SOF News Update – August 15, 2016

Map Estonia

SOF News Update: Gen Dunford interview, how Afghans flee to Europe, Helmand province threatened, book review of “Tribes”, Russia and Political Warfare, Afghan interpreters punished yet again, 1st Special Service Force honoured, and Russian aggression in Estonia.

Russian Aggression in Estonia. Dr. Spencer Meredith III, Ph.D and a Special Forces officer (unnamed) have wrote an article about Russian resurgence and its ‘war of words’ to accomplish its regional objectives. Read “War of Words: Countering Russian Aggression in Estonia”Special Warfare Magazine, January – June 2016, pages 56-60.

Taliban ‘Special Forces’. Afghan security forces say they are facing extremely disciplined and well-equipped Taliban in the fight for Helmand province. Supposedly the new fighting group is known as the “Red Unit”. Read more in a news report by Reuters, August 14, 2016.

First Special Service Force Honoured. The First Special Service Force Association held a memorial service at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 for the fallen veterans of the FSSF. Read more in a news report by The Daily Observer (CA), August 13, 2016.

U.S. Continues to Punish Afghan Interpreters. U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is among many politicians who are handing Afghan interpreters seeking to gain visas to enter the United States a raw deal. His political maneuvering is an example of everything wrong with American politics. Read more in “Editorial: A promise to Afghans”Boston Herald, August 14, 2016.

Helmand Province. The Taliban are on the  march in southern Afghanistan. Read more in “Afghan Forces Struggle to Hold Firm Against Taliban in South”The New York Times, August 14, 2016.

Cultural Assessment of ISIL. The TRADOC G2 Global Cultural Knowledge Network has published a Cultural Assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), May 31, 2016.

U.S. Soldier Dies in Afghanistan. A SSG from the 4th Infantry Division died August 12th from a non-combat-related injury. Read “DoD Identifies Army Casualty”U.S. DoD News Release, August 14, 2016.

Book Review. Kimberly Dozier reviews Sabastian Junger’s latest book Tribe. Junger says veterans returning home from recent tours have found themselves feeling out of sync with society – and Junger thinks he knows why. Read “Why Vets Come Home and Miss the War”The Daily Beast, August 14, 2016.

D.N.C. Emails & Russia’s Approach to Political Warfare. Russia has certainly been testing the waters with how much it can prod the West. Recent news that the Russians have hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s emails show that they will use whatever means they can to get ahead in their competition with the west. Read more – “In D.N.C. Hack, Echoes of Russia’s New Approach to Power”The New York Times, July 25, 2016.

Defeating ISIS. Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies has penned a report entitled Defeating ISIS: The Real Threats and Challenges, August 4, 2016.

Gen Dunford Interview. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is interviewed by James Kitfield on a variety of topics to include Russia, Iraq, and more. Read “Our Greatest Challenge: CJCS Gen Dunford”Breaking Defense, August 12, 2016.

Afghan Exodus. Many young Afghans are fleeing their country for safety and better lives in Europe. Learn how they enter Europe illegally through smugglers along ‘the Balkan route’. Jelena Bjelica and Martine van Bijlert provide details in “Afghan Exodus: The re-emergence of smugglers along the Balkan route”Afghanistan Analysts Network, August 10, 2016.

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