Sunday, October 29, 2017

Security News for Afghanistan

Afghan Commando instructor provides direction to
student at Camp Morehead, Afghanistan.
(Photo Senior Airman Xavier Navaro, NSOCC-A, Oct 4, 2017)

Security Incidents

Mosque Bombings. Ali M. Latifi writes on the recent bombings of Afghan mosques in "The Enemy is Everywhere: Afghans Mourn Dead as Attacks Mount"The Cipher Brief, October 22, 2017.

How the Taliban Have Evolved. The Taliban are reaching out beyond the Pashtun population, shifting and adjusting tactics, and advancing its political agenda. Part of this tactical shift is the increasing intimidation of government security forces (at the individual level) in the rural countryside. Read "How Taliban are evolving to compete in Afghanistan", by Scott Peterson (Istanbul Bureau Chief), The Christian Science Monitor, October 26, 2017.

ANA Killed in Farah. Nine ANA soldiers were killed by the Taliban on Wednesday, Oct 25th at a security post in the western province of Farah (Gandhara Blog, Oct 25, 2017).

Surge of IEDs in Afghanistan. According to a Pentagon report the use of roadside bomb attacks around the world are declining - except in Afghanistan. The report by the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) credits the IED increase to the current military stalemate that favors the insurgents. See "Pentagon Report: IED Casualties Surge in Afghanistan"Foreign Policy, October 20, 2017.

201st Corps. An Insider Attack took place on Sunday, October 22, 2017 in northern Afghanistan.

Some Successes?

Nad'Ali District Liberated from Taliban. The ANDSF have destroyed the Taliban during the recent Operation Maiwand 7 held in October. The clearing mission resulted in huge gains for the Afghan security forces. At least that is what a news release by Resolute Support HQs would have us believe. (DVIDS, Oct 25, 2017).

Rival Militant Groups Fight in Herat. At least 40 Taliban have been killed in clashes between groups in Shindand district, Herat province. (Voice of America, Oct 22, 2017).

Remote Town Haven Against Insurgents. An area in Nuristan province, Afghanistan has managed to keep insurgents at bay. Read "Afghans Turn Remote Town Into Safe Haven Against Insurgents", Gandhara Blog, October 23, 2017.

Train, Advise, & Assist

Six More A-29s for AAF. The Afghan Air Force will receive more A-29 Super Tucanos for its growing fleet of aircraft. The A-29 Super Tucano is ideally suited for the counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan. (DoD Buzz, Oct 25, 2017).

SMA Dailey Addresses 1st SFAB. The members of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade will soon deploy to Afghanistan. The Sergeant Major of the Army - Daniel Daily - provided his thoughts about the new SFABs to an audience at Fort Benning. Seee "SMA Dailey pays a visit to Army's 1st SFAB"DVIDS, October 16, 2017. See also a related article in "Combat engineer turned combat advisor in Army's 1st SFAB"DVIDS, October 19, 2017.

Afghan Trainees go AWOL. A recent report by SIGAR says that a high percentage of Afghan military members who go to the United States for military training go AWOL. Over half are never caught and some could pose a security risk. See "Training Afghan soldiers exposes the US to a huge risk", New York Post, October 28, 2017.

Marine Advisors in Helmand Province. The Marines of Task Force Southwest have been sending out small advisor teams to the brigades of the 215th ANA Corps. See "Small teams of Marines advising Afghan brigades and battalions", Marine Corps Times, October 26, 2017.

India to Provide Assistance? President Ghani recently visited India. He probably presented a shopping list of military, economic, and developmental assistance projects. See "India mulls security-related assistance to Afghan forces", Khaama Press, October 25, 2017.

215th Corps Artillery Training. Some members of the ANA in Helmand province recently graduated from an artillery course at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan. U.S. Marine advisors with Task Force Southwest led the 8-week long course. Read "215th Corps soldiers building artillery skills during eight-week course"DVIDS, October 21, 2017.

RS Has New Deputy Commander. Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell is the new Dep Cdr of the Resolute Support Mission. Had conducted a change of responsibility with the out-going Dep Cdr on October 24th. Read a news release by RS HQs, Oct 24, 2017.

Afghan Commandos Graduate Course. Over 800 Afghan soldiers graduated from a 14-week long Afghan-led special operations course held at Camp Morehead (near Kabul). (DVIDS, Oct 25, 2017). 800 students is a lot of Joes to push through in 14-weeks. Is there a danger of producing quantity over quality? Hopefull SOF Truths numbers 2 and 3 were taken in consideration during the training course.

CIA and Pentagon's Omega Program. The Central Intelligence Agency will step up its use of paramilitary officers in Afghanistan in conjunction with US SOF operators from the Pentagon's Omega program. (NYT, Oct 22, 2017).

MI Unit Returns to FBNC. The 525th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina after a nine-month long deployment to Afghanistan. (Stars and Stripes, Oct 24, 2017).

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