Monday, April 27, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets

Drone Attacks. Despite the recent accidental killing of two hostages in a drone attack against al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan the drone program still enjoys strong support among members of Congress. Read "Deep Support in Washington for C.I.A.'s Drone Mission"The New York Times, April 25, 2015. In another news story Senator McCain thinks that "Drones should shift hands from CIA", The Hill Blog, April 24, 2015.

MEC. The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) is expressing concerns about the rise of corruption in Afghanistan. The MEC has concerns that governmental organizations don't cooperate with the MEC activities. The MEC has released its six month report over corruption in Afghanistan.

Kunuz Military Operation. the Afghan security forces launched a military opn in Kunduz City and Qala-e-Zal district and there are reports of heavy fighting.

Desperate Situation for Turkmen of Baghdis Province. The situation for ethnic Turkmen in the northwestern province of Baghdis is dire. Read more in a news report from Gandhara Blog, Radio Free Europe, April 26, 2015.

India and Afghanistan - Natural Allies. President Ghani will soon be in India where he will attempt to smooth over relations with India. A writer looks closely at the relationship between the two countries in "Afghanistan-India: Natural Allies in an Unnatural Setting", Eurasia Review, April 25, 2015.

Afghan Elite Departing Afghanistan. Many Afghans are planning their 'exit strategy' from Afghanistan. The stream of refugees from Afghanistan has persisted for over 30 years starting with those fleeing the communist regime, the Soviet occupation, the civil war among the mujihideen, the takeover by the Taliban, and the conflict since the U.S. invasion in the fall of 2001. That exodus continues today with many of the Afghan elite (those with money) departing for a country that will take them. The worsening security situation means even more will leave Afghanistan. Read "Afghanistan's elite fleeing to Europe", Deutsche Welle, April 26, 2015.

Bank Official Shot. An official of the Kabul Bank was shot dead in Uruzgan province.

Kandahar U.S. Army Soldiers Injured by IED. Three Soldiers were injured by an IED while traveling in their MRAP near Kandahar. They were experiencing brain injuries and a team from the 455th EAES flew to their base for further examinations and treatment. Read more in a news story by CENTCOM, April 21, 2015.

Ring Road - Incomplete and Expensive Project. The 'Ring Road' encircles the heart of Afghanistan connecting the cities of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mes-e-Sharif. Over half of the countries population lives within 20 miles of this 1,300 mile long circular road. The GroundTruth Project has produced a series entitled "Foreverstan: Afghanistan and the road to ending America's longest war". Read a news story about the project and check out the series here at

Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. The new government leadership in Kabul is faced with a balancing act between the two nations of Saudi Arabia and Iran. President Ghani supports the Saudi operation against the Houthi - a Yemeni Shiite rebel group backed by Iran. But at the same time Ghani is trying to improve relations with Iran - his very large neighbor bordering on his western frontier. Read "Afghanistan tries to strike balance in escalating Iran-Saudi rivalry", The Guardian, April 21, 2015.

Hemorrhage-Halting Blood Sponges. Special Operators are receiving a supply of injectable sponges designed to stop blood flow on the battlefield. Read more in a news story by Army Times, April 26, 2015.

Acting Police Chief Killed - Uruzgan. The acting police chief of southern Uruzgan, General Gulab Khan, has been killed in the province on April 25th. A civilian, which some press reports describe as his friend, was also killed. He was in this position only a short time - assigned when Matiullah Khan was killed in a suicide attack in Kabul in March. (Khaama Press, Apr 26, 2015). A Reuters news story says a junior officer may have killed the acting PCoP. 

Social Science and Violent Extremism. An anthropologist, Scott Atran, examines the motivations of extremists who travel to the Middle East as converts to Islam. Read "Here's What the Social Science Says About Countering Violent Extremism", The Huffington Post - Science, April 25, 2015.

5th Afghan-Turk International Expo. This expo was held in Kabul from 21-24 April. It was the fifth such exhibition. The purpose of the expo is to boost business relationships between the two countries. Read more in a news story from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries, April 21, 2015.

Females and Marine Infantry Officer Course. After 32 months of attempts by women to pass the Marines infantry officer course the experiment may be coming to a close. None of the women who attempted the course has passed due to the extremely high standards of physical fitness. Read more in "Decisions loom after Marine infantry officer experiment ends", Marine Corps Times, April 25, 2015.

Women and Afghanistan. Marriet Schuurman, the NATO secretary-general's special representative for women, peace and security is interviewed by Gandhara Blog (Radio Free Europe) about women's rights in Afghanistan. One of the main points of the interview is the gender integration into the Afghan security forces. Read more in "NATO Helps Afghanistan to Preserve Women Rights", April 26, 2015.

ARSOF Next. A special edition of Special Warfare Magazine (April 2015) is available online. Articles include: ARSOF 2022, ARSOF Lineage, Characteristics of the ARSOF Unit, Traits of the ARSOF Soldier, and more.

Electricity-Generating Backpack. Science and technology is a wonderful thing. Watch a video of Marines testing a backpack that will generate electricity and charge up batteries. See "With the Gear - Lightening Your Load, Lightening Your Way", DVIDS, September 2014.

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