Showing posts with label stability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stability. Show all posts

Sunday, October 30, 2016

SIGAR Report on USAID's Stabilization Initiatives

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has issued a report on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) efforts to provide stability to Afghanistan. The report says that USAID generally achieved its objectives but the agency lacked a geospatial data policy and standards affected its implementation.
"Beginning in 2011, with the drawdown of coalition troops throughout Afghanistan, USAID faced increasing challenges in overseeing its stabilization programs. To address these challenges, in March 2012, USAID awarded Management Systems International Inc. (MSI) as contract to implement the Measuring Impacts of Stabilization Initiatives (MISTI) program to monitor and evaluate eight ongoing stabilization programs costing $762 million. The agency estimated that MISTI would last 3 years and cost approximately $15 million. The contract ended in October 2015 and ultimately cost $19.3 million."
Read "USAID's Measuring Impacts of Stabilization Initiatives", SIGAR 17-10 Audit Report, October 2016. (32 pages, Adobe Acrobat PDF).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Development and Economy

Lessons Learned - Stability Opns in Afghanistan. Charles Barham, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, continued service to his country by working as a civilian in the Af/Pak Hands Program. He concentrated on development and stability issues and offers his observations in "Stability Operations: Lessons from Afghanistan"Small Wars Journal, February 11, 2016.

Riving the Economy. William Byrd says that ". . . reviving the Afghan economy during a time of intensifying violent conflict, declining external financial aid, and ongoing political uncertainty and dysfunction will be extremely challenging." His report proposes some targeted, near-term measures to increase confidence and stimulate the economy. Read What Can Be Done to Revive Afghanistan's Economy?, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), February 9, 2016.

IMF Report on Afghanistan. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a report (Feb 11, 2016) entitled Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Ex Post Assessment of Longer-Term Program Engagement.

Paper - Economy, Education & Health. The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) has published a 93-page paper entitled The Political Economy of Education and Health Service Delivery, dated January 2016.

Way Forward for Economy. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) says that unemployment and lack of economic opportunity are frequently cited by Afghan citizens as a number one problem in Afghanistan. CIPE has launched local economic programs that will be of benefit to several provinces by encouraging economic growth. Read about the Provincial Business Agendas (PBAs) established by CIPE in "A Way Forward for Afghanistan's Economy", CIPE Development Blog, February 8, 2016.

Cities are the Future. According to one report Afghanistan's future is urban with its cities population doubling in the next 15 years. Read State of Afghan Cities Report 2015, by UN Habitat, Feb 2016.

Silk Road, Development, and Afghanistan. China has some long-range and robust plans for its "Silk Road". Plans (including a maritime component) are to link existing and future rail and road links from China through Central Asia to the Middle East and Europe. For this to happen the region must see a level of security and stability (Afghanistan stands out here). Read more in "China's Silk Road: How China is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History",, February 2, 2016.

Foreign Investment Drops. The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said that there is danger of an economic recession if the government does not take steps to tackle the decline in foreign investment in the country. Read "Afghan Economy Trembles Amid Foreign Investment Decline: ACCI"Tolo News, February 12, 2016.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Afghan Nation-Building A Bust. Doug Bandow thinks its time for a departure from Afghanistan. "Afghanistan is a bust. The Taliban is expanding its control. The number of security incidents was up a fifth in the last months of 2015 over the previous year. Popular confidence is at its lowest level in a decade. . . ." And so on. Read more in "Bring America's Troops Home From Afghanistan: Nation-Building a Bust",, February 1, 2016.

Life Without War. A combat veteran of the Afghan War, Daniel Fisher, writes about life after his tour in Afghanistan in "#Essays on War: September Morning", The Strategy Bridge, February 2, 2016.

More Troops Not the Answer? General Campbell, Resolute Commander, testified before the House Armed Services Committee and said that the U.S. should continue to provide military assistance to Afghanistan for five more years. I guess this is the forever war! Some skeptics are convinced that the security situation gets worse each year. Read "Throwing More U.S. Troops at Afghanistan Isn't the Answer", National Interest, February 2, 2016.

RAND Report - COIN Update for Afghanistan. Christopher Paul and Colin P. Clarke have penned a 51-page report entitled Counterinsurgency Scorecard Update: Afghanistan in Early 2015 Relative to Insurgencies Since World War II, RAND Corporation, February 2016.

A "Plan Colombia" Needed for Afghanistan. Shawn Snow believes that in the fight to rid Afghanistan of violent extremism, the central government needs greater resources to gain a decisive advantage. Read "A Plan Colombia for Afghanistan", Foreign Policy, February 3, 2016.

Dividing Afghanistan? One commentator seems to think that a division of Afghanistan into two regions would help settle down the conflict. The western / northern portion would contain Heratis, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and others. The southern and eastern portion controlled by the Pashtuns. Hmmm. Not sure that would work. Read more in "Deteriorating Security Situation in Afghanistan", Indian Defence Review, February 4, 2016.

Open-Ended Conflict. Abdullah Sharif provides his thoughts on the current situation in Afghanistan in "Quagmirestan: America's Open-Ended Involvement in Afghanistan", The World Post, February 3, 2016.

Pakistan's Hand. Carlotta Gall examines Pakistan's role in the rise of international jihadism. Read "Pakistan's Hand in the Rise of International Jihad", The New York Times, February 6, 2016.

Book - "The Envoy". A former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations has penned a memoir. Zalmay Khalilzad has wrote The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House, My Journey Through a Turbulent World available at Macmillan Publishers. Khalilzad was born in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. Should be an informative read providing historical insight of the 'big picture'.

The War We Want and the War We Have. David Betz, a Reader in Warfare in the War Studies Department at King's College London, has penned a long essay on wars we want to fight and the wars we find ourselves involved with in "Carnage and Connectivity: How Our Pursuit of Fun Wars Brought the Wars Home", War on the Rocks, February 2, 2016.

Russia and a New Ally in Afghanistan? Some observers have made a lot of noise about Russia's supposed overtures to the Taliban in order to join forces against the rise of the Islamic State in Afghanistan. Javid Ahmad writes about Moscow's new ally in "Russia and the Taliban Make Amends", Foreign Affairs, January 31, 2016.

Lessons Not Learned. The US Army has two missions - defeating a capable adversary in large-scale land operations and conducting effective stability operations in areas in which governance is weak or nonexistent. The newly released report by the National Commission on the Future of the Army (Jan 28, 2016, 208 pages, PDF) lacks insight on how to address stability operations or counterinsurgency. As if to say that (as in the post-Vietnam era) we are not going to fight an OEF or OIF-like conflict every again. Read a critique of the recent report by the NCFA in "Ignoring the Army's Recent Past Will Not Help It Win Future Wars", by Andrew Hill, War on the Rocks, February 2, 2016.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

PSOTEW Workshop (Apr 14-16, 2015)

The US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) will hold the 2015 Peace and Stability Operations Training and Education Workshop (PSOTEW) on April 14-16, 2015 at Fort McNair, National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC.
"This workshop brings together trainers, practitioners, planners, and educators from U.S. and international governmental and military organizations, non-governmental organizations, peace and stability training centers, and academic institutions to review training and education efforts in the milieu of stability and peace operations . . .".

Monday, February 24, 2014

Building Resilience through Stabilization Programs in Afghanistan

An article posted on the Caerus Associates web site explores the building of resilience through stabilization programs in Afghanistan. The author - Aimee Rose, working with the USAID's MISTI Project in Afghanistan, states that it is important to build resilience in the right areas of Afghanistan to ensure that the population will provide more support for the Afghan government (and not to the insurgents). Read more in "Resilience and Stability in Afghanistan".

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Paper - Hurdles to U.S. Stabilization Operations

A former defense analyst, Renanah Miles, writes a paper explaining why civilian agencies were unable to develop effective programs to assist the military in stabilization and counterinsurgency efforts in the Iraq and Afghan wars. The paper is entitled "The (Many) Hurdles to U.S. Stabilization Operations". You can read the paper posted on the Lawfare Blog here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"The Other Front in Afghanistan" by Carlos Terrones

The Stability Institute has put a podcast online about Carlos Terrones' book entitled "The Other Front in Afghanistan. Carlos is an international development practitioner who has worked in international development projects related to good governance and civil society around the world. He is a former member of the Marines and Peace Corps and also worked for USAID. You can access the podcast at the link below.!