Sunday, January 28, 2018

Afghan News Snippets

OCHA Humanitarian Bulletin.
 The December 2017 Humanitarian Bulletin is now available.

UN SC and Gridlock. The United Nations Security Council visited Kabul recently and managed to screw up traffic in Kabul (security concerns, you know). Read more about the UN SC's 'firsthand look' at the security situation in Afghanistan. (Gandhara, Jan 15, 2018).

River Problems in Northern Afghanistan. Countries upstream of the Amu River intervene to stabilize the river banks; but this seems to pose problems to Afghan landowners along the banks of the river in northern Afghanistan. "Afghan Land Endangered by Amu River", IWPR, January 23, 2018.

CIA's Khost Protection Force. The KPT is an Afghan militia backed by the CIA. It provide some security to the province yet is a source of problems for many local residents. (Think Progress, Dec 13, 2017).

U.S. Security Assistance to Pakistan - "Not so much". Read a background briefing on security assistance to a trouble-some neighbor of Afghanistan. (U.S. State Department, Jan 4, 2018).

Report on USAID in Afghanistan. For 16 years the U.S. Agency for International Development sought to deliver effective development results in a war zone. Read up on this topic in "USAID in Afghanistan: Challenges and Successes", United States Institute for Peace (USIP), December 21, 2017.

SIGAR and TFBSO - What's the Deal? The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has a reputation for calling out the U.S. military and USAID on failed projects in Afghanistan - of which there are hundreds. One SIGAR report heavily criticizes the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO). One accusation is that it spent $43 million on a gas station. But Jeff Goodson, a career Foreign Service Officer, throws the red BS flag. Read his article posted in The Hill  on January 17, 2018.

German Withdrawal "Too Soon". German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in recent years had been too rapid. (Reuters, Dec 18, 2017).

IDP Protection in Afghanistan. A new study reveals major gaps in access to key humanitarian services for internally displaced persons in Afghanistan. "Escaping War: Where to next? The Challenges of IDP Protection in Afghanistan", Norwegian Refugee Council, January 24, 2018.

Corruption and the Salang Pass. Much of the commerce between Kabul and the Central Asian States run along a road that traverses the Salang Pass. The road is in poor shape and corruption has much to do with the inability to repair the road. Read more in "Corruption at 13,000 feet: Afghanistan struggles to maintain a treacherous mountain trade route", The Washington Post, January 22, 2018.

Glossary of Humanitarian Security Terms. The Humanitarian Security Forum has published an online reference point for terminology in conflict zones.

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