Sunday, November 6, 2016

Afghan News Snippets

Should Taliban Consider Peace Talks? A former Taliban envoy thinks so. There are internal discussions going on within the Taliban's fragmented organization on whether to pursue peace negotiations with the Afghan government. A leading member of the Taliban has come out on the record to support the idea of reconciliation efforts with the government. Read "Taliban Envoy Breaks Silence to Urge Group to Reshape Itself and Consider Peace", by Mujib Mashal, The New York Times, October 31, 2016.

Radicalized Youth in Afghan Madresses. One of the sources of recruitment by insurgent groups are the many unofficial and unregistered madresses in Afghanistan. Read more in "Warnings Over Afghanistan's Unofficial Madrasses", Institute for War & Peace Reporting, November 4, 2016.

Virtual Tour of Battle of COP Keating. Battle assessments and staff rides are an important part of the education of NCOs and officers. Some battlefields are impossible to physically visit. Gettysburg is easy but visiting remote areas on the other side of the world is problematic (and expensive). Some battlefields are no longer accessible to the U.S. military. The site of the COP Keating battle that took place in eastern Afghanistan's Nuristan province in October 2009 is one inaccessible location. However, technology is now available to afford observers a virtual tour of the battlefield. The CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment is a virtual reality system that makes visiting contemporary battlefields possible. Learn more in "Revisiting an Afghan Battlefield in Virtual Reality", Modern War Institute, November 2, 2016.

Afghan Returnees from Europe. Many Afghan families and individuals are crossing the border from Iran and Pakistan - due to many reasons - but primarily from some state harassment. To add to the returnees from these two countries is the increased number of voluntary and non-voluntary returnees from Europe. The tide has shifted for those from Afghanistan seeking asylum in the northern European nations. Public support for immigrants from the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan is eroding due to the staggering number of refugees fleeing to Europe over the past few years. But are there programs in place to assist these returning Afghan refugees? Read more in "Afghan Exodus: Can the Afghan government deal with more returnees from Europe?", Afghanistan Analysts Network, October 31, 2016.

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