Sunday, January 24, 2016

Afghan War News Snippets

Emotional Reactions to Bergdahl. Welton Chang explores the robust explanations for the strength of the near-involuntary reactions to any mention of Bergdahl (the U.S. Army deserter) and his actions. Read "The Psychology Behind Strong Emotional Reactions to Bergdahl", Task & Purpose, January 18, 2016.

Petraeus to be Demoted? It appears that SECDEF Carter is going to weigh in on the General Petraeus case. It appears that he is leaning toward a demotion. Evidently it is okay to pass thousands of emails containing classified information over an unclassified non-government email server using your private email account while Secretary of State; but you can't pass a few small notebooks with your notes in them to an officer (LTC) in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps with a Top Secret clearance (who happens to be your biographer). Hrrrrummmmppph. See "Exclusive: Pentagon May Demote David Petraeus", The Daily Beast, January 18, 2016.

SIGAR Report on TFBSO. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) testified before Congress on January 20, 2016 on the failures of the DoD Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan (TFBSO). The preliminary results show serious management and oversight problems. You can read a transcript of the testimony posted on the website of SIGAR.

TFBSO and Goats for Afghanistan. Read "How the US Blew Millions of Dollars, Airlifting Cashmere Goats to Afghanistan", Mother Jones, January 21, 2016.

GPS Data and USAID Medical Centers. "The geospatial coordinates for a number of Afghanistan medical clinics are incorrect in data shared between the U.S. and allies in the region. In a report published earlier this month by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), some 10 of the 32 medical clinics set up by the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Kabul region have incorrect GPS coordinates . . . " Read "GPS data failing USAID hospitals in Afghanistan", C4ISR & Networks, January 19, 2016.

Taliban Telecom Tax. Looks like the Taliban have continued their practice of running a 'protection racket' for operators of Afghan telephone companies and tower operators. Read "Afghan Taliban flex muscles with new telecom tax", Yahoo! News, by Anuj Chopra, January 18, 2016.

Periodical - Military Officer. The January 2016 edition of the magazine by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is available online. Good interview of General Colin Powell (retired) on the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm.

PM Australia Commits More Troops. The prime minister for Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, has committed an extra 20 troops to the mission in Afghanistan to assist in the training of Afghan troops. He met with service members at Qarga - the Afghan national army's officer training academy. (The Chronicle, Jan 18, 2016).

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