Meanwhile, Back In Afghanistan

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Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, who attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels Dec. 6-7, identified the Afghan Air Force (AAF) as the number one priority for modernization of the Afghan security forces.

U.S. Army General John W. Nicholson, commander of NATO's Resolute Support training and the U.S. Freedom Sentinel counter-terrorism missions in Afghanistan, warned that the declining state of the AAF's Russian-built aircraft and the lack of spare parts would lead to them becoming unusable. These aircraft include M-35 attack helicopters, four of which have been supplied by India, and Mi-17s used by Afghan special forces.

Nicholson painted Afghan special forces as a bright spot in the 300,000-strong Afghan security forces, some of whose units are plagued by poor leadership, incompetence, and corruption. Special forces conducted 70% of Afghan National Army (ANA) offensive operations, supported by special mission wing M-17s with goggle-qualified pilots who can fly both at night and during the day. It has been proposed that the M-17s be replaced by UH-60s.

In 2016, Little Bird helicopters and eight A-29 attack aircraft were integrated into the AAF and nearly 120 Afghan air tactical controllers were embedded in Afghan units to guide them. Since April, the AAF has therefore been able to conduct its own strikes. Nearly 20 Afghan air crews have also been added to the AAF, with more being trained in the United States, and the Obama administration has requested more funding for the AAF. 

In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles have been introduced into some ANA corps.

Discuss this Blog Entry 3

on Dec 8, 2016

Russia is not the only source of parts for Mi-17s.

The Afghans are notorious for being barely competent to maintain relatively simple Mi-17s, so how is this going to change with the more complex UH-60?

What's next... send them AH-64s to replace the Mi-35s?

on Dec 8, 2016

The Mi-17 is not built in Connecticut.

That rumbling sound is the pork barrel rolling.

on Dec 10, 2016

The situation in Afghanistan is beyond solution by the USA.

"Afghan war not winnable due to Pak policy."

afghanistantimes.af/afghan-war-not-winnable-due-to-pak-policy/

The reason is our allies Pakistan and Saudi.

"Saudis Bankroll Taliban, Even as King Officially Supports Afghan Government."
nytimes.com/2016/12/06/world/asia/saudi-arabia-afghanistan.html?_r=0

Besides the Turn From Asia underway is leaving a power vacuum which China is eager to fill.

"Opening Aqina Railway Encourages China To Invest On Kabul-Quetta, Peshawar Way."
bakhtarnews.com.af/eng/business/item/26442-opening-aqina-railway-encourages-china-to-invest-on-kabul-quetta-peshawar-way.html

Even the climate is turning against US objectives in Afghanistan.

"Climate change fuels insurgency in Afghanistan"
full.gulf-times.com/story/521180/Climate-change-fuels-insurgency-in-Afghanistan

Meanwhile, Back In Afghanistan; the US Asiaexit underway with the pending doom of the TTP and Trumps threats to the continued US presence in the region is augmented by a foreign policy which pretends that Saudi and Pakistan are our friends.

Conclusion?

We are on the way out in Asia and might as well cut our losses now.

"Son, never spit to the windward!"
- The Old Sailor

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