Sunday, August 30, 2015

Security News

CRS Report on Afghanistan. Kenneth Katzman, a specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has wrote a report entitled Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, August 17, 2015. The report (PDF) is 80 pages long and has numerous charts, references, pictures, and more.

Kabul Attacks Up Since Last Year. A spokesman for Resolute Support Headquarters, RS Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications BG Wilson Shoffner, said last week that insurgent attacks have increased in Kabul compared to the past year. Read more in a news report by Tolo News, August 23, 2015.

3 Abducted ABP Found Dead in Ghazni. Three Afghan Border Police (ABP) officers kidnapped by insurgents in mid-August were killed. They were enroute to their base after a visit to families when captured. Read more in a news report by The New York Times, August 23, 2015.

Taliban Kill Uprising Civilians in Andar District. For a while there was hope that 'local uprisings' would spread throughout Afghanistan along the model of the Anbar Uprising that occurred in Iraq. However that hope soon fizzled out as ISAF had a hands-off approach and the Karzai regime played politics with the issue (only supporting those groups that advanced his political and corrupt agenda). The 'local uprising' groups have not fared well. Andar district was once highlighted by the press and others as an example of how to keep the Taliban in check at the local level. Without good support from ISAF (now RS HQs), the ANDSF, and the NDS these groups slowly melted away or were decimated by the Taliban. The insurgents recently killed 7 members of an Andar district, Ghani province group. (Note: sometimes uprising groups and the Afghan Local Police are lumped together in news reports). Read a news report by Khaama Press, August 29, 2015.

Policewoman Shot in Parwan. Unidentified gunmen killed a policewoman in Parwan province. See report in Tolo News, August 29, 2015.

Taliban Squabbles. Mullah Mansoor, the successor to Mullah Omar, is reported to have sent over 600 of his men to fight Mullah Dadullah in Zabul province. It appears that Dadullah favors the son of Mullah Omar as the leader of the Taliban. Read more in a news report by Khaama Press, August 2015.

Chart Depicting Taliban Leadership Crisis. Radio Free Europe has posted a diagram detailing the Taliban's leadership struggle.

Warduj District Requests Assistance. The central government of Afghanistan is being urged to launch a military operation with air support to defeat Taliban insurgents in the Warduj district of Badakhshan province. Read more in a news report by Khaama Press, August 29, 2015.

Report on Afghan Journalists. The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) released its six-month report in a press conference on August 27th. In the first six months of 2015 the AJSC recorded 39 cases of threat and violence against journalists. One journalist was killed and another 4 wounded. This is a 43% decline compared to the first six months of 2014.

Provincial Ulema Council Head Dies in Ambush in Uruzgan. At least three people were killed in an ambush by insurgents in central Uruzgan province on Saturday morning. See report by Tolo News,  August 29, 2015.

4 Bomb Makers Killed by Own Explosives. The PCoP of Khost province says that four militants who were making bombs were killed by their own explosives. Two others were wounded. (Khaama Press, Aug 27, 2015).

Taliban in Northern Afghanistan Swear Allegiance to New Emir. According to a posting by The Long War Journal (August 27, 2015) ". . . hundreds of heavily armed Taliban fighters gathered in the open in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz to pledge an oath of allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the new emir of the group". Read the news report.

Afghan Interpreter Killed. The Taliban killed a 22-year-old Afghan interpreter who worked several years for British forces. Read "Betrayal of the brave", Daily Mail, August 28, 2015. Read also "Britain curmudgeonly and ungraceful for abandoning Afghan interpreters", The Telegraph, August 24, 2015.

6 Policemen Disappear in Garamser District. At least six policemen have mysteriously disappeared from a checkpoint in Garamser district, Helmand province. A cook serving with the policemen was found dead. Read news report by Khamma Press, August 29, 2015.

22 ALP Members Reported Killed in Faryab. According to one Afghan news outlet 22 members of the Afghan Local Police or ALP were killed in Faryab province during an ambush. Read a news report in Afghanistan Times, August 28, 2015.

Attack on Gen Dostum Foiled. Three suicide bombers were arrested before they could attack the First Vice President of Afghanistan - who is sometimes referred to as General Dostum. They were arrested in the vicinity of Dostum's residence in Qaisar district.

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