Sunday, February 7, 2016

AWN Snippets

TFBSO - Not All Bad News? The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has been all over the failures of the DoD Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) that worked on the development of economic projects in Afghanistan. But not all folks out there wise on Afghanistan agree with SIGAR. Jeff Goodson, a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer with three deployments to Afghanistan expresses his view in an online article. Read "Legacy Rising: DoD Business Task Force Impact Evidence Grows", Real Clear Defense, January 28, 2016.

UN Drug Report. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has issued its "Executive Summary" for Afghanistan - Afghanistan Opium Survey 2015 dated October 2015.

Nicholson to RS Command. So John "Mick" Nicholson, a veteran of quite a few Afghan deployments will take Resolute Support. As the deck chairs shuffle, one wonders what happens to General John Campbell. He has done a great job under difficult circumstances in Afghanistan and deserves another posting - perhaps AFRICOM or EUCOM? Read "Will the Pentagon give Gen. John Campbell, the outgoing Afghanistan war chief, another job?", The Washington Post, January 30, 2016.

New Air Force Cdr in Afghanistan. BG Jeffrey Taliaferro will soon head up the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force - Afghanistan in Afghanistan. Part of his command will be TAAC-Air; the Air Force advisors training and assisting the Afghan Air Force.

DoDIG Report on Fuel Contracts. The Department of Defense Inspector General has issued a report saying that the controls for oversight of MoI fuel contracts was not effective. As a result of the lack of contract oversight and insufficient reporting data, CSTC-A did not have reasonable assurance that the fuel ordered and delivered to the Afghan National Police on the three MoI contracts valued at $437 million was used for its intended purpose. Read DoDIG report 2016-040 dated January 2016.

JIDA to Fall Under DTRA. The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency (JIDA) will now be realigned under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). (U.S. DoD, Feb 2, 2016).

Terminology - "2-pump chump". In today's Internet world there is lots to read - webpages, eBooks, blogs, newsletters and more. And there are a lot of writers (and would be writers) willing to express their opinion on just about everything - to include war. A new phrase I just learned is '2-pump chump'. Evidently it refers to some writers with just one or two war zone deployments under their belt who are now penning their opinions and thoughts of the war (whichever one they were in). I guess the term "2-pump chump" is used by some that believe if you don't have multiple deployments you don't know or haven't seen enough to write about. Hmmm. One can see a lot of war in one year; especially if that was a 15-month long deployment in Iraq in the 2006-2007 time frame. Just so you know I am about 5 or 6 tours beyond the "2-pump chump" level - depending on how you count deployments. Read more in a column by Tom Ricks posted on Foreign Policy, February 2, 2016.

Hard Times in Central Asia. The several countries to the north are facing economic difficulties that could fuel insurgencies in the future. Read more "In Central Asia, The Bad Times Have Arrived", Qishloq Ovozi Blog, Radio Free Europe, February 1, 2016.

Turkmenistan's Afghan Border and Russian "Help". Russia has offered Turkmenistan so help in guarding their border with Afghanistan. There have been several clashes between that country's security forces and Taliban elements located in northern Afghanistan. Both Russia and China are competing with each to make inroads politically, diplomatically, and economically in Central Asia. Turkmenistan is attempting to navigate the middle road in this competition. Read more in "Turkmenistan: We Don't Need Russian Help With Afghan Border", The Bug Pit,, January 29, 2016.

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