Showing posts with label Petraeus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Petraeus. Show all posts

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Commentary on Afghanistan

Petraeus on Afghanistan. General (Ret) David Petraeus was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour about the current situation in Afghanistan and possible future strategy. He says that an increase of 3K to 5K troops is an important step to take. He believes the Department of Defense along with other agencies will soon roll out a 'new' strategy that will stop the decline of security in Afghanistan. Read more in "Petraeus: We went to Afghanistan for a reason; and we need to stay", PBS Newshour, June 16,2017.

Pakistan's Anxieties? C. Christine Fair once again identifies Pakistan as the major problem facing Afghanistan in solving its security issues in "Pakistan's Anxieties Are Incurable, So Stop Trying to Cure Them", War on the Rocks, June 21, 2017.

An Alternative Option to Surging Troops. Daniel L. Davis, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities, presents his opinion on the expected 'mini-surge' of 3-5K additional troops to Afghanistan. Instead of more troops the U.S. should put pressure on Kabul to make good progress in reducing corruption and engage in a regional diplomatic effort to reduce the Pakistan support to the insurgency. Read his article "Instead of sending more soldiers to Afghanistan, Trump should do this", Washington Examiner, June 21, 2017.

US Strategy Needs China's Support. The new U.S. administration will soon roll out its 'Afghan strategy'; however, it faces a difficult task of getting Pakistan and Afghanistan talking again. China can help. Daud Khattak writes "Whatever the New US Strategy in Afghanistan, It Can't Succeed Without China", The Diplomat, June 21, 2017.

Anthony Cordesman on Afghanistan. Cordesman - of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) - offers his perspective and some recommendations about the stability and security of Afghanistan in "One-Size-Fits-All Approach Fails in Afghanistan", The Cipher Brief, June 23, 2017.

U.S. Media Absent on Afghanistan. Pete Metzger, a former Marine officer, feels that the U.S. media is pre-ocuppied with news about Russia and they not covering the Afghan conflict properly in "The Media Miss the Mark on Afghanistan", National Review, June 23, 2017.

Trump's Plan for Afghanistan - a Break from the Past Admin. Peter Bergen, a CNN national security analyst, comments on the new plan for Afghanistan in "Trump's emerging plan for Afghanistan breaks with Obama approach", CNN, June 21, 2017.

Confronting Pakistan. Javid Ahmad writes that the Trump administration should consider new pressure points that increase the pain for Pakistan in "America Must Confront Pakistan's Support of Afghan-Based Terrorism", The National Interest, June 20, 2017.

What is Success? Luke Coffey, of The Heritage Foundation, says that ". . . we need to start measuring success by achievements on the ground and not by unrealistic expectations". Thus far, achievements on the ground have been fleeting. Read more in "What Does America Consider Success in Afghanistan", June 2, 2017.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Afghan War News Snippets

Emotional Reactions to Bergdahl. Welton Chang explores the robust explanations for the strength of the near-involuntary reactions to any mention of Bergdahl (the U.S. Army deserter) and his actions. Read "The Psychology Behind Strong Emotional Reactions to Bergdahl", Task & Purpose, January 18, 2016.

Petraeus to be Demoted? It appears that SECDEF Carter is going to weigh in on the General Petraeus case. It appears that he is leaning toward a demotion. Evidently it is okay to pass thousands of emails containing classified information over an unclassified non-government email server using your private email account while Secretary of State; but you can't pass a few small notebooks with your notes in them to an officer (LTC) in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps with a Top Secret clearance (who happens to be your biographer). Hrrrrummmmppph. See "Exclusive: Pentagon May Demote David Petraeus", The Daily Beast, January 18, 2016.

SIGAR Report on TFBSO. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) testified before Congress on January 20, 2016 on the failures of the DoD Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan (TFBSO). The preliminary results show serious management and oversight problems. You can read a transcript of the testimony posted on the website of SIGAR.

TFBSO and Goats for Afghanistan. Read "How the US Blew Millions of Dollars, Airlifting Cashmere Goats to Afghanistan", Mother Jones, January 21, 2016.

GPS Data and USAID Medical Centers. "The geospatial coordinates for a number of Afghanistan medical clinics are incorrect in data shared between the U.S. and allies in the region. In a report published earlier this month by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), some 10 of the 32 medical clinics set up by the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Kabul region have incorrect GPS coordinates . . . " Read "GPS data failing USAID hospitals in Afghanistan", C4ISR & Networks, January 19, 2016.

Taliban Telecom Tax. Looks like the Taliban have continued their practice of running a 'protection racket' for operators of Afghan telephone companies and tower operators. Read "Afghan Taliban flex muscles with new telecom tax", Yahoo! News, by Anuj Chopra, January 18, 2016.

Periodical - Military Officer. The January 2016 edition of the magazine by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is available online. Good interview of General Colin Powell (retired) on the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm.

PM Australia Commits More Troops. The prime minister for Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, has committed an extra 20 troops to the mission in Afghanistan to assist in the training of Afghan troops. He met with service members at Qarga - the Afghan national army's officer training academy. (The Chronicle, Jan 18, 2016).

Sunday, December 13, 2015

News Snippets - Afghan War Blog

NATO Medal Authorized for RS. The NATO Medal has been approved for acceptance and wear by Soldiers and other U.S. military members who have participated in Operation Resolute Support. (Army Times, Dec 7, 2015).

China's 'Af-Pak' Dilemma. China's involvement in the affairs of Afghanistan has increased over the past few years. China wishes to bring stability to Afghanistan to ensure success for its "One Belt, One Road" strategy. But that means it must pressure Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. Read more in "China's Emerging Af-Pak Dilemma", by Michael Clarke of the Jamestown Foundation, December 7, 2015. (Posted on

Resolute Support Video Update #8 (Dec 7, 2015). This 3 minute long video provides content on human rights, rule of law, and Train, Advise, Assist Command - West in Herat, Afghanistan.

Petraeus - "No Further Punishment". The U.S. Army has decided not to pursue any further punishment for retired General Petraeus - former COMISAF and CIA Director. (The Washington Post,  Dec 7, 2015).

Germany is Staying. The German defense minister recently visited Mazar-i-Shari - when the European nations are encamped at TAAC-North headquarters. The end result of the visit is an acknowledgement that mistakes were made and a commitment to increase the German troop presence. See "What'a going wrong in Afghanistan?", Deutsche Welle, December 12, 2015.

Gen Dunford Visits Afghanistan. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Afghanistan on Dec 8th to meet with General Campbell and other senior military representatives. Dunford was the ISAF commander prior to Campbell. He made several comments on the current situation in Afghanistan. (Stars and Stripes, Dec 8, 2015).

Quarterly Parameters Autumn 2015. The US Army War College Quarterly Parameters is now posted.

Korengal Valley - And Limits of Power. A Soldier writes of his time in the Korengal Valley in Kunar province and about how power projection has its constraints. (Best Defense - Foreign Policy, Dec 11, 2015). The Korengal Valley, an offshoot of the Pech River Valley was a hard-fought battle spanning a few years.

Photos from Khost. Sudarsan Raghaven provides us with a photographic view of Khost in eastern Afghanistan in "This is what the real Afghanistan looks like", The Washington Post, December 4, 2015.

Probe on Civilian Deaths at Mosque. A mortar attack by government troops on Friday, Dec 4th resulted in a number of civilian deaths near a mosque. The incident took place in Sayedabad - a district in central Maidan Wardak province. The Taliban issued a statement condemning the attack. (VOA,  Dec 5, 2015).

UNAMA Report on Toll from Kunduz City. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan stated that the preliminary findings put the civilian casualty toll from the Kunduz city crisis two months (late September to mid-October) ago at 848 - 289 dead and 559 injured. You can read the UNAMA Special Report on Kunduz Province dated December 12, 2015.

Video - MG Buchanan visits TAAC-West. Italian forces have taken over responsibility for Train, Advise, Assist Command - West in Herat from the Spanish contingent. MG Jeff Buchanan comments on his recent visit to Herat in this short (2 min) video posted by Resolute Support HQs on DVIDSHUB on December 9, 2015.

Video - IED Training in TAAC-West. Resolute Support personnel provide counter IED training to members of the ANDSF in Herat. (2 mins, DVIDS, Dec 9, 2015).

German Defence Minister visits MeS. The Defence Minister of Germany recently paid a visit to Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan. The visit on Sunday, Dec 6th comes after a recent decision to enlarge the German contingent in Afghanistan. The message is "We're staying". (Tolo News, Dec 8, 2015).

Germany Contributes AFN 5 Billion. The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund has received a pledge from Germany for a large contribution. (Khaama Press, Dec 10, 2015).

WTO Membership & Afghan Economy. Afghanistan 'imports' international aid and 'exports' opium but the international community is trying to change all of that. One step in that direction is providing membership to Afghanistan in the World Trade Organization. Read more in "Afghanistan Hopes W.T.O. Membership Can Reboot Its Battered Economy", The New York Times, December 9, 2015.

Heart of Asia Conference. Pakistan hosted the Heart of Asia conference which aimed to strengthen the peace process in Afghanistan and also improve economic and political cooperation in Afghanistan and among its neighbors. Twenty-seven countries participated. No word yet on whether Pakistan will pledge to stop supporting the Taliban with intelligence, training, support, money and sanctuaries. Read a news report on the conference by Deutsche Welle, December 9, 2015. The results of the conference were less than encouraging; with Afghan and Pakistan diplomats holding firm to previous positions. (Gandhara Blog, Dec 9, 2015).

EU, Afghan, and US Meeting. Representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, European Union, and United States met in a side meeting during the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad to discuss preparations for future conferences (of course) and regional security and economic developments. See a press release by the European Union External Action dated Dec 9, 2015. See also a press statement by the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, December 10, 2015.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Should General Petraeus Get a Fifth Star?

General Petraeus is recognized as the best-known and probably the most-respected general officer of the war on terrorism that has taken place over the past nine years.   There are some that think he deserves a fifth star.  Read more in "Current wars deserve a general ranking with the best from WWII, vets say", CNN Politics, January 13, 2011.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Petraeus and His War with The Beltway

It appears that General Petraeus has had his way with the Washington crowd.  2011 is now 2014. Read more on this topic in "Foreign Policy: Petraeus' War Inside The Beltway", NPR, November 15, 2010.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reporter Provides Insight on Petraeus and Afghan War

A reporter spent some time with General Petraeus while visiting Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan. Click on the link to read Petraeus comments on how the war is going.

"Petraeus fights time, enemy in Afghanistan", September 29, 2010, AP.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Petraeus Interview on Afghanistan - "Watching Paint Dry"

General Petraeus was interviewed by ABC News about the Afghanistan War.  During the interview he said the counterinsurgency effort would last years.  Read more about the interview in "Gen. Petraeus Exclusive Interveiw: Progress in Afghanistan Like Watching Paint Dry", ABC World News, September 14, 2010.