Sunday, November 1, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets

USAF PJ's in Afghanistan. A pararescueman or "PJ" is interviewed about his job in Afghanistan in "How this elite Air Force rescue squadron's mission has evolved in Afghanistan", Stars and Stripes, October 29, 2015.

Spain Withdraws. Because things are going so well in Afghanistan, the NATO presence in Herat province has been downsized. Read more in "Spain Completes withdrawal from Afghanistan", Defense News, October 29, 2015.

China and Afghanistan. "A series of Chinese-financed infrastructure, energy, and transport projects has now raised hopes that the investments will help in establishing lasting peace in Afghanistan." Read more about some ambitious projects taking place in Central Asia that will indirectly help Afghanistan in "New Chinese Grand Strategy to Help Afghanistan", Gandhara Blog, October 31, 2015.

Leading Producer of Opium? Afghanistan. Despite $8.4 billion spent on counter-drug efforts in Afghanistan the country remains the leading producer of opium. (Ottawa Citizen, Oct 30, 2015).

Kabul's Drug Users. The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) provides us with a report on the tough living conditions that Kabul drug users endure. (AAN, Oct 29, 2015).

Flying Above Kabul. A news correspondent, Dan Lamothe, shares his experience of flying in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over Afghanistan in "An Army Chinook crew's mission over Afghanistan", The Washington Post, October 29, 2015.

Storied F-16 Based at Bagram. A fighter jet at BAF is credited with shooting down three aircraft in a single mission - making it one of the military's most decorated. (The Washington Post, Oct 29, 2015).

ATP 3-07.6, Protection of Civilians. This manual, dated October 2015, is published by the Department of the Army and outlines the responsibilities to protect civilians during military operations.

MSF Hospitals Hit - Afghanistan & Yemen. The outcry from the medical humanitarian group differs in two instances - the Saudi strike against a hospital in Yemen and a U.S. strike against a hospital in Kunduz. One analyst - Joshua Foust - examines the background in "How Can America Respond to a Double Standard in War?", Foreign Policy Research Institute Blog, October 28, 2015.

Taliban Fighter Costumes Popular. The Military Police on Bagram Airfield report that the most commonly scene Halloween costume is the "Taliban Fighter". Read more in a news report by Duffel Blog, October 31, 2015.

Afghanistan Lacking Revenue. Domestic revenues have accounted for 39 percent of the total budget expenditures in Afghanistan so far in 2015. Donor contributions make up the rest. Read more in a news report by The Washington Post, October 31, 2015.

Counterterrorism - Comparing Bush and Obama. "When It Comes to Counterterrorism, Why Bush and Obama Aren't So Far Apart", National Public Radio, October 30, 2015.

Army Artillery Open to Women. The United States Army has officially opened more than 19,000 field artillery jobs to women. (Army Times, Oct 29, 2015).

Attack Piece Upon Gen John Allen. General Allen (now retired) is a former commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) - the predecessor to Resolute Support. One author provides biting commentary on the distinguished and highly respected general - trashing him for his lack of ethics. Sometimes you got to wonder where these guys are coming from. Read "The Eroding Ethics of Senior Military Officers: John R. Allen", by James W. Weirick,, October 15, 2015.

Ridding Combat Arms of the "Macho" Male. A dissenting voice explains to us how the Defense Department is forcing culture change within the U.S. military to ensure the integration of women into combat arms units. Read "Changing the 'Macho' Male Culture of the US Military"Small Wars Journal, October 29, 2015.

Bacha Bazi - Legal Obligations? The recent coverage by The New York Times and other news media on the U.S. military's relationship with Afghan commander's who partake in Bacha Bazi is the topic of a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Read a legal sidebar entitled "Legal Obligation of U.S. Armed Forces to Intervene in Acts of Bacha Bazi in Afghanista", CRS, posted on Homeland Security Digital Library, October 22, 2015.

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