Thursday, April 23, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets

SIGAR Ltr of Inquiry on Kandahar City Electric Power. The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has wrote to the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, General Campbell, and a few others requesting information on the status of the U.S. government's efforts to develop a reliable and sustainable source of power for Kandahar City after September 2015. Read the April 17, 2015 letter at the link below.

Taliban Beheadings to Increase? A wave of kidnappings and subsequent beheadings have some observers thinking that the Taliban are in competition with ISIS for the headlines. Perhaps the Taliban are trying to show that they can be as brutal as the Islamic State with their decapitation of the Hazaras they have kidnapped. Read more in a news story by The New York Times, April 22, 2015. 

ISIS Bombing in Jalalabad - a Close Examination. The Islamic State claimed credit for the bombing in Jalalabad that claimed 35 lives - and the Taliban denied the attack. The folks at the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) take a closer look at this incident in "First wave of IS attacks? Claim and denial over the Jalalabad bombs", AAN, April 22, 2015.

Pakistan Perceptions of the Taliban. By now everyone should know that, from the Pakistan perspective - there exists the 'Good Taliban" and the "Bad Taliban". But it gets more complex than that. Read "Education and Attitudes in Pakistan: Understanding Perceptions of Terrorism", United States Institute of Peace (USIP), April 21, 2015.

Afghan Interpreter - A Better Life in U.S. is Elusive. In a detailed news story an Afghan interpreter relates his story of working for five years as an interpreter for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the frustrating journey to get here (that would be visa problems with our State Department), and the difficulties adapting to life in the United States. Read "Where the Grave Isn't Free: An Afghan Interpreter Struggles with US Resettlement", Voice of America, April 22, 2015.

70 % Afghan Police Illiterate. UNESCO has stated that statistics show Afghanistan security institutions are struggling with the issue of illiteracy among its staff - especially in the police force. Read more in "60,000 Afghan Police are Illiterate", Tolo News, April 22, 2015.

CIA  - Help Wanted. The Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service is looking for summer help. College students can apply for an internship. The pay looks pretty good!

A Cost of War - Sexual Dysfunction. Here is an article I never thought I would read - but it opened my eyes a bit about combat injuries both physical and mental. Read "When the Costs of War Impact the Capacity for Intimacy", Task & Purpose, April 21, 2015.

IC Transparency Report. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released its "Calendar Year 2014 Transparency Report", April 22, 2015. This provides data, information, and statistics on the use of national security authorities.

Afghan Turkmen Caught in Middle. Fighting between Taliban militants and Afghan government forces have put some Afghan Turkmen on the northern Afghanistan border in a difficult position. Read more in "Afghan Turkmen Trapped Near Border with Turkmenistan",, April 22, 2015.

Contract Drone Pilots. Some companies are offering Air Force drone pilots up to twice as much money to fly drones as contractors. (, April 22, 2015).

Obama Narrative Threatened by Taliban. The administrations' story-line on Afghanistan is put in question by recent activity of the Taliban. The security situation on the ground may derail the planned departure of the U.S. from Afghanistan. (Fox News, April 22, 2015).

Insufficient Support to Partner Nation SOF Forces. Leading members of the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation (Stuart Bradin and Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew) say that U.S. security assistance is not supporting enduring programs that build credible special operations partners. They say that we are not selling or giving our partners the capabilities that are critical to defeating the imminent threats they face today in hybrid warfare. Read more in "Special Forces: What U.S. Gets Wrong", CNN News, April 22, 2015.

Why Groups Use Terrorism. A few college academics tell us about terrorism. (Political Violence @ a Glance, April 22, 2015).

Intelligence Reform. David Shedd and Matthew Ferraro provide us with six ways to make sure America's leaders and troops get the intel they need. Read "Intelligence Reform 2.0", Defense One, April 21, 2015.

Augmented Reality Glasses for the Battlefield. The Marines are testing a pair of glasses that provide intelligence to ground troops - using a head-up display and gun-mounted mouse. For a look into the future read this story in Popular Science, April 22, 2015.

Conference - Unmanned Systems 2015. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is running a conference and trade show on unmanned systems in Atlanta, Georgia on May 4-7, 2015.

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