Sunday, October 16, 2016
Afghan Security News
Bulgarian Contingent Completes Afghan Tour. The 31st contingent of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria returned to their home country after a 6-month tour in Afghanistan. Read more in "Bulgaria's 31st Contingent Returns from Afghanistan", Novinite.com, October 8, 2016.
'Ghost Soldiers' Still a Problem. Much of the Afghan police force and army is absent or does not exist. Read more in "Pentagon Asked to Explain Reports of Afghan 'Ghost Soldiers' On Payrolls", Radio Free Europe, October 7, 2016.
Helmand Battle Continues. The Resolute Support commander, General John "Mick" Nicholson, recently visited Lashkar Gar - the provincial capital of Helmand province in an effort to reassure residents and local leaders that the insurgents will not capture the capital. Read more in "US Commander Visits Embattled Southern Afghan City", Voice of America, October 8, 2016.
The news on Helmand province just seems to get worse as time goes on. A recent news report indicates that over 100 ANDSF were killed in a one-day battle. Seems the Afghan govt forces negotiated a truce with the Taliban that would allow them to vacate their position and fall back to Lashkar Gar (Helmand's provincial capital). The Taliban reneged as the govt forces retreated and there was quite a massacre. Read more in "Afghan Forces, Their Numbers Dwindling Sharply, Face a Resurgent Taliban", The New York Times, October 12, 2016.
Afghan Security Forces Struggling. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are finding the 2016 fighting season (call it Summer Campaign 2016 if you desire) a big struggle. Read more in "On Their Own, Afghan Forces Strain to Combat Taliban Offensives", The New York Times, October 9, 2016.
Helmand Suicide Bombing. A car bomb killed 14 people, including ten Afghan police officers in Lashkar Gar, the provincial capital of Helmand province on Monday, October 10, 2016. Read more in a news report by CBC News, October 10, 2016.
Taliban on the Offensive; ANDSF Playing Defense. The Afghan security forces have been responded to one security crisis after another. Several provincial capitals have been threatened in the past month - to include Tarin Kot, Kunduz, and Laskar Gah (surrounded for months). With each emergency the over-used and miss-used Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF) are moved around the country to counter the threats. In addition, the Afghan forces (clinging to a checkpoint mentality and lacking the basic knowledge of how to conduct a counterinsurgency campaign) are taking horrendous losses. Many times U.S. air support has been the difference on the battlefield. Other enablers (ISR and SOF advisors) have been extremely helpful. Read more in "On Their Own, Afghan Forces Strain to Combat Taliban Offensives", The New York Times, October 9, 2016.