Sunday, November 20, 2016

Afghan War News Snippets

Female Journalists at Risk in Afghanistan. According to a recent news report "Afghanistan is Deemed Most Insecure Place for Female Journalists", Ariana News, November 14, 2016. Read more about the insecurity of Afghan journalists at the website of Reporters Without Borders.

Refugees Forced Back to Afghanistan. "After America's Longest War, Refugees Face Forced Return to Afghanistan", Lima Charlie News, by J. David Thompson, November 17, 2016.

Cash instead of Food, Tents, and Blankets. Some humanitarian organizations are looking at dispensing cash instead of material goods to the needy in Afghanistan. Read "The increasingly popular way to aid the needy in war-torn nations: Give cash", The Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2016.

Laura Bush Honored. Former First Lady Laura Bush was recently honored for her work on behalf of Afghan women. The International Republican Institute presented her with an award. (IRI, Nov 15, 2016).

UN General Assembly Supports Afghanistan. The United Nations unanimously adopted its annual resolution in support of the Government of Afghanistan. Of concern is the rise in civilian casualties and influence of violent extremists. Read more in a news release by the United Nations (17 Nov 2016).

$85 Million for a Kabul Hotel (that didn't open!). A hotel, built but not finished, is located right across from the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. It was to have more than 200 rooms, a conference center, and attached apartments. The plans to build the hotel were announced with great fanfare by the U.S. Embassy in 2009 . . . but . . . some things went very wrong. The money was funneled through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) - an agency run by the U.S. government to uses money to finance development projects overseas. A recent government watchdog report found that there was "troubling management practices and lax oversight". Hmmmm. The unfinished hotel is right across the street from the U.S. Embassy - how could you not be providing proper oversight? Read more in "How $85 Million Failed to Build a Swanky Hotel in Kabul"National Public Radio, November 17, 2016.

Trump and Afghanistan. Some believe that the Trump administration will want to fix Afghanistan right away - and in the process apply quick solutions that may not work. Observers believe that the Afghan conflict will only be solved with long-term strategies. Read "Trump's easy solutions won't work in Afghanistan", Deutsche Welle, November 17, 2016.

Germany to Repatriate Afghans. Some 12,500 Afghans have had their asylum applications rejected by Germany and will soon be on their way back to Afghanistan. It is estimated that about 5 percent of the 1/4 million Afghans who have reached Germany may be forced to leave. Read more in "Germany to repatriate about 12,000 Afghans"Deutsche Welle, November 17, 2016.

Where are the Visas? Thousands of Afghans served as interpreters for U.S. military forces across Afghanistan for a number of years. Many were promised Visas as a reward for their service in dangerous times. Now they are being hunted down by insurgents and they can't escape Afghanistan. The U.S. Congress and Department of State have fallen short in this respect. Read more in "Where are the Visas for the Afghans Who Helped American GIs?", The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2016.

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