Sunday, December 13, 2015

Security News

A-29 Super Tocano
A-29's Soon to Deploy - Minus a Few Pilots. Two Afghan Air Force (AAF) pilots who have been training at with the 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in the United States since February are now missing. While they pose no threat to the U.S. (let's hope) the AAF is now short two very valuable pilots for their not-yet-introduced and very-late-in-deploying counterinsurgency close air support planes. The pilots are probably happier washing dishes in the kitchen of a D.C. restaurant than flying around Afghanistan getting shot at. (USA Today, Dec 9, 2015).

USAF Mission in Afg. The Diplomat's Franz-Stafan Gady is currently in Afghanistan reporting on the ongoing war against militants in the country. His latest report is "Afghanistan: US Air Force's Mission Has Not Changed" dated December 11, 2015.

Info on B-1 Bomber. Wesley Morgan writes about the missions of a USAF bomber in Afghanistan (and elsewhere). Read "The B-1 bomber: The underappreciated workhorse of America's air wars", The Washington Post, December 30, 2015.

Kandahar Airport Attacked by Taliban. Insurgents and Afghan security forces battled on Wednesday, Dec 9th after Taliban militants stormed the airport complex in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. As many as 37 people died during the attack with an another 35 plus wounded. Some reports put casualties above 50. The insurgents wore ANDSF uniforms. (Los Angeles Times, Dec 9, 2015). See also "Afghan airport remains closed after Taliban launches daring attack", The Washington Post, December 9, 2015.

Insurgent Groups Duking it Out in Shindand. Rival Taliban factions loyal to Mullah Akhtar Mansour (recently wounded or killed depending on the press report) and Mullah Abdul Rasool have been clashing in a district in Herat province. Go for it!

Spanish Embassy Attacked. Insurgents mounted an attack on Friday, Dec 11th against a guesthouse near the Spanish Embassy in Kabul. Two Spanish policemen and four Afghan police officers were among the dead. The three insurgent attackers were killed. The attack began with a car bomb blast against the gate of the guesthouse. The US Embassy in Kabul issues a statement condemning the attack. Some Twitter accounts say that Norwegian SOF along with Afghan SOF responded, probably the Crisis Response Unit, to the attack. (BBC News, Dec 11, 2015). And "Fighting in Kabul's Diplomatic Quarter Ends, Afghan Officials Say", The New York Times, December 12, 2015.

Taliban Offensive in Helmand Province. The Taliban have made some gains in Helmand province this past fighting season and it appears that the fighting season is still ongoing. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have had trouble holding on to some of the districts in the province. Reportedly Khansheen district has fallen to the Taliban after weeks of seige and intense fighting. Read the plight of villages in Chah-e Anjir village in a news report - "Afghan Village 'A Living Hell' Amid Fighting", Gandhara Blog, December 8, 2015.

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