Sunday, July 19, 2015

Afghan Security News

Afghanistan Drug Reporting System (ADRS). The Afghan ministry in charge of counter narcotics has launched an interactive online system for all counter-narcotics related data in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Drug Reporting System will be a key component for the leadership in the coordination role in countering drugs. The online tool compiles data by sector and location from the nine entities (Ministries of Justice, Interior, Public Health, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, and international organizations) involved in counter narcotic initiatives. Read more in "First-ever comprehensive online system to counter narcotics launches in Afghanistan"UN News Centre, June 23, 2015. For more on the Afghan drug problem you can read a recent RAND Corporation report entitled Reducing the Cultivation of Opium Poppies in Southern Afghanistan, 2015.

Fight for Kunduz. With the opening of the fighting season (April) the Taliban made a major effort to take districts in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. In May they seized one or two Kunduz districts for a few days before being pushed back. In June the Taliban came within four miles of the provincial capital. However, the Afghan government rushed reinforcements to the city to stem the attack. The Washington Post published a news article with a synopsis of the attacks on Kunduz. As of early July the city was still threatened but unlikely to fall to the Taliban. The fighting has put much development work into jeopardy (Deutshe Welle, Jul 2, 2015).

ANA General Caught Transporting Heroin. A senior Afghan general from northern Afghanistan was arrested after being caught transporting a large amount of heroin in his military truck. Perhaps he should have been paying attention to events in Kunduz? (NBC News, July 1, 2015).

Suffering Refugees. The onset of the 2015 fighting season has resulted in a large number of refugees in the north of Afghanistan. (Gandhara Blog, Jul 8, 2015).

Budgets and Bullets. The head of SIGAR, John Sopko, recently (May 2015) spoke before an audience at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) about the status of the Afghan security forces. You can read his very informative speech on the CSIS website in Budgets and Bullets: Taking Stock of Afghanistan's Security Forces.

DoD Casualty. The U.S. Department of Defense announced the death of a DoD civilian who was supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan. Krissie K. Davis of Talladega, Alabama was killed on June 8, 2015 during an indirect fire attack on Bagram Airbase. She was a member of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) at Anniston, Alabama and deployed to DLA Disposition Services Bagram as part of the civilian expeditionary force. Read more in a news story by The New York Times (June 10, 2015).

Civilian Casualty in Southern Afghanistan. A Resolute Support contracted civilian died as a result of a non-battle related medical condition in southern Afghanistan on June 27, 2015.

Parliament Attack. The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) has accused the Pakistan ISI of financing and planning the June 22 attack by six members of the Taliban on the Afghan Parliament. The Pakistani foreign office rejected the accusations. A woman and child were killed during the attack.

NATO Convoy in Kabul Attacked. In June 30th a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed car near a military convoy on the main highway leading to Kabul's airport. There were many civilian casualties - as many as three dead and 60 injured (Radio Free Europe, June 30, 2015). NATO reported that two of its personnel suffered minor injuries. Some reports (NYT, Jul 1, 2015) indicate that an angry crowd attacked U.S. military personnel at the scene and one Soldier was stabbed during the confrontation. The advent of the fighting season has seen almost weekly attacks in Kabul and numerous threat warnings.

The Afghan "Mini-Pentagon" is now complete. The four-year long building project will serve as the headquarters for the Afghan Ministry of Defense and its Afghan National Army. The building cost over $160 million. It is five stories high, with barracks, wastewater treatment facility, and power plant. The dining halls (3) can seat 1,000 people. Read more in "Afghanistan gets 'mini-Pentagon as troops struggle"Associated Press, June 12, 2015.

New 205th Commander Improves Contracting Process. According to Essential Function 1 advisors the new cdr of the 205th ANA Corps is bringing much needed command emphasis on eliminating corruption in the contracting field. (DVIDS, June 26, 2015).

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