Sunday, July 26, 2015

Security News

ANDSF Deaths Last Six Months. At least 4,100 service members of the Afghan security forces died in the first six months of 2015. This is a 50% increase over the first six months of year 2014. 7,800 service members were wounded in the same period.

ANDSF and Taliban in Stalmate? According to The New York Times the "Afghan Security Forces Struggle Just to Maintain Stalemate" (July 22, 2015). Desertion is such a compelling problem that commanders are not allowing some soldiers leave as many do not return to duty and are "dropped from the rolls". Last year the outgoing (and last) IJC commander said that casualties were 'unsustainable" - and this year the casualties are much worse.

Afghan Army Losing the War? Franz-Stefan Gady asks "Is the Afghan Army Losing the War in Afghanistan", The Diplomat, July 22, 2015. Halfway through the fighting season, Afghan security forces are struggling to hold their ground. One retired Afghan general says "We are in a passive defensive mode - we are not chasing the enemy. Units get surrounded, and we don't send them support, so they are killed".

Faryab Province in Jeopardy? A recent news article (July 16) by Radio Free Europe wonders if Faryab province is slipping from Afghan government control.

Islamic Jihad Group (IJU). The folks at The Long War Journal provide us with an update (July 25) on a splinter group of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The IJU operates in Pakistan and eastern and northern Afghanistan.

ABP and ALP Surrender. According to a Tolo News report a large number of Afghan Local Police (ALP) and Afghan Border Police (ABP) surrendered to the Taliban after the insurgents attacked a joint military base in Warduj district in northeastern Badakhshan on Saturday (Jul 25th).

Responsible End to Afghan War. During an address to the Veterans of Foreign Was (VFW) convention President Obama stated that ". . . we brought America's longest war to a responsible end". File under things that make you say "Hmmmm".

General Milley Comments on Afghanistan. Gen Milley was questioned by the Senate during confirmation hearings on his thoughts of Afghanistan. He believes that the U.S. withdrawal should be a conditions based plan for drawing down, not a calendar-based plan. Milley is a former commander of the IJC. He is a nominee to head up the U.S. Army.

Faryab Suicide Attack. The death toll of a recent suicide bomber attack in Almar district has risen to 20.

Campbell and PAK COAS Meet. The NATO commander in Afghanistan and Pakistan General Raheel recently met to discuss the security situation along the Pak-Afghan border. So . . . did the U.S. general ask the Pakistani general when Pakistan would stop supporting the "Good Taliban"? Probably not.

Pakistani Shelling. In more border news the Afghan Foreign Ministry summoned the Pakistani Ambassador over Pakistani shelling along the border. There were four dead and two wounded in the incident.

Kabul Bombing Prevented. Kabul police stopped a vehicle laden with explosives prior to it reaching its target earlier in the week.

Salang Tunnel Attacked. Insurgents attacked the tunnel in northern Afghanistan along the Kabul-Mazar highway causing it to close for a period of time on Thursday, July 23rd.

U.S. Withdrawal Pace Not Determined. A spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan (COL Brian Tribus) says that an assessment and recommendations to the White House will be made before deciding a decision is done on the scheduled withdrawal in 2016. (RFE/RL, Jul 21, 2015).

Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Afghanistan. Some news reports say that a senior al-Qaeda leader has been killed in Bermal district of Paktika province by a U.S. airstrike. Abu Khalil al Sudani worked with Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden for a long time, was a member of al Qaeda's shura council and directed suicide operations. Read more in a news report by The Washington Post, July 23, 2015.

Mullah Omar? There has been long-term speculation about the status of the leader of the Taliban - some say he has been long dead and others feel he is still alive hiding under Pakistani protection in Quetta, Pakistan. Recent reports now say he may have been killed over two years ago. (Khaama Press, Jul 23, 2015).

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