Showing posts with label Turkmenistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkmenistan. Show all posts

Sunday, February 7, 2016

AWN Snippets

TFBSO - Not All Bad News? The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has been all over the failures of the DoD Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) that worked on the development of economic projects in Afghanistan. But not all folks out there wise on Afghanistan agree with SIGAR. Jeff Goodson, a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer with three deployments to Afghanistan expresses his view in an online article. Read "Legacy Rising: DoD Business Task Force Impact Evidence Grows", Real Clear Defense, January 28, 2016.

UN Drug Report. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has issued its "Executive Summary" for Afghanistan - Afghanistan Opium Survey 2015 dated October 2015.

Nicholson to RS Command. So John "Mick" Nicholson, a veteran of quite a few Afghan deployments will take Resolute Support. As the deck chairs shuffle, one wonders what happens to General John Campbell. He has done a great job under difficult circumstances in Afghanistan and deserves another posting - perhaps AFRICOM or EUCOM? Read "Will the Pentagon give Gen. John Campbell, the outgoing Afghanistan war chief, another job?", The Washington Post, January 30, 2016.

New Air Force Cdr in Afghanistan. BG Jeffrey Taliaferro will soon head up the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force - Afghanistan in Afghanistan. Part of his command will be TAAC-Air; the Air Force advisors training and assisting the Afghan Air Force.

DoDIG Report on Fuel Contracts. The Department of Defense Inspector General has issued a report saying that the controls for oversight of MoI fuel contracts was not effective. As a result of the lack of contract oversight and insufficient reporting data, CSTC-A did not have reasonable assurance that the fuel ordered and delivered to the Afghan National Police on the three MoI contracts valued at $437 million was used for its intended purpose. Read DoDIG report 2016-040 dated January 2016.

JIDA to Fall Under DTRA. The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency (JIDA) will now be realigned under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). (U.S. DoD, Feb 2, 2016).

Terminology - "2-pump chump". In today's Internet world there is lots to read - webpages, eBooks, blogs, newsletters and more. And there are a lot of writers (and would be writers) willing to express their opinion on just about everything - to include war. A new phrase I just learned is '2-pump chump'. Evidently it refers to some writers with just one or two war zone deployments under their belt who are now penning their opinions and thoughts of the war (whichever one they were in). I guess the term "2-pump chump" is used by some that believe if you don't have multiple deployments you don't know or haven't seen enough to write about. Hmmm. One can see a lot of war in one year; especially if that was a 15-month long deployment in Iraq in the 2006-2007 time frame. Just so you know I am about 5 or 6 tours beyond the "2-pump chump" level - depending on how you count deployments. Read more in a column by Tom Ricks posted on Foreign Policy, February 2, 2016.

Hard Times in Central Asia. The several countries to the north are facing economic difficulties that could fuel insurgencies in the future. Read more "In Central Asia, The Bad Times Have Arrived", Qishloq Ovozi Blog, Radio Free Europe, February 1, 2016.

Turkmenistan's Afghan Border and Russian "Help". Russia has offered Turkmenistan so help in guarding their border with Afghanistan. There have been several clashes between that country's security forces and Taliban elements located in northern Afghanistan. Both Russia and China are competing with each to make inroads politically, diplomatically, and economically in Central Asia. Turkmenistan is attempting to navigate the middle road in this competition. Read more in "Turkmenistan: We Don't Need Russian Help With Afghan Border", The Bug Pit,, January 29, 2016.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Border Problems with Turkmenistan

It appears that not all  is well along the Afghan-Turkmenistan border. Villagers in the northern Jowzjan province are concerned about encroachment of Turkmenistan border guards onto their agricultural lands. Read more in "Afghan Villagers Threaten to Attack Turkmenistan", Radio Free Europe, December 19, 2014.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Turkmenistan is Worried About the Taliban

The Turkmenistan government is deeply concerned about a post-2014 Afghanistan. With ISAF leaving at the end of 2014 there will be very little foreign combat troops left in the country. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will be doing almost all of the fighting with very little close air support and aerial ISR assets. Turkmenistan is taking steps to seal its border. There are almost one million ethnic Turkmens in Afghanistan - and these people have enjoyed great freedom of movement across the border. However, that is all changing - especially in Faryab and Jowzjan provinces. In the past few years the situation in northern Afghanistan has deteriorated. Regional Command North (now called TAAC North) collapsed its military units from the eastern and western sectors of northern Afghanistan into the center (at Camp Marmal near Mazar-e-Sharif). As a result the Taliban are enjoying greater freedom of movement and the ANSF are taking some heavy losses. Read more in "Turkmenistan Prepares for Post-2014 Afghanistan", The Diplomat, October 16, 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Turkmenistan Fortifies Afghan Border

Turkmenistan is nervous about post-ISAF Afghanistan. The Taliban is thriving and giving the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) a tough time. Casualties for the ANSF have been up 30% this year. In addition, two districts in northern Afghanistan were overrun by the Taliban; one held for over three weeks before being recaptured by the 207th Corps. So Turkmenistan, following the lead of other Central Asian countries along Afghanistan's northern border, is fortifying the border. Read more in "Turkmenistan's New Afghan Border Policy", Radio Free Europe, October 10, 2014.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Turkmenistan and Border Incursions

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) presence in northern Afghanistan is extremely limited. The current force array consists of less than 4,000 personnel (mostly from European nations) posted at Camp Marmal (near Mazar-e-Sharif). There is only one small contingent of troops posted at an international border crossing; otherwise the U.S. and ISAF must rely on reports from the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and principally from the Afghan Border Police (ABP) on what is happening along the border. The ABP is less than competent and extremely corrupt; so any news coming from that organization is questionable. Reports are surfacing about border incursions by Turkmenistan armed forces but they are not coming from the Afghan government or ISAF. Read more in "Turkmenistan Armed Forces Reportedly Cross Afghanistan Border", EurAsia Net, September 18, 2014.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Turkmenistan and Post-2014 Afghanistan

While many eyes are on Afghanistan as it approaches the end of 2014 and enters into an era with no (or very few ISAF) troops some observers are looking at the security situation in Central Asia as a whole. There is concern that the Taliban will grow stronger and the Taliban's influence will spill over the border into countries to the north of Afghanistan. Although many of these countries (commonly called the 'stans) are preparing their military and intelligence organizations for an unsecure future one country seems to be adopting a more passive and neutral approach. Turkmenistan may not be adequately preparing for a post-2014 Afghanistan. Read more in "Turkmenistan: the Achilles Heel of Central Asian Security", Radio Free Europe, February 16, 2014.