Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Ambassador Olson (AfPak) Presents Narrative

On Thursday, September 29th, Ambassador Richard Olson (Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan) presented his views about Afghanistan's security, future, government, and the upcoming Brussels Conference at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Some points the ambassador made are provided below.

Security. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are improving over time. The Taliban have not been able to take and hold a significant population center and have not achieved their strategic goals during 2016.

National Unity Government (NUG). Ambassador Olson says the National Unity Government is not perfect but it is the best way forward at this time. Both the Afghan President and Afghan CEO remain committed to conducting elections in the future. The United States will continue to stand behind and support the Afghan government. The U.S. is encouraging the Afghan government to institute governmental reforms, hold elections, and conduct a constitutional Loya Jirga.

Brussels Conference. The Afghan agenda will guide the international agenda at the Brussels Conference for the future of Afghanistan's security and development. The Resolute Support mission was extended by NATO in July at the Warsaw Summit. The Brussels Conference will provide a guide to the future development needs of Afghanistan. The antecendent for Brussels was the Tokyo Conference four years ago. Olson said international support is conditional and conditioned; not a blank check.

Afghan Interpreters. He waffles here. Says all the right things but . . . offers little concrete suggestions on how to improve the situation for more SIV for the Afghans who put their lives at risk for the U.S. military.

Lots of other topics were discussed during the question and answer session about India, NUG, peace deal with HIG, Pakistan, conditionality of continued funding by donor nations, economy, anti-corruption, refugees, and more. An informative presentation and Q&A on lots of topics; but beware of the party line when he talks about security, corruption, and progress in Afghanistan.

You can view the conference at the link below:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sarah Chayes Interview

Sarah Chayes, the author of "Thieves of State", is interviewed by Samuel Rubenfeld about her book and corruption in Afghanistan. Chayes spent many years in Afghanistan and has first hand experience on the effects of corruption on the population of Afghanistan. In the interview ". . . she discussed the emotional effects of corruption, its effects on global security . . . " and more. She explains that Afghan people became more permeable to the Taliban message because of how they were treated by Afghan government officials. Chayes was brought to Kabul as an advisor to ISAF and she became to recognize that the Afghan government had many aspects of a criminal enterprise. Her research into corruption has widened beyond Afghanistan - to other countries as well. In the interview she says that private corporations have an obligation to try and stem corruption. Read the interview in "Corruption 'Isn't Just the Cost of Doing Business'", The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2015.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Interview with Mike Waltz on Afghanistan

James Rosen on "The Foxhole" of Fox News interviews Michael G. Waltz - a Special Forces officer with multiple tours in Afghanistan and also a former high-level employee of the Department of Defense. The interview is on the topics of Afghanistan, the Islamic Jihad, President Obama as the commander-in-chief, Pakistan offering sanctuary to insurgents, the distraction that Iraq caused in winning in Afghanistan, reliance on NATO as a central player in Afghanistan, and more. Waltz is a reserve component member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, served as special advisor to Vice President Cheney on South Asia and counterterrorism, and worked in the Department of Defense in the office responsible for counternarcotics in Afghanistan and South Asia. Waltz currently serves as a senior national security advisor with the New America Foundation. Waltz is also the author of the book Warrior Diplomat. Watch the 18-minute long interview with Mike Waltz.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Interview - Sarah Chayes

Sarah Chayes, an former journalist and a person knowledgeable about Afghanistan, has wrote a book about corruption in Afghanistan and around the world entitled Thieves of State. Chayes started her Afghan adventure early in the war when she went as reported. She decided to stay, living in Kandahar for many years. She is interviewed by Tim Lewis and they discuss her new book, her experiences in Afghanistan, and why she left Afghanistan. Read more in "Sarah Chayes: on living in Afghanistan and sleeping with a Kalashnikov", The Guardian, March 15, 2015.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lara Logan Interviews COMISAF

Lara Logan interviews General John Campbell and President Ghani for a "60 Minutes" segment. The interview (about 14 mins long) is entitled "Ending America's Longest War". During the interview several topics are presented and discussed: retrograde operations, the lights of Kabul at night, the ability of the ANSF to fight alone, the ANSF special operations forces, funding of the ANSF post-2014, operating on President Obama's timeline, frustration with Pakistan, worries about ISIS, concern about an Iraq situation in Afghanistan post-2014, President Ghani's outlook on Afghanistan, Ghani's expression of a flexible timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops, and the topic of sanctuaries in Pakistan for the Taliban comes up as well.

Monday, December 15, 2014

LTG Flynn Talks Intel in Afghanistan

Retired LTG Michael Flynn, former director of the U.S. Defense Department Intelligence Agency, speaks about intelligence gathering in Afghanistan in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (Dec 7, 2014). He says that the U.S. intelligence effort needed to change its efforts in order to support the warfighter on the ground. The intel had to shift from an emphasis on targeting to one concerned with counterinsurgency (7 mins).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Interview - Author "Warrior Diplomat"

Mike Waltz, Green Beret, Afghan policy guy, and book author, is interviewed by Peter Bergen of New America on his book, Afghanistan, and how to move forward in the conflict. See the interview of the author of "Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret's Battles from Washington to Afghanistan" that took place on December 4, 2014 and is now available for viewing on YouTube (1 hour 20 minutes - time well spent).

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Interview with UK Soldier - "Kajaki"

A new movie being released in the UK is about the time spent on tour in Helmand province by some UK soldiers. Watch an interview about the movie in "British Soldier and Actor on Filming "Kajaki"", Forces TV, December 1, 2014.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nagl Interview - Drinking Beer Thru a Straw

John Nagl (West Point graduate, Rhodes Scholar, author, COIN expert, combat veteran, think tank president, Naval Academy professor, school headmaster, and co-author of FM 3-24) is interviewed about his new book Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice. Nagl is asked and answers "20 Questions". Some of his comments are:

COIN: "Counterinsurgency can't be dead as long as insurgency is alive and well - and it is, and is likely to be for some time".

Iraq: "Defeating the Islamic State in Iraq is actually not very difficult; we should dramatically increase the number of combat advisors we have supporting the Iraqi Army and allow them to embed inside Iraqi battalions". 

RAF or Advisor Corps: "Regionally Aligned Forces are a poor man's Advisor Corps, but they're better than nothing".

Afghanistan: "Saving Afghanistan is relatively easy. We need to station some 20,000 advisors there, supported by air power and intelligence and logistics assets, to put spine in the Afghan forces and help keep the Taliban at bay".

Monday, November 10, 2014

Interview with Ambassador Volker

Kurt Volker, the former US Ambassador to NATO, is interviewed about the current and future situation in Afghanistan. He chats on China's increased involvement with Afghanistan (says it is a good thing) and about China's insurgent problem in Xiajiang province (and how a stable Afghanistan helps China defeat the ETIM). He concludes the 3 minute long interview with his list of 'uncertainties' that face Afghanistan in the future (Pakistan continued support of Taliban, a resurgent Taliban in the south, the loss of Kandahar province). Listen to the interview at "Kurt Volker, Former US Ambassador to NATO, on China, Afghanistan relations", CCTV America, October 31, 2014.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Interview with John Nagl - Author "Knife Fights"

Dr. John Nagl was recently (October 28, 2014) interviewed about his new book "Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice". Nagl is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and a former president of The Center for a New American Century. The book is an education in 21st Century Warfare - both its theory and its practice. Nagl first came into the public eye with his book "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife" - about counterinsurgency and how the United States had to understand an insurgency and be flexible in its response and able to adjust its strategy to deal with the threat. The interview, narrated by Peter Bergen (no slouch himself on warfare, insurgency and terrorism) was recorded by The Center for a New American Century, it is 1 hour and 23 minutes long and can be seen at the link below on YouTube.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Interview / Book: John Nagl and "Knife Fights"

Once again, by way of Octavian Manea (the interviewer) Small Wars Journal brings us a great interview - this time of John Nagl, a retired Army officer, proponent of counterinsurgency, and author of several books. Nagl's newest book is Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern war in Theory and Practice, The Penguin Press, New York 2014. Nagl rose to prominence with his book "How to Eat Soup With a Knife". He also was one of the principle writers for the December 2006 issue of FM 3-24, Counterinsurgency. In the interview, Octavian Manea, asks Nagl several questions; some that reflect upon the war in Afghanistan:

1. What are the lessons to remember from the post 9/11 campaigns?
2. Why the title "Knife Fights"?
3. What is / was the center of gravity in Washington?
4. Tell us about Don Rumsfeld.
5. Who are the core formative thinkers and what are the takeaways that shaped your COIN worldview?
6. How do insurgencies end?
7. What about leveraging host nation governments?
8. What happened after the Iraq surge?
9. How do we build a better peace?
10. Is there a need in the future for a "small wars capability"?
11. What should NATO do about hybrid warfare in Europe?
12. What about the Arab spring?
13. What about Vietnam and what should be the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan?
14. Comments on 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance.

Nagl provides us with some very good answers. View the interview at the link below: