Friday, June 30, 2017

Europe to meet U.S. plea for more troops to Afghanistan - Reuters

European allies pledged more troops to support Afghanistan's hard-pressed military on Thursday but left details on numbers vague until the United States clarifies its new strategy to break a stalemate with the Taliban.

Despite public fatigue, Europe's latest offer for reinforcements underscores the West's determination to defeat Taliban fighters who harbored al Qaeda militants behind the September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

It also reflects a growing realization that the United States and its allies were too hasty in pulling down their large troop presence in 2011, which allowed militants to regain ground and weaken efforts to build Afghanistan's democracy.

"Looking back on it, it's pretty much a consensus that we may have ...reduced the numbers a little too rapidly," U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told a news conference following a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

Since drastically drawing down from a peak of more than 130,000 NATO troops in 2011, allies have scrapped an earlier plan to pull out of the country despite the high costs of the United States' longest-running war.

n a closed-door meeting, Mattis pressed NATO allies and non-member partners to provide more personnel to help train the Afghan armed forces. That would add to the 13,450 U.S. and multinational troops involved in training in the country.

NATO commanders are working on the basis of around 1,200 additional troops for next year, diplomats said, but Mattis declined to go into numbers. He said so far he filled 70 percent of the gaps identified by NATO and voiced confidence following his talks in Brussels that "we'll be filling the rest."

"We still have a few gaps and nations are stepping up," Mattis said.

The United States is considering sending up to 5,000 more troops beyond what NATO allies offer, officials say. - Read More

Europe to meet U.S. plea for more troops to Afghanistan

NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Defence Ministers Meeting, 29 JUN 2017, 1/2

Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Resolute Support operational partner nations at the level of Defence Ministers - Opening Remarks, 29 June 2017. -  Read More

NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Defence Ministers ...

NATO builds on its support for Afghanistan

Mr Stoltenberg said several NATO Allies and partners had committed to increase their troop levels, and he underlined how the Alliance would continue to strengthen its political partnership and practical cooperation with Afghanistan. He praised the Afghan security forces, saying: “every day they demonstrate bravery and resilience, leading the fight to defeat terrorists and protect their people.”

The Secretary General made his remarks after the final working session of a meeting of Allied defence ministers at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Ministers discussed the significant progress being made on burden sharing in the Alliance, with the third consecutive year of accelerating defence investment across European Allies and Canada, amounting to almost US $46 billion.  Ministers also had talks on increased NATO presence in eastern and south-eastern Europe; NATO-EU cooperation; cyber defence and the fight against terrorism.- Read More

Canada Is Turning 150. Oh, to Be 100 Again. - nytimes

MONTREAL — It didn’t seem very Canadian.

For Expo 67, this usually modest and frugal country spent vast amounts of money to create islands within the St. Lawrence River and build an array of huge buildings, all to show off Canada to the world.

But even if uncharacteristic, the fair was a coming out for a new Canada. And in 1967, it defined the country’s celebration of its 100th birthday (or, more accurately, the centennial of its current political structure) in a way that no single event will mark the 150th on Saturday.

Much like today, 1967 was a time when Canada was reimagining itself. Its now iconic maple leaf flag was only two years old, and a committee was recommending that “O Canada” succeed “God Save the Queen” as the official anthem.

The Liberal government was distancing itself from the administration in the United States over the war in Vietnam while providing refuge for Americans to avoid the draft. Its charismatic justice minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, introduced sweeping social changes to the country’s laws, including the legalization of homosexuality. “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” Mr. Trudeau declared.

In popular lore, the summer of 1967 has become the summer of love. For me as an 11-year-old in the sixth grade at Glenwood Public School in Windsor, Ontario, it was the summer of Expo.

I was not the only Canadian kid counting down the days before my family headed to Montreal. At a time when Canada’s population was 20 million, more than 50 million people visited the fair in six months. It seemed as if the entire country had joined the world and made its way to Expo. - Read More

Canada Is Turning 150. Oh, to Be 100 Again. - The New York Times

Robert Campeau, Flamboyant Canadian Who Owned Bloomingdale's ...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

‘What is the price of not fighting this war?’: Mattis makes his pitch to get more NATO troops in Afghanistan - washingtonpost

BRUSSELS — Nearly three years after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ended combat operations in Afghanistan, the 29-nation alliance will send troops once more into the country with hopes that the renewed surge will help the Afghan military beat back a resurgent Taliban.

Speaking ahead of a defense ministerial meeting here Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said thousands of troops have been requested, but he did not say how many would deploy.

With the Taliban in control of broad swaths of the country and the Afghan military locked in a primarily defensive war, it is unclear how a new infusion of NATO or U.S. forces could radically turn the tide of the conflict.

“Fifteen nations have already pledged additional contributions to Resolute Support Mission. And I look forward to further announcements from other nations,” Stoltenberg said, using the name of the NATO mission to Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg stressed that NATO’s renewed presence did not mean the beginning of another combat mission; instead, he said, the alliance will focus on building the Afghan special operation forces, air force and other military training institutions.

Stoltenberg’s remarks come as the United States weighs its own commitment in what has become its longest-running war. In recent weeks, President Trump delegated authorities to the Pentagon to set troop levels in the Afghanistan, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has pledged to present a strategy to Congress by mid-July.  - Read More

Afghans doubt increasing foreign troops would bring real change

Recent advances by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are high on the agenda at a NATO defence ministers' meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
There will be discussions on the prospect of increasing the number of foreign troops in the country, but many Afghans doubt that a few thousand soldiers more would make a significant difference.  Al Jazeeras' Rob McBride reports from Kabul. - Read More

Afghanistan News - Today's latest from Al Jazeera

Who's banned from entering the U.S. when Trump travel ban goes into effect?

WASHINGTON -- What is a bona fide relationship and why does it matter? It's the basis for the implementation of the president's travel ban, and after the Supreme Court's ruling that the ban can be partially enforced, the Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a "close" family or business tie to the United States. 

The new rules take effect at 8 p.m. ET Thursday according to a State Department cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late on Wednesday, which was obtained first by the Associated Press. 

Who qualifies as "close" family?

A parent, a spouse, child or sibling. According to the New York Times, this also includes step siblings.  - Read More, CBS

U.S. travel ban bars grandparents, fiancés from six Muslim countries

Grandparents, grandchildren and fiancés of people in the United States will be barred from getting U.S. visas under President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban against citizens of six Muslim-majority countries taking effect on Thursday, U.S. officials said.

The administration also narrowly interpreted which refugees will be allowed into the country, saying that links with refugee resettlement agencies would not be enough to win them admittance, likely sharply limiting the number of refugees allowed entry in coming months.

The Trump administration's temporary travel ban will go into effect at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT Friday), but in a scaled-back form that still allows in some travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, following a Supreme Court order on Monday.

The Supreme Court exempted travelers and refugees with a "bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the United States from the ban, which Trump signed in March and which opponents have said is discriminatory.

Refugee resettlement agencies had expected that their formal links with refugees expecting to come to the United States would qualify as "bona fide." But U.S. officials said on Thursday that for now, that sort of relationship was not enough to qualify refugees for entry. 

In its decision on Monday, the Supreme Court allowed the ban, which bars people from the designated six countries for 90 days and refugees for 120 days, to go partially into effect until the top court can take up the case during its next term starting in October.

The State Department guidance on the ban, distributed to all U.S. diplomatic posts on Wednesday evening and obtained by Reuters, fleshed out the Supreme Court's ruling about people who have a "bona fide" relationship with an individual or entity in the United States.- Read More, Reuters
U.S. travel ban bars grandparents, fiancés from six Muslim countries

U.S. lays out criteria for visa applicants from six Muslim nations

Travel ban to take effect as State Department defines ‘close family’ - Washingtonpost

Visitors from six predominantly Muslim nations will be denied visas to the United States under new guidelines that take effect Thursday night unless they can prove very close family ties to someone already in the country or an institution such as a workplace or university.

The rules sent to diplomatic posts worldwide Wednesday prompted immediate criticism for the narrow and somewhat quirky definition of close family. A son-in-law or a step-daughter can get in, but a grandmother or uncle cannot. Senior administration officials said they drew up the list of close relationships based on the definition of family in the Immigration and Nationality Act passed almost 50 years ago.

The relatives deemed sufficiently close family to exempt people from the travel ban, whether as visitors or refugees, are listed as a parent, spouse, child, an adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling, as well as their stepfamily counterparts. The exemption explicitly does not cover a number of other family relationships: grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiances and other “extended” family members.

The travel ban stems from an executive order blocking travelers from six targeted countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the United States for 90 days, and 120 days for refugees. The restrictions have been challenged in courts around the country, but the Supreme Court has allowed a modified version to go forward for the time being.

The rules do not take effect until 8 p.m. Thursday, a deadline imposed in part to prevent people from being unexpectedly turned away upon arrival in the United States, as happened earlier in the year when a sudden ban surprised people already en route.

Travelers holding visas who already have booked travel through at least July 6 should have no problems getting admitted, administration officials said. It is unclear what will happen to people with flight reservations on later dates.

Some civil rights and immigration law groups said they would send monitors to airports in Washington, New York and Los Angeles to provide assistance to anyone wrongfully denied entry. But senior U.S. officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, at the administration's insistence, said they did not expect any confusion and that almost nobody should be denied entry under the new guidelines in the coming days.

The new guidelines’ impact on refu­gee flows this year is difficult to predict. More than half of all U.S.-bound refugees typically have some family in the United States, though in some cases the relatives may be in the excluded category. A cap of 50,000 refugees who will be allowed to resettle in the United States this fiscal year has nearly been reached, with 49,009 refugees admitted as of Wednesday night.

The cap is expected to be hit within a week or so, and refugees expecting to travel to the United States through July 6 should have no problems getting admitted, officials said.

The new rules were drawn up after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that a limited version of the travel ban could take effect until after it hears the case, probably in the first week in October. It said visitors with a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in the United States could not be barred, prompting the Justice and State departments to come up with instructions on who fits in that category.

Officials say that cases will be judged on their individual merits. So some visitors and refugees may be granted entry even without a "bona fide" relationship, such as a grandmother or an aunt who raised someone now living in the United States.

"We will look at it case by case," said another administration official. "It won't be the relationship that's the determining factor." - Read More

Travel ban to take effect as State Department defines ‘close family’

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business

A new cyber virus spread from Ukraine to wreak havoc around the globe on Wednesday, crippling thousands of computers, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting production at a chocolate factory in Australia.

The virus is believed to have first taken hold on Tuesday in Ukraine where it silently infected computers after users downloaded a popular tax accounting package or visited a local news site, national police and international cyber experts said

Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) said it was struggling to process orders and shift cargoes, congesting some of the 76 ports around the world run by its APM Terminals subsidiary.

U.S. delivery firm FedEx Corp (FDX.N) said its TNT Express division had been significantly affected by the virus, which also wormed its way into South America, affecting ports in Argentina operated by China's Cofco.

The malicious code locked machines and demanded victims post a ransom worth $300 in bitcoins or lose their data entirely, similar to the extortion tactic used in the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May.

More than 30 victims paid up but security experts are questioning whether extortion was the goal, given the relatively small sum demanded, or whether the hackers were driven by destructive motives rather than financial gain.

Hackers asked victims to notify them by email when ransoms had been paid but German email provider Posteo quickly shut down the address, a German government cyber security official said.

Ukraine, the epicenter of the cyber strike, has repeatedly accused Russia of orchestrating attacks on its computer systems and critical power infrastructure since its powerful neighbor annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

The Kremlin, which has consistently rejected the accusations, said on Wednesday it had no information about the origin of the global cyber attack, which also struck Russian companies such as oil giant Rosneft (ROSN.MM) and a steelmaker.

"No one can effectively combat cyber threats on their own, and, unfortunately, unfounded blanket accusations will not solve this problem," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. - Read More, Reuters

New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business

Just 17 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Republican Senate Health Care Bill

Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP's health care bill, and they're unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Just 17 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the Senate's health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Fifty-five percent say they disapprove, while about a quarter said they hadn't heard enough about the proposal to have an opinion on it.

With mounting defections within the GOP caucus over the bill, leaders decided to delay a vote on the legislation until after Congress returns from next week's July Fourth recess.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis released Monday found that if the bill were enacted, 22 million fewer people would have health insurance over the next decade due, in part, to the bill's rollback of Medicaid expansion.

"With numbers like these, it's not surprising the Republican leadership in Congress is having a difficult time building consensus," said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

While Democratic opposition to the bill, as expected, is high, GOP support for the Senate GOP's plan is very soft. Twenty-one percent of Republicans oppose the bill and just 35 percent support it. Sixty-eight percent of independents also oppose the proposed legislation.

Among Republicans, Trump wouldn't bear the brunt of the blame if Congress is unable to repeal and replace Obamacare. Just 6 percent would blame him, and half said they would blame congressional Democrats. Another 20 percent said they would blame GOP lawmakers. - Read More

Just 17 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Republican Senate Health Care Bill

English Language Learners: How Your State Is Doing

About 1 out of every 10 public school students in the United States right now is learning to speak English. They're called ELLs, for "English Language Learners.

There are nearly 5 million of them, and educating them — in English and all the other subjects and skills they'll need — is one of the biggest challenges in U.S. public education today.

As part of our reporting project, 5 Million Voices, we set out to gather up all the data and information we could find about who these students are and how they're being taught. Here's our snapshot:

Most ELLs were born in the United States, and are U.S. citizens. - Read More

English Language Learners: How Your State Is Doing

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

CHART: CBO Weighs Who Wins, Who Loses With Senate Health Care Bill

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office weighed in on the Senate health care bill on Monday, saying that 22 million people would lose health coverage in the next 10 years under the Senate's plan. Of those, 15 million would lose Medicaid coverage. It's projected to lower the deficit by billions over 10 years, and also cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Medicaid covers low-income people including children, pregnant women, older people in nursing homes and the disabled. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government offered subsidies to help states to cover more people, though 19 states chose not to accept the federal money.

For individuals who purchase health coverage on the exchanges, the CBO says prices will vary — some will see lower premiums, especially in states that opt out of some consumer protections, which will allow insurers to sell plans that offer fewer benefits. However, for people would like to purchase plans that cover the essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, including mental health coverage, addiction treatment, maternity care and prescription drug coverage, costs could go way up. - Read More

CHART: CBO Weighs Who Wins, Who Loses With Senate Health Care Bill

CHART: Who Wins, Who Loses With Senate Health Care Bill

America's top military officer arrives in Afghanistan as US weighs strategy shift

(CNN) - The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, arrived in Afghanistan Monday, a visit that comes as the Trump administration is deciding on a strategy to break what it sees as a stalemate in the 16-year-old war in the country.

Dunford was scheduled to meet with coalition leaders and forces as well as Afghan officials, according to his spokesman US Navy Capt. Greg Hicks.

His trip also comes as the US is deciding whether to deploy thousands more troops to help bolster local forces as they battle the Taliban and ISIS' local branch.

While Secretary of Defense James Mattis told Congress earlier this month that a new strategy for Afghanistan and the wider region, to include Pakistan, should be formulated by "mid-July," President Donald Trump has already given Mattis the authority to make decisions about how many US troops are deployed to Afghanistan without first having to get formal agreement from the White House.

The Pentagon and White House have been reviewing an option to send 3,000 to 5,000 additional US troops to help train and advise Afghan forces. - Read More

America's top military officer arrives in Afghanistan as US weighs ...

Gov. Jerry Brown approves a $183-billion state budget, though a few details are unfinished

California budget

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a $183.2-billion budget, a spending plan with significant boosts for public schools and a variety of programs to help California's most needy residents.

While the blueprint depends on a series of other related bills that haven't reached his desk, Brown's action largely ratifies the plan approved by the Legislature and ensures the state will have a budget in place for the new fiscal year that begins Saturday.

"This budget provides money to repair our roads and bridges, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide Medi-Cal health care for millions of Californians," Brown said in a written statement released by his office.

The budget boosts total state and local spending on K-12 education and community colleges to $74.5 billion, roughly $11,000 per pupil in the coming school year. It also increases funding for the University of California and Cal State University systems, and provides additional money for preschool and child care programs.

Brown and lawmakers agreed to devote a portion of new tobacco tax dollars to higher payments for doctors and dentists that treat patients in Medi-Cal, the state's healthcare program for the poor. Divvying up the dollars generated by last fall's Proposition 56 was among one of the most contentious issues during spring budget negotiations.

The budget sets aside additional money in the state's rainy-day reserve fund, growing the contingency account to $8.5 billion.

Brown, who rarely uses his line-item veto power in trimming budgets, left entirely intact the plan ratified by the Legislature on June 15.

While the governor signed 15 budget-related bills Tuesday, a handful of other related bills have yet to make their way to his desk. Those include a plan to make an extra $6-billion payment to the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, borrowing the money from surplus state revenues. The plan was approved by the state Senate on Monday. - Read More

Gov. Jerry Brown approves a $183-billion state budget, though a few details are unfinished

Friday, June 23, 2017

Senate Obamacare repeal bill would slash federal healthcare funding for Medicaid

Senate Republicans unveiled a draft bill on Thursday to roll back the Affordable Care Act, including a drastic reduction in federal healthcare spending that threatens to leave millions more Americans uninsured, drive up costs for poor consumers and further destabilize the nation’s health insurance markets.

The legislative outline, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s team wrote largely behind closed doors, hews closely to the Obamacare repeal bill passed last month by House Republicans, though it includes important differences. The House version was first celebrated by President Trump in a White House Rose Garden ceremony, though he later criticized the bill as “mean.”

Like the House bill, the Senate plan would eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes over the next decade, with large benefits for the wealthiest Americans. And like the House bill, it would pay for those cuts by dramatically reducing federal money for Medicaid, likely forcing states to make deep cuts in their healthcare programs for the poor. Trump promised during his campaign not to reduce Medicaid.

Although the Senate bill preserves premium subsidies that help some low-income buyers purchase insurance, it would scale them back significantly.

The reductions in federal spending for healthcare, which would be the largest rollback of the federal health safety net in history, drew sharp criticism from patient groups, doctors and some insurers. - Read More, latimes

Senate Obamacare repeal bill would slash federal healthcare funding for Medicaid

What the Senate healthcare bill could mean for Californians - latimes

Senate leaders have released their Obamacare repeal bill, which would slash federal funding for healthcare and could leave millions of Americans uninsured.

Though the plan has not yet been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office, it isn’t too different from the one passed by the House last month. The CBO projected the House bill would save the federal government $119 billion over the next decade, raise insurance deductibles and leave 23 million fewer Americans with health coverage.

Both bills would also undo several taxes on high-income Americans that are used to fund Obamacare.

The Affordable Care Act has had a huge impact on California, where roughly 4 million people have gained insurance and the percentage of uninsured residents has dropped more than half.

Below is a breakdown of some of the ways the Senate bill could affect healthcare coverage in California if it becomes law.

If you’re on Medi-Cal
Medi-Cal would arguably be the most affected. Medi-Cal, a joint program between the state and federal governments, was expanded under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.

The program has since grown to cover 13.5 million Californians, which is more than 1 out of every 3 people in the state.

For those who gained Medi-Cal coverage through the Affordable Care Act: Now anyone in California can sign up for Medi-Cal if their annual income is low enough: $16,395 or less for a single person or $22,108 or less for a couple. Medi-Cal is free for participants.

he Senate bill recommends slowly undoing the Medi-Cal expansion starting in three years, which could ultimately leave 3.9 million Californians without insurance.

It’s a move that would save the federal government roughly $13 billion annually, according to the state Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Lowell Brown, a healthcare attorney in Los Angeles, said the coverage rollback may not end up being quite as drastic, because federal legislators have said they plan to replace coverage cuts with other options.

“Will those people have some other kind of coverage, and what would it be?” Brown said. “I think that’s what everybody’s going to be looking at.”

For those who were part of Medi-Cal before Obamacare: Currently, the federal government reimburses states for Medicaid expenses, regardless of size. Critics of this funding model say it’s too open-ended and leads to out-of-control costs.

The Senate bill would cap Medicaid funding, instead giving states fixed pools of money to pay for their program. Experts say this would force California and other states to make tough decisions about how to maintain their programs. Enrollees could receive fewer benefits, take on some cost-sharing or be fully pushed out — though it’s unclear exactly how many Medi-Cal patients might be affected.

The Senate bill would cap Medicaid funding, instead giving states fixed pools of money to pay for their program. Experts say this would force California and other states to make tough decisions about how to maintain their programs. Enrollees could receive fewer benefits, take on some cost-sharing or be fully pushed out — though it’s unclear exactly how many Medi-Cal patients might be affected.

Dylan Roby, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, said California has historically been generous with eligibility and benefits but less so with how much medical providers are paid.

“This will just create further pressure,” he said. “We’re going to have to juggle all of those things.” - Read More

What the Senate healthcare bill could mean for Californians

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Prince Harry Says Serving In Afghanistan Forced Him To Deal With Princess Diana's Death - Elleuk

The 32-year-old prince has revealed his work as a soldier in Afghanistan helped him deal with his grief over his mother's untimely death.
Last month, we learned that Prince William and Prince Harry feel they let down their mother when they were younger. 'We couldn't protect her,' they revealed in a new BBC One documentary to honour the late Princess, out later this summer.

And it seems Prince Harry is sharing his emotions regarding his mother yet again, having just revealed his time in Afghanistan triggered him to get help dealing with Diana's death.

In a conversation for Forces TV with Paralympic medal winner and former Invictus Games captain Dave Henson, the Prince admitted: 'I've got plenty of issues but none of them really relate to Afghanistan, but Afghanistan was the thing that triggered everything else.

'Not to get too personal, if you lose your mum at the age of 12 then you've got to deal with it and the idea that....15, 17 years later I still hadn't dealt with it, Afghan was the moment. I was like 'right—deal with it,' he added.

The admission comes three years after Prince Harry's second tour - following his first tour of duty in 2008 and a 20-week tor of duty from September 2012 to January 2013 - around the same time he created the international Paralympic-style multi-sport event, the Invictus Games, in which wounded, injured or sick members of the armed forced and associated veterans compete.

Having created the games, with the support of his grandmother and world leaders, Harry says he's been able to start healing and is coming to terms with his mother's death.

'Going through Invictus and speaking to all the guys about their issues has really healed me and helped me. - Read More

Prince Harry Says Serving In Afghanistan Forced Him To Deal With ...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan -

Release No: NR-233-17 
June 20, 2017

Today the Department of Defense provided to Congress a report on “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” covering events during the period from December 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017.  The report was submitted in accordance with requirements in Section 1225 of the Fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as amended by Sections 1231 and 1531 of the Fiscal 2016 NDAA and Sections 1215 and 1521 of the Fiscal 17 NDAA. 

Afghanistan is at a critical point in the fight against the insurgency.  The plan to modify the force structure and develop a more agile and lethal force is underway.  The ANDSF must weather the storm from the insurgency and deny the Taliban strategic victories on the battlefield, fight ISIS-K, and grow and train the defense forces.  With renewed interest in planning for the future, Afghanistan has demonstrated its resolve to face these challenges, furthering its commitment to be a viable security partner to the United States.  The United States and its NATO allies and operational partners remain committed to supporting the Afghan people and institutions in partnership with the Afghan Government and to furthering the promise of a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan. - Read More

The report is posted at

DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in ...