Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan

June 16, 2015 Comments off

DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The inaugural “Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan,” a report to Congress in accordance with Section 1225 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113-291), was provided to Congress yesterday evening. This report covers December 1, 2014 to May 31.

On December 31, 2014, the NATO ISAF mission concluded, and on January 1, Resolute Support – a non-combat mission dedicated to training, advising, and assisting the Afghanistan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) and Afghan security ministries – was established. Afghans have assumed responsibility for the security of their nation, but Resolute Support remains committed to preparing the ANDSF for the difficult fight ahead.

During the reporting period, anti-Afghan forces continued to present a formidable threat; as President Ghani acknowledged while addressing Congress on March 25, Afghanistan is “a critical frontline nation in the war against extremism.”

The ANDSF has fought this war with resilience and professionalism, and their capabilities continue to improve. By the end of May, the force had achieved significant advancements in light airlift, casualty evacuation, and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Although considerable challenges remain, the Department of Defense is confident that the ANDSF has the capabilities, capacities, and morale to set the conditions for Afghan-led reconciliation.

Several Reports About Afghanistan From the U.S. Institute of Peace

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Several Reports About Afghanistan From the U.S. Institute of Peace
Source: United States Institute of Peace

Political and Economic Dynamics of Herat
The city of Herat sits in Afghanistan’s most western province, on the border with Iran, and is significant on several counts. A major trading hub and the largest city in the region, it is in some respects an exemplar for the entire country. One the one hand it is a prevailing spirit of enterprise, on the other persistent insecurity and ad hoc urban development. How the new national unity government in Kabul unfolds will have significant implications for how Herat is able to meet the challenges for its social development and economic growth.

Political Parties in Afghanistan
Political parties in Afghanistan are often dismissed by international and Afghan observers as unruly and highly personalized organizations that contribute little to the democratic process. Yet they continue to play a part in shaping the political landscape, albeit in what might be considered unorthodox ways. This report assesses their history, role, and activities over the last decade and how their future might unfold under and contribute to the country’s new unity government.

Islamic Law, Customary Law and Afghan Informal Justice
As Afghanistan’s nascent democracy works to establish the rule of law across the country, it finds itself contending with the ways that Islamic law converges and diverges from the tribal norms that shape the settling of disputes outside Kabul. Based on surveys conducted in Afghanistan, this report examines the points of tension and agreement between Islamic and customary laws, looking into both of their pasts to suggest a way forward for the Afghan state, particularly in granting greater rights and protections to women.

Neutrality in Afghanistan’s Foreign Policy
President Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016 leaves that country once again wide open for an intensified regional race for strategic influence in the country. The majority of experts—both Afghan and international—agree that lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan require internationally backed regional arrangements. A recent forum involving high-profile Afghan politicians, former diplomats, and civil society leaders underscores this consensus and the long-term vision of an “Afghan-led and Afghanistan-specific enduring neutrality.” This report focuses on the historical aspects of neutrality as a first step toward neutrality-based diplomatic solutions for both the immediate Afghan conflict and the country’s long-term positioning.

Supporting Afghan Women in the 2014 Transition
The 2014 elections in Afghanistan saw great promise for advancing the status of women, with unprecedented voter turnout among women and powerful rhetoric from presidential candidates. As the new administration sets its agenda, this report offers guidelines for Afghan leaders to fulfill their campaign promises by strengthening women’s political participation, access to justice, and involvement in the security sector.

CRS — Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs (January 20, 2015)

February 13, 2015 Comments off

Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Congress has enacted a series of legislative provisions since 2006 to enable certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals to become U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs). These provisions make certain Iraqis and Afghans who have worked as translators or interpreters, or who were employed by, or on behalf of, the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan, eligible for special immigrant visas (SIVs). Special immigrants comprise a category of permanent employment-based admissions under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). While the special immigrant category is unique, it does bear some similarities to other admission categories that are authorized by other sections of the INA, including refugees and Amerasian children.

CBO — Updated Death and Injury Rates of U.S. Military Personnel During the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Working Paper 2014-08

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Updated Death and Injury Rates of U.S. Military Personnel During the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Working Paper 2014-08
Source: Congressional Budget Office

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, which ended on August 31, 2010, some 3,482 hostile deaths occurred among U.S. military personnel and 31,947 people were wounded in action (WIA). More than 1,800 hostile deaths occurred during Operation Enduring Freedom (in Afghanistan and surrounding countries) through November 2014; about 20,000 more people were wounded in action.

In the Iraq conflict, a larger proportion of wounded personnel survived their wounds than was the case during the Vietnam War, but the increased survival rates are not as high as some studies have asserted. Prior to the surge in troop levels that began in early 2007, the survival rate was 90.4 percent in Iraq—compared with 86.5 percent in Vietnam.

Amputation rates are difficult to measure consistently, but I estimate that 2.6 percent of all WIA and 9.0 percent of medically-evacuated WIA from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters combined resulted in the major loss of a limb.

CRS — A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (November 20, 2014)

December 9, 2014 Comments off

A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active missions Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR, Iraq and Syria) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended, Operation New Dawn (OND, Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq). This report includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) website and others have been obtained through contact with experts at DOD.

This report will be updated as needed.

What Lessons Did We Learn (or Re-Learn) About Military Advising After 9/11?

December 1, 2014 Comments off

What Lessons Did We Learn (or Re-Learn) About Military Advising After 9/11? (PDF)
Source: Military Review

As military operations in Afghanistan continue to wind down in 2014, the U.S. military and international partner armed forces need to codify lessons learned on military advising from 9/11 to the present, with special emphasis on capturing insights from the two major counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. A compendium of lessons should include answers to certain essential questions. What major advising lessons did the U.S. military learn since 9/11? What current advising lessons parallel previously gleaned insights from historic advising missions? How should armed forces treat the advising mission after the troops withdraw from Afghanistan?

The main purpose of this article is to provide a set of the most important military advising lessons learned from past and present. These lessons have been distilled from comparing historical and contemporary advisory experiences extracted from dozens of sources including military journal articles, doctrine, book chapters, and monographs.

DOD Releases Report on Progress in Afghanistan

November 4, 2014 Comments off

DOD Releases Report on Progress in Afghanistan
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The Department of Defense provided to Congress today the October 2014 “Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan,” in accordance with Section 1230 and 1231 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181), as amended; to include section 1221 of the NDAA for FY 2012 (Public Law 112-81); sections 1212, 1223, and 1531(d) of the NDAA for FY 2013 (Public Law 112-239); and Senate Report 113-211, to accompany H.R. 4870, the Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Bill, 2015. This report covers April 1 to September 30,

During the reporting period, several significant milestones set the stage for the post-2014 transition and an enduring U.S. – Afghanistan partnership. On May 27, 2014, President Barack Obama announced his decision on the post-2014 U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, contingent on a signed U.S.-Afghanistan bilateral security agreement (BSA) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-Afghan status of forces agreement (SOFA). On September 29, 2014, Dr. Ashraf Ghani was inaugurated as President and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was sworn in as Chief Executive Officer, a new position established in the national unity government. The day following President Ghani’s inauguration, representatives of the U.S. and Afghanistan signed the BSA and representatives of NATO and Afghanistan signed the SOFA.

The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have increasingly demonstrated their ability to plan and conduct independent and combined operations that employ multiple capabilities, to disrupt the insurgency, and to protect the populace. They successfully secured the April national elections and June presidential runoff with minimal support from the International Security Assistance Force.


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