Sunday, November 12, 2017

Afghan War News Snippets

Afghans Wary of Trump Plan. While the Afghan elite in Kabul applauded the roll-out of Trump's strategy for Afghanistan and his tough stance on Pakistan - others are not so keen on Trump's plan. Read "Afghans Wary of Trump's Pledge to Challenge Terrorists & Islamabad", The Cipher Brief, November 5, 2017.

Farsi or Dari? There is a language dispute going on in Afghanistan. An interesting article on how the BBC changed the name on its website from Farsi to Dari and how it ignited a political storm. (Radio Free Europe, November 7, 2016.

Regional Security Conference. At a conference held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan the main topic was Afghanistan. The conference ended up with speeches and discussions about who is the main cause for instability in Afghanistan with fingers pointed in almost every direction. Read Catherine Putz's description of the event in "At the Samarkand Conference, Bilateral Bad Blood and Mistrust Loom Large", The Diplomat, November 11, 2017.

Friendly Fire Incident of June 2014. A few years back five U.S. Soldiers and an Afghan soldier were killed when a B-1 bomber dropped ordnance on their position. An Air Force investigation blamed the Special Forces team on the ground but members of the SF community say that the B-1 was the wrong aircraft for the close air support mission. Read more in "The Afghan War's Deadliest Friendly Fire Incident for U.S. Soldiers", CBS News, November 9, 2017.

Rochester, NY Army NG Aviation Unit Completes Deployment. Members of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation has returned from an 8 month long deployment to Afghanistan. The aviators flew the CH-47 transport helicopter - a workhorse for the Afghan conflict. (DVIDS, Nov 8, 2017).

Climate Change and Afghanistan. The agriculture sector in Afghanistan is deeply affected by weather and climate. Afghan farmers, for the most part, do not have a good understanding of how climate change is affecting their livelihood. Read "For Afghan farmers, climate change is 'god's will'", Deutsche Welle, November 11, 2017.

Afghanistan NOT Banning WhatsApp and Telegram. The popular messaging services will not be banned by the Afghan government. The two mobile apps are popular among smartphone users in Afghanistan. Of course, the Taliban also use the service as well. Some say a temporary ban was implemented because the Taliban militants use the encryption service with the apps. (Radio Free Europe, Nov 7, 2017).

Privatizing the Afghan War. Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, believes that eventually the Trump administration will move to privatized elements of the Afghanistan war. (Washington Examiner, Nov 6, 2017).

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