Showing posts with label Balochistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Balochistan. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2016


"What was the point?" Nick Paton Walsh, a CNN correspondent, comments on the current situation in Afghanistan in a recent news report. A pessimist gets even more pessimistic. Read "Afghanistan war: Just what was the point?", CNN, February 25, 2016.

On "Strategic Withdrawal" from Musa Qala. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have pulled out of two districts in Helmand province - one of them Musa Qala district. The power of the Afghan central government is on the decline and the Taliban is winning on the battlefield in many cases. Read "The retreat from Musa Qala is not 'strategic withdrawal'", Prospect Magazine, February 25, 2016.

Thoughts on U.S. Return to Helmand. One two-tour veteran of the Afghan conflict wants to know why we are putting 500 Soldiers back into a province that 10,000 Marines and others had great difficulty in security. Read "I see my old battalion assigned to Helmand again and I wonder: What is the point?", The Washington Post, February 27, 2016.

U.S. Options in Afghanistan. Anders Corr writes that America has three options in Afghanistan. Read his thoughts in "Afghanistan: Western Curse Worse Than Taliban Disease",, February 24, 2016.

How to Pack for Helmand Province. A Marine veteran who served in Helmand lays out his suggested packing list for those heading there for the first time in "5 Things To Pack If You're Deploying to Helmand", Task & Purpose, February 25, 2016.

Baluchistan. The low grade insurgency in of one of Pakistan's provinces (Baluchistan - just south of the Afghan border) has taken its toll on its residents. Read more in "Pakistan's Invisible Baluch Displacement Crisis", Gandhara Blog - Radio Free Europe, February 24, 2016.

Post Cards from Afghanistan. Showing the personal side of the Afghan conflict, Robert Cunningham, provides us with photos of the battlefield in a photo gallery by Foreign Affairs, February 24, 2016.

Pakistan Cooperative? Secretary of State John Kerry says that Pakistan has been 'very cooperative and very engaged in the fight against terrorism'. Ummmm. Okay, take that with a grain of salt. Kerry is either naive or thinks we are really stupid. Read more in an analysis by Bill Roggio of The Long War Journal (Feb 25, 2016).

Afghan Analysis by CSIS. Anthony Cordesman, one of the more astute observers of the long Afghan conflict, has updated his analysis of the security situation in "Afghanistan: The Uncertain Impact of a Year of Transition", Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 22, 2016.

"Where We Went Wrong". Mark Moyar tells us that when a military wins tactically then strategic failure is usually the result of poor civilian leadership. Read more in "Where We Went Wrong, From Afghanistan to ISIS", Newsweek, February 21, 2016.

Australia: No Afghan Strategy. According to former Army chief Peter Leahy, Australia had no strategy in  Afghanistan. The security situation is sliding backwards and the U.S.-led coalition is struggling to find an exit strategy. (The Sidney Morning Herald, Feb 23, 2016).

Australian Press and Armed Forces. A war correspondent, Thom Cookes, says that it is disingenuous of the ADF to claim the story of soldiers serving in Afghanistan is largely untold when it's the ADF that has kept journalists at bay. Read more in "Afghanistan: the war they hid for too long", The Age, February 26, 2016.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Low-Level Conflict in Balochistan

Ann Wilkens, a member of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) Advisory Board, has wrote an article about the conflict in Balochistan - a region of Pakistan located south of Afghanistan's border. She provides ". . . an overview of this complex issue and concludes that political dialogue is urgently needed, if economic investment is to bring the intended, regional uplift and, most importantly, bring peace to a long-suffering population". There are many Balochs (about 600,000) who live in southern Afghanistan and some of these are refugees from Pakistan. Balochistan is Pakistan's largest province consisting of over 1/3 of the Pakistan land area; however, it represents only 5% of the nations population. While the majority of provinces residents are Balochs there are also significant amounts of Pashtuns and Hazaras. Learn more about this troubled region south of Afghanistan in The Crowded-Out Conflict: Pakistan's Balochistan in its fifth round of insurgency, by Ann Wilkens, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), November 16, 2015.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Balochistan - A Long Struggle

South of the Afghan border in an area of Pakistan known as Balochistan a long-time struggle for independence continues. This area, the size of Germany, is Pakistan's biggest and poorest province. The Baloch nationalists have been fighting for independence from Pakistan since 1947 - the year the country of Pakistan came into being. The Baloch are an ethnic minority with their own culture, language, history, and traditions. While the province is poor and undeveloped it is home to rich natural resources (oil, gas, minerals) and has a coastline with a deep-sea port. Many Balochs flee the fighting and head north over the border into southern Afghanistan. Read more in "Balochistan, The Bloodiest War You've Never Heard Of", by Laura Secorun Palet,, October 15, 2015.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Baloch Culture in Afghanistan

The Baloch people of Afghanistan are very closely tied to those who live in Iran and Pakistan. This area of the world where the Baloch people comprise the majority of the population is the size of France. However, within their respective countries they are minorities. The Afghan Baloch number about two million people. The Baloch people of Afghanistan are seeing a cultural revival. Read more in "Afghanistan's Re-Emerging Baloch", The Diplomat,  September 26, 2014.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Taliban Refuge in Baluchistan - How to Cope With the Sanctuary

A recent news article highlighted the difficulties of fighting the insurgents in Kandahar and Helmand Provinces when the Taliban have sanctuary in Baluchistan - a region of Pakistan located south of the Afghan border.  The Pakistani government has failed to halt the cross-border movement of Taliban and has not disrupted the sanctuaries the Taliban enjoy in Baluchistan.  Read more in "Afghanistan: U.S. seeks to cut off Taliban flow from Pakistan", The LA Times, October 11, 2010.