Showing posts with label HIG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HIG. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Afghan Security News Update (20161002)

Nangarhar Province: A ISIS Enclave. The Islamic State attempted to set up base areas in several provinces within Afghanistan; but it's success was largely limited to Nangarhar. A writer from the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) in "Descent into chaos: Why did Nangarhar turn into an IS hub?", AAN, September 27, 2016.

From Frying Pan to the Fire. Nangarhar residents are speaking out about the cruelty of the ISIS enclave. Read "From the Taliban Frying Pan to the Islamic State Fire", by Heather Barr, Foreign Policy, September 27, 2016.

Pakistan Attempts to Plug Illegal Border Crossings. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is remote, sometimes desert, sometimes mountainous and is extremely porous. The two countries share a 2,600 kilometer border that has several hundred irregular crossing points. Pakistan is building some outposts to try and halt some of the smugglers and 'terrorists' who cross unofficially. (Voice of America, Sep 27, 2016).

Training Foreign Air Forces a "Core Mission". The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, recently called the training of foreign Air Forces a core mission of the US Air Force. He recently visited Afghanistan and was worried when told that being a U.S. Air Force trainer in Afghanistan wasn't a 'good job posting'. Read more in "Dunford: US Air Force Should Incentivize Foreign Training Mission", Defense News, September 26, 2016.

Afghan Medevacs Overworked. The heavy casualty rate experienced by the ANDSF during the Summer Campaign 2016 has seen the Afghan Air Force medevac system stressed. Read more in "One Week. Hundreds of dead and wounded. How Afghan forces are struggling with heavy casualties", The Washington Post, September 30, 2016.

Afghan AWOLs in U.S. Seven members of the Afghan military have gone 'absent without leave' in the United States in the month of September. All of them were attending military training in the United States as part of the International Military Student program. Read more in a Fox News report (Sep 27, 2016).

NATO Troops Injured by IED. According to some news reports four Romanian troops and an Afghan interpreter were injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Checkpoints: Still Hindering the ANDSF. According to the commander of the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan the high number of checkpoints maintained by the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army are caused by poor leadership and politics. It appears that the 'Checkpint Reduction' campaign waged by Resolute Support advisors last spring has been relatively ineffective. Read more in "Checkpoints Continue to Plague Afghan Security Forces", The Diplomat, September 27, 2016.

Insider Attack Kills 12 ANA. Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in their sleep last week by fellow comrades in an outpost near the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.  Two soldiers joined up with the Taliban after conducting the insider attack. (The World Post, Sep 27, 2016). See also a story by Radio Free Europe, September 27, 2016.

Peace with HIG?

A peace deal was signed between the Afghan government and the Hezb-e Islami (led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar). The HIG has been relatively dormant the last few years. The Taliban have come out against the peace deal that the insurgent group HIG and Afghan government recently signed. According to some reports the agreement was signed via conference over the Internet using Skype! The U.S. was not a party to the agreement; which was negotiated by the Afghan High Peace Council.

The exiled leader of HIG has been granted amnesty for past offenses (he is referred to as "The Butcher of Kabul"). Of course, the United Nations is listing members of HIG to include its leader as terrorists; so the Afghan government could conceivably ask for the HIG names to be removed. One wonders if Hekmatyar will be running in the next presidential election? Expectations need to be managed because the peace agreement with HIG will hardly affect the level of violence within the country or of war on the battlefield. HIG is not the military power it once was.

Read more about the peace agreement with HIG:
"Peace With Hekmatyar: What does it mean for battlefield and politics?", by Borhan Osman, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), September 29, 2016.
"Taliban Lambast Afghan Peace Deal"Gandhara Blog, September 26, 2016.
"Critics Protest Afghan Peace Deal with Black Facebook Profiles", Radio Free Europe, Sep 29, 2016.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Peace Accord With HIG? A Deal with the Devil?

It appears that the Government of Afghanistan and the Hizb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) insurgent group have reached an agreement to stop fighting. The insurgent group was formed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the mid-1970s. It became one of the main mujahideen factions during the fight against the Soviets and puppet Afghan regime in the 1980s and a main player during the civil war after the Soviet withdrawal. The group has been accused of numerous human rights abuses by many international groups. In recent years the militant group has been relatively ineffective and relegated to the sidelines. This peace agreement with the "Butcher of Kabul" may more symbolic in nature with an unlikely effect on the level of hostilities. The peace agreement with the HIG will (in the view of the U.S.) hopefully set the stage for successful peace talks (and agreements) with other insurgent groups fighting the Afghan government.

Read more:
"Afghanistan Signs Peace Deal With Hard Line Militant Group", Radio Free Europe, Sep 22, 2016.
U.S. Embassy Peace Accords Statement, Embassy of the United States, Kabul, Afghanistan, September 22, 2016.
Draft Peace Agreement Between Government and Herb-I-Islami Gulbuddin, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), September 22, 2016.