Afghanistan War News Update 20171205

Shoulder patch of the Afghan National Army Mountain Warfare Training Center in Herat, Afghanistan.

Afghan War News Update 20171205 – video ANA mtn warfare training, Operation Maiwand, humanitarian needs report, Heart of Asia Conference, NII equipment at border crossings unused, stalemate in Afghanistan, ‘turning the corner’, NATO stuck in Afghanistan, Commando Force 333, ASSF in lead in fight against insurgents, ‘bacha bazi”, and more.

Resupplying a District Center. How difficult is it to resupply Afghan police and army personnel located in a district center? It seems to require a lot of coordination and effort. Resolute Support HQs recently released a statement on a successful operation conducted in the harsh terrain and winter environment of Afghanistan to resupply a district center. The distance from Bost airfield (located at the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, Helmand province) to the district is 28 kilometers. Hmmmm. Read about Operation Maiwand 8 – an effort by the ANDSF to provide food, blankets, water, and winter supplies to the Marjah district center in Helmand province in “Winter no longer a barrier to ANDSF operations in Maiwand”Resolute Support HQs, December 2, 2017.

Humanitarian Needs Summary. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has published its “Humanitarian Needs Summary” for Afghanistan (Dec 2, 2017).

Stalemate in Afghanistan. The Taliban and ANDSF have settled into a condition of stalemate in the conflict. Neither side is making significant progress in defeating its opponent. One author offers some predictions on what will likely occur in the future in “The Battle for Afghanistan”STRATFOR Worldview, November 29, 2017.

‘Turning the Corner’. A lengthy succession of generals have cited progress in Afghanistan every year – providing optimistic reports of how well the conflict is going and the improvements of the Afghan security forces from year to year. Paul McCleary examines the optimism of the U.S. general officers in “U.S. Has ‘Turned the Corner’ in Afghanistan, Top General Says”Foreign Policy, November 28, 2017.

Reporting “Bachi Bazi”. The U.S. military has instituted a new policy that outlines the requirements for reporting child abuse by the Afghan army and police. Read “US Troops to be Trained on Reporting Child Sex Abuse by Afghans”, December 3, 2017.

Video Commando Force 333. General John Nicholson, commander of the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, speaks to members of the Afghan Commando Force 333 after viewing a demonstration of their capabilities. (RS, Dec 1, 2017, 1 minute long).

Ghani Presentation at Heart of Asia Conference. President Ashraf Ghani presented remarks at the 7th Conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process. His comments were captured in a 28-minute long video.

NII Equipment at Border Crossings Unused. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) published a report about unused non-intrusion inspection equipment sitting at Afghan border crossings worth millions of dollars. Read the SIGAR report published in November 2017.

ASSF in Lead in Fight Against Insurgents. The Afghan Special Security Forces have been conducting over 80% of the offensive operations even though they are a very small part of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). Read more in “Kabul Pins Its Hopes On Afghan Special Forces in Fight Against the Insurgents”Gandhara Blog / RFE, November 27, 2017.

Is NATO Stuck in Afghanistan? A number of defense experts answer this question about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s mission in Afghanistan. (Carnegie Europe, Nov 15, 2017).

Photo Credit: the top image is of the shoulder patch of the Afghan National Army (ANA) Mountain Warfare Training Center in Herat, Afghanistan. The Italian Alpine Troop or Alpini, considered some of the best mountain warfare troops in the world, helped establish the training center in Herat province so that Afghan forces can practice advanced mountain warfare techniques and urban combat skills. (Photo from Resolute Support video posted on, November 27, 2017).

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