the Army with integrating women into Ranger School. (April 14, 2015).

F-35 Fighter's Maintenance System. The next-generation software system designed to detail maintenance problems and issues for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is having some debut issues. Read a news story in Air Force Times, April 15, 2015.

Pentagon Channel No More. The Defense Department's Pentagon Channel is being discontinued. Read more in Defense One, April 14, 2015.

Afghan Interpreters and the UK. There are some who say that the United Kingdom has let down the loyal Afghans who served as interpreters for British forces in Afghanistan. Read a news story on the topic (Express, April 15, 2015).

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