Bagram, Afghanistan




Kabul, Afghanistan


Significance of North #Waziristan Operation in #Pakistan

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 Is The Big Winner In U.S. Foreign Aid – What about #Somalia #Syria and #Yemen ?

#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)

2) Iraq

3) Somalia via Kenya & Ethiopia

4) Yemen

5) Syria

(Next 5 not necessarily in order by aid amount)

6) Nigeria

7) Mexico

8) Insert any Sub-Saharan Africa country here

9) Insert any Sub-Saharan Africa country here

10) Insert any Sub-Saharan Africa country here

Hitmen Take Out Haqqani Network Bigwig Nasiruddin Haqqani

Hitmen Take Out Haqqani Network Bigwig Nasiruddin Haqqani

This is a monumental blow to not only the Haqqani Network but the insurgency in Afghanistan over all. With the TTP taking a serious blow recently, now the Haqqani Network has been stuck. The Haqqani Network has been the primary player responsible for most, if not all, high profile attacks in Kabul for years now. They are well funded, very connected and historically have been the go-to facilitator (and operators) for anyone (see Al Qaeda) willing to pony up the cash to strike at the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul. Haqqani would have been surely hired to strike inside the Kabul Security Zone during the upcoming 2014 elections. This hit will hopefully limit their capacity to strike, ergo making the elections go off with a bit less threat streams. 

There is also the question of whether groups based out of Pakistan are beginning to rival one another as negotiation and withdrawal loom over their heads. Seeing the aforementioned airstrike on the TTP leader could mean that Haqqani or rival TTP elements gave him up in some manner of inner-feud. It is possible that this hit is a response. Either way we are seeing notable degradation of Pakistani groups organization and this will continue to dramatically increase over the next 150 days.

Pakistan Taliban Chief Killed


Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, TTP, was killed by a drone strike according to BBC, courtesy of 4 Hellfire missiles outside of Miranshah. Though negotiations have been on the table for some time, they were supposed to be coming to fruition very soon. How this will impact that process is anyone’s guess. It was reported previously that Mehsud had agreed to discuss possible negotiations. However also there is the chance that he was merely stalling to wait out ISAF operations due to decrease come 2014. If Mehsud was actually against negotiations then this strike may greatly open the door for the more moderate and negotiation-willing members of the militant group umbrella that Mehsud led.

Khan Said Sajna, is expected to replace Mehsud and is reportedly more apt to engage in negotiations. I am confident Sajna will be removed from the equation fairly soon – say within 90 days.

This strike is not surprising as surely with ISAF pulling back ISAF, Pakistan and Afghanistan are determined to hit the Taliban with everything possible up until the 2014 elections and subsequent NATO “withdrawl”.

Response to Akbar Ahmed’s “Wayward in Waziristan” on ForeignPolicy.com

I wanted to repost a response of mine to the following article titled “Wayward in Waziristan” by Akbar Ahmed, Harrison Akins. Though the intention is great – to request further civil engagement to and with Waziristan to counter the threats stemming from the area – the implementation or lack thereof is highly troubling. My response is as follows (partially edited from the original response):

No one argues that you do not need to understand the human terrain (to include history) to stabilize a region. The US knows that better than anyone after the equivalent of 20 War Campaign years (8 in Iraq and 12 in Afghanistan) under their belt. This is why in Iraq and still in Afghanistan; Coalition Forces implement extensive think tank resources, intelligence feedback programs, atmospherics programs, Human Terrain Teams, Female Engagement Teams, religious engagement teams, cross cultural training and various operational mechanisms.

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