Sunday, October 1, 2017

Security News - Afghanistan

Romanian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan. On September 15, 2017 a Romanian Soldier was killed in a suicide attack in Kandahar. Two other Romanian Soldiers were wounded in the attack when the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was targeted at their patrol.

Air Mobility and the CH-47 in Afghanistan. The Chinook helicopter has been a solid performer over the past decade and a half in the Afghan conflict. The helicopters have moved troops, heavy weapons, supplies, and cargo to remote mountain regions. Read more in "Chinooks Over Afghanistan: The Unsung Workhorse of America's Never Ending War", The Warzone, September 21, 2017.

How's That Strategic Security Plan for Afghanistan Working? Tom Bowman, a correspondent for National Public Radio, is interviewed on the security situation in Afghanistan. (NPR, Sep 26, 2017).

Kabul Security Plan. The Green Zone will soon expand. In years past I used to be able to walk (alone and unafraid) from the ISAF compound, enter Massoud circle (roundabout), and go to the New Kabul Compound (NKC). Then on a subsequent tour I had to go via vehicle (no foot movement), and in recent years I needed to take a chopper ride to go that short distance. That is how bad the security situation in Kabul has become (or how much more strict our force protection measures have increased). Now it appears there is a plan that will fix the problem - but probably at the expense of the residents of Kabul that will have to live with increased security measures. See "U.S. Expands Kabul Security Zone, Digging in for Next Decade", The New York Times, September 16, 2017.

And this . . .

'Green Belt' Security Plan. The folks at Afghanistan Analysts Network provide us details of the new security plan for Kabul. It should improve security for government institutions and international organizations. (AAN, Sep 25, 2017).

Kabul Airport Attack. Militants attack the Kabul airport the same day that SECDEF Mattis was visiting Afghanistan. It appears that it was a rocket attack. Some news reports indicate the Taliban and ISIS have both claimed credit for the attack.

MD-530F "Little Birds" - Success Story? According to one news report the little helicopter used by USSOCOM is working out very well for the Afghan Air Force. See "Warplanes: Little Bird Flocks to Afghanistan", Strategy Page, September 30, 2017.

CIA, Afghanistan, and . . . drones. One former worker in the 'drone industry' is speaking out against granting the CIA authority to conduct drone attacks within the borders of Afghanistan. "Ex-Drone Warrior: Don't Give the CIA Authority to Deploy Killer Robots in Afghanistan", (got to love the headline), The Daily Beast, September 28, 2017.

Aussies at ANAOA. The Afghan National Army Officer Academy is fortunate to have many able mentors and advisors helping the Afghan instructors perform their duties. Read more in a news report by SBS News, Sep 29, 2017.

U.S. Forces in Remote Areas. The United States has some of its forces advising (and fighting) at the tactical level. At times they are in remote areas at the very tail end of the logistical chain and require resupply. See "US steps up Afghan fight with airdrops to troops in Nangarhar", The Sunday Times, September 28, 2017.

DoD Report on CSTC-A Oversight of Afghan Ammo Usage. The DoD Inspector General has issued a 32-page report faulting the Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan for its oversight of where over $700 million in ammunition has gone in 2015-2016. Read the DoD IG report dated September 22, 2017.

More F-16s to Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force is increasing the number of F-16 Fighting Falcons in Afghanistan in order to provide more air support to U.S. and Afghan military forces fighting insurgents. (, Sep 19, 2017).

6,000 Plus More HMMWVs to Afghanistan. The U.S. DoD has approved a big contract that provides thousands of High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles to the Afghan security forces.

UH-60 Black Hawks. The U.S. has decided to replace the Afghan Air Force's Mi-17 utility helicopters with the Sirkorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter. The Mi-17 is currently used (has been for decades) by the Afghan Air Force and is ideally-suited for the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. The UH-60 is not the preferred chopper for the AAF but political considerations drove the U.S. to the UH-60 option.

Abducted Finnish Woman Released. A Finnish aid worker who was kidnapped in Afghanistan has been released. A Swedish organization, Operation Mercy, that employed the woman has provided little details of the abduction and the release. She was taken captive on May 20th. (ABC News, Sep 14, 2017).

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