Worry not; the world is still falling apart. BBC reported an original attack in Jakarta: Jakarta attacks: Bombs and gunfire rock Indonesian capital Which is particularly ironic following the fanfare that The Atlantic’s article “ISIS in the World’s Largest Muslim Country- Why are so few Indonesians joining the Islamic State?” got.
As the SOTU played out Iran was detaining 10 US Navy Sailors as a near PR stunt. And as such they were released soon after: Iran releases 10 US Navy sailors after boat drifted in Persian Gulf. If half of your Facebook friends are like mine there much anger and social media promises to seek revenge against Iran once social media comment at a time.
OPSEC being what it is, the US announced that “Special U.S. targeting force ‘now in place’ in Iraq.” Good thing they are not ya know, like a secret force.
In the wake of the continued Iran-Saudi Charlie Foxtrot, Saudi has called in its chips from Sunni allies, including the nascently stabilizing Somalia. And as such Iran received some blow back when an Iranian Aid Agency Looted In Somalia After African Nation Cuts Ties With Tehran.
As Nigeria continues to face security troubles with Boko Haram, it is reported that UK Sends Troops To Train Nigerian Soldiers.
Russia is continually nervous about the implosion of Afghanistan and as such decided that sending more guns will help: Russia to send small arms to Afghanistan
Turkey already pinned between a Europe and a hardplace and just facing a notable terrorist attack, has seen yet another attack in there southern region: Deadly car bomb hits police HQ near Diyarbakir, Turkey.
In case you thought Al Qaeda was gone – wait who is Al Qaeda? Yeah, they are still around releasing podcasts in the glorious shadow of ISIL: Al Qaeda releases 3 new messages from Ayman al Zawahiri
Recent reporting has illustrated an increase of instability coming out of India. The small yet potent Islamic minority there continues to produce some unsavory extremists as of late: Arrested in Syria, four Indian youths ‘planning to join ISIS’
Significance of North #Waziristan Operation in #Pakistan
“Given that Pakistan’s Armed Forces are amongst the best trained and counterinsurgency hardened in the world, the outcome of the operation is in no doubt. North Waziristan will return to the state’s control, and foreign and local terrorists be captured or killed, unless some escape seeking refuge in the contiguous Afghan province of Khost.”
Well put: “Afghanistan’s incoming government and India’s new government will have to decide if harassing Pakistan and its stepped-up counterterrorism campaign is in their long term interest.”
#Afghanistan keen on opening Chabahar port in #Iran for transit to #India
“I am sure once the port comes into operation in full swing, we can look at increasing the $600 million trade to $5 billion in maximum 5 years,”
For those of you who track my movements a bit (hopefully all fans and not terrorists and spies) I have returned to Afghanistan. I left Eastern Afghanistan in mid-2013 to study in Yemen. What was supposed to be a brief 90 day visit became a 1 month delay (hiding out in DC & Colombia) then a 5 month move to Sana’a, Yemen. I left in early January 2014 when most expats began picking up and leaving as most of us faced deportation, fear from increased security threats (the kidnapping of American Journalist Luke Somers & the Ministry of Defense attack) or the general feel that the Yemeni government was really riding most of us in some way. The feeling that either the Yemeni government was going to detain and deport us or we were going to get shwacked by AQAP was a bit pressing I felt. Either way I left on my own accord to continue my academic sabbatical studies in Washington, DC.
I expected to be in DC for merely a matter of days to weeks, however this ballooned into about 6 months. My move back to DC was unexpected and in a very short period of time I had to acquire an entire American life after nearly 2.5 years overseas. Boom: Car, Apartment, Girlfriend, Income, Cable (side note: DirecTV sucks) and everything that goes along with returning after years abroad.
I laid low in DC for several months until in May when I completed my studies and immediately took another gig back in Afghanistan where I have been for a week now. I look forward to keeping you informed of the International Security Environment with special focus on Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and all critical hotspots the world over. Stay Tuned for some great analysis and increased activity.
Top General Looking Back on #Afghanistan
“I think the future is access to information. That’s where the transition is going to happen.” – My sentiments exactly.
#CIA Falls Back in #Afghanistan
This is a pretty interesting article regarding CIA proxy forces in Afghanistan.
#Afghanistan’s future is brighter than you might imagine
This is a phenomenal write up. With so much negative analysis out there about Afghanistan it is great to see a more rational perspective. The potential for positive advancement at an exponential rate is high. Afghanistan is not only going to stabilize to a fundamental basis, it is going to lead central asia into the second half of the 21st century as a pillar of progress.
Relief in #Afghanistan after largely peaceful landmark election
AFGHANISTAN – I remember the first election in Iraq, i was so happy for Iraqis. I still have a framed ballot from the event. Today marks the first democratic election in Afghanistan. Thousands of Americans and allies and Afghans have given their life for this day. I gave nearly 2 years of my life in Afghanistan to get to this point. Congratulations to all Afghans and thank you to those who served in any capacity in Afghanistan. #FreedomIsNotFree
Give #Afghanistan a Chance: With America’s help, Afghanistan has the makings of a bright future #ISAF #NATO
“Afghans, as a whole, are optimistic about their country’s future. A February 2014 survey conducted by ATR Consulting found that 80 percent of Afghans see the government now as being in control — 93.7 percent in the country’s North and 73.1 percent in the South. Of course, there are reasons to be hopeful. Key development indicators, including life expectancy, electricity connections and medical care access, are improving, and a new generation of Afghans has taken advantage of the educational opportunities denied to their parents. Indeed, the Department of Defense estimates that ‘in 2000, Afghanistan had 1.2 million students enrolled in school, whereas now it has over 10 million.'”
#Afghanistan Is The Big Winner In U.S. Foreign Aid – What about #Somalia #Syria and #Yemen ?
Time Magazine just published an article on US Foreign aid. It includes top foreign aid recipients by region and country. I get why Afghanistan is the highest recipient of aid here, however there are a few disturbing issues with some of the other countries on here being so high while more strategic countries are not even in the top ten. To begin with, why is Israel higher than Iraq? Israel is a key strategic ally but for gods sake we poured for more of an investment into Iraq and it should be out-ranking Israel by at least a couple billion. If I had the ability to reorganize this list it would look something like this:
1) Afghanistan (to include via Pakistan)
3) Somalia via Kenya & Ethiopia
(Next 5 not necessarily in order by aid amount)
8) Insert any Sub-Saharan Africa country here
9) Insert any Sub-Saharan Africa country here
10) Insert any Sub-Saharan Africa country here
#Afghanistan Presidential Candidate Drops Out
This is unfortunate that Prince Naim has dropped out. I met with Prince Naim when I was in Afghanistan to discuss Civil Society engagement and he was a great asset for the international community’s efforts to bridge differences between various factions in Afghanistan. He was the most well-spoken, educated and honest Afghan I had met in my near 2 years there. I truly hope Price Naim retains an influential leader in Afghanistan’s future.