Sunday, August 30, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets

Bagpipes and the UK in Afghanistan. Approximately 200 soldiers from 2 SCOTS will be located in four sites in Kabul protecting ministerial advisors, mentors at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy, and the UK's aviation detachment. Read more in "Bagpipes announce the beginning of a new phase of UK involvement in the Resolute Support Mission", RS News, August 23, 2015.

New BSA for Contractors in Afghanistan. Existing provisions of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) will take full effect in September 2015 which will impact DoD and NATO coalition contractors working in Afghanistan. These provisions include visa and business license requirements. There are approximately 35,000 contractors in Afghanistan. Read more in a news article on, August 27, 2015.

Paper - "Professionalizing Ministerial Advising". A former advisor to Afghan ministries provides us his input on advising at the ministry level. Posted on PKSOI website.

Human Rights Key to Success Against Insurgents. The director of Resolute Support Essential Function Three, U.S. Army BG Mitchell Chitwood, recently attended a shura at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province attended by members of Train, Advise, Assist Command - East (TAAC-East) and members of the ANDSF.  The shura was organized by TAAC-East. BG Chitwood says that this was a first - a shura with coalition members and ANDSF coming together to discuss human rights. If that is a true statement then the meeting was a long time coming - as in 14 years! Surely the general was misquoted. Read more in "Human rights: a key to security in Afghanistan", RS News, August 2015.

Pay Raise for U.S. Military? It appears that President Obama will attempt to increase the pay of federal workers and military member by 1 percent effective in 2016. Congress can come up with its own plan (and it sometimes does). Read more in a news report by The Hill, August 28, 2015.

Afghan Journalists Under Fire. A news report by the Asia Division Deputy Director for Human Rights Watch details the occupational hazards of Afghan journalism. Human Rights Watch, August 27, 2015.

Life of a Guardian Angel. View a 3 minute long video by Resolute Support entitled "Life on Forward Operating Base Camp Connelly",, August 27, 2015. A few years back there were three SFAATs, a U.S. company, an ANA kandak, and other combat enablers. Now it is a temporary camp for TAAC-East advisors and their support (as in GAs).

Afghan Asylum Seekers Deported from UK. The UK is deporting Afghans back to Afghanistan - but there is a court order that prohibits deportation to most of the provinces in Afghanistan. Of the 34 provinces only three qualify. (The Guardian, Aug 26, 2015).

Crackdown in Pakistan on Afghan Refugees. Almost 90,000 Afghan refugees have returned home in recent months from Pakistan. There is a December 31 deadline for a return on all Afghan refugees. (Gandhara Blog, Aug 25, 2015).

Afghans and Pakistan. "Many Afghans associate the Taliban with neighboring Pakistan and blame Islamabad for their misery and decades-long armed conflict in their country." Read more in "Whay are the Afghans wary of Pakistan?", Deutsche Welle, December 24, 2015.

Ghani Issues Order to Curb CIVCAS. Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani has issues orders to government officials and the Afghan security forces to curb civilian casualties in the ongoing war. Read more in a news report by Tolo News, August 28, 2015.

What are the Troop Numbers for RS? Did you ever wonder which nations are contributors to Afghanistan's defense and training? Resolute Support HQs has a 'placemat' that will answer that question. See "Troop numbers and contributions".

Video - Airspace Management Advisor TAAC-East. In this video from Resolute Support headquarters an advisor, Ellyn Grosz, talks about what it means to advise the 201st ANA Corps and Operation Iron Triangle. Training involved working with the Afghan Army ATACs.

China's Leadership Role in Afghanistan. Two writers believe the China needs to step up and play a stronger role in Afghanistan's affairs. Read more in "Can China Assert Itself in Afghanistan?", The Diplomat, August 28, 2015.

Oshkosh Wins Major Contract. The Wisconsin truck-maker has won a large contract ($30 billion?) to make the U.S. Army's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) that will replace the Humvees. (Defense One, Aug 25, 2015).

950th Engineer Company Deployment Ends. The Wisconsin Army National Guard's 950th Engineer Company is back in the United States after its deployment to Afghanistan. Their primary mission was route clearance operations and providing security for the Kandahar Airfield and Forward Operating Base Oqab. The unit previously deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2010. Duluth News Tribune, August 27, 2015.

Book on Battle of Wanat now Digital. The Combat Studies Institute has enhanced the well-known work titled "Wanat: Combat Action in Afghanistan, 2008" with the iBook format. Read more in "Well-Known Combat Studies Institute Book Charges Headlong into the Digital Age", TRADOC Newsletter, August 26, 2015.

Pentagon Upset at French for Speedy Awards to U.S. Servicemembers. The bureaucratic pencil pushers at the Pentagon a chafing with the news that the U.S. military members have received a prestigious French award for their preventing a terrorist attack on a European train in August 2015. Read more in "Pentagon Angered at Speed of French Military Awards System", DuffelBlog, August 27, 2015.

Corruption in Balkh. Read why "Corruption is a Huge Challenge for Balkh Residents", Tolo News, August 26, 2015. A survey was done by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) of twelve provinces of Afghanistan including Balkh.

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