Time for a Permanent Advisory Unit? The odds are that the U.S. is going to be deploying advisors to Afghanistan and Iraq for a long time. In addition, the "Building Partnership Capacity (BPC)" mission to many areas of the world will require service members who know how to train, mentor, and advise. Perhaps the time has come to consider a full-time and permanent unit similar to the Advise and Assist Brigades (AABs) deployed to Iraq or the Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) deployed to Afghanistan? Read more in "Learning From Our Mistakes in Selection and Training of Military Advisors", SOFREP, January 14, 2016.
Podcast on Afghan War. One war correspondent with lots of time in Afghanistan is interviewed about his thoughts on the war and the upcoming year. Listen to Franz-Stefan Gady in Can the Afghan War Be Won in 2016?, The Diplomat, January 14, 2016.
Obama SOTU Address: Not Much to Say on Afg. In his annual State of the Union address President Barack Obama did not have much to say about the never-ending conflict in Afghanistan. But, then again, why bring up bad news when you are trying to paint a rosy picture about your presidency? Read more in "Afghan war grinds on, but it's mostly absent from Obama's final State of the Union", by Missy Ryan, The Washington Post, January 12, 2016.
Worries on Cutting Defense Spending. David A. Ochmanek, a senior defense analyst at RAND Corporation, is concerned about defense cuts. Read "If We Keep Cutting Defense Spending, We Must Do Less", RAND Corporation, January 2016.
Veteran Expresses Perspective on Continued Fighting. A Marine veteran, who served with the infantry in Afghanistan, reflects on the 15th year of the Afghan War. (Task & Purpose, Jan 14, 2016).
2015 Fighting Season. Jason Lyall, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University, has posted a map depicting districts in Afghanistan that saw over 100 plus Taliban fighters gather to mount an attack on the Afghan security forces. See "Here are the five things you need to know about the 2015 fighting season in Afghanistan", The Washington Post, January 12, 2016.