Posts tagged ‘afghanistan’

Afghanistan: Actions Needed to Improve Accountability of U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan

Geographic Differences in the Relative Price of Healthy Foods

by Charles Michael Johnson, Jr.
Paperback, 48 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 9781437989298

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Defense (DoD) award direct assistance to Afghanistan, using bilateral agreements and multilateral trust funds that provide funds through the Afghan national budget.

This report assessed: (1) the extent to which the U.S., through USAID and DoD, has increased direct assistance; (2) USAID and DoD steps to ensure accountability for bilateral direct assistance; and (3) USAID and DoD steps to ensure accountability for direct assistance via multilateral trust funds for Afghanistan.

The report reviewed USAID, DoD, and multilateral documents and met with U.S. officials in Wash., D.C., and Afghanistan. Charts and tables. This is a print on demand report.

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August 3, 2011 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Government Report: Ali v. Rumsfeld: U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Decision

Ali v. Rumsfeld: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Decision

by Karen LeCraft Henderson
Paperback, 27 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437988091

This legal decision affirms that Donald Rumsfeld has qualified immunity from a suit brought by Abu Ghraib prisoners.

Four Afghan and five Iraqi citizens captured and subsequently held in Afghanistan and Iraq by the U.S. military sued Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, and three Army officers under the 5th and 8th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Alien Tort Statute, and the 3rd and 4th Geneva Conventions, seeking damages and declaratory relief as the result of their treatment while in U.S. custody.

The district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss all 6 claims and the plaintiffs appealed the dismissal. This decision sets forth the reasons why the U.S. Court of Appeals affirms the district court’s judgment. A print on demand report.

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July 29, 2011 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Afghanistan

Afghanistan: U.S. Efforts to Vet Non-U.S. Vendors Need Improvement

by William M. Solis
Paperback, 46 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437987125

The DoD, State, and the USAID have collectively obligated billions of dollars for contracts and assistance to support U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. There are concerns that U.S. funds are being diverted to fund insurgent and criminal activity in Afghanistan. This review was initiated to identify DoD, State, and USAID efforts to vet non-U.S. contractors and assistance recipients in Afghanistan. It examines: (1) the extent to which DoD, State and USAID have established a process to vet non-U.S. vendors to ensure that resources are not used to support insurgents; and (2) the extent to which vetting information is shared among DoD, State, and USAID. Charts and tables.

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June 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: Suicide Prevention Among Veterans

Suicide Prevention Among Veterans
by Ramya Sundararaman, Sidath Viranga Panangala and Sarah A. Lister
Paperback, 13 pages, 2009, $10.00
ISBN: 1437939651

Numerous news stories have documented suicides among servicemembers and vets returning from Iraqi and Afghanistan. The VA has carried out a number of suicide prevention initiatives, including: establishing a national suicide prevention hotline for vets, conducting awareness events at VA medical centers, and screening and assessing vets for suicide risk.

Contents of this report: Intro.; Data Systems for Tracking Suicide; Suicide in the U.S. General Pop’n.: Incidence of Suicide; Risk and Protective Factors; Suicide Among Vets: Incidence of Suicide; Risk and Protective Factors; Effects of PTSD, TBI, and Depression on Suicide Risk; VA’s Suicide Prevention Efforts: Mental Health; Strategic Plan; Suicide Awareness; Screening; Suicide Prevention Hotline.

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September 28, 2010 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Troop Levels in the Afghan and Iraq Wars, FY 2001-FY 2012: Cost and Other Potential Issues

Troop Levels in the Afghan and Iraq Wars, FY 2001-FY 2012: Cost and Other Potential Issues (ISBN: 1437919456)
By Amy Belasco (Paperback, 67 pages, 2009, $25.00)

In Feb. and March 2009, the Obama Administration announced its plans to increase troop levels in Afghanistan and decrease troop levels in Iraq. In Afghanistan, 30,000 more troops are deploying this year while in Iraq, troops will gradually decline to 35,000 to 50,000 by Aug. 31, 2011 with all troops to be out of Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.

The most commonly cited measure of troop strength is “Boots on the Ground” or the number of troops located in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Based on aveerage monthly Boots on the Ground figures, the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq increased from 5,200 in FY2002 to a peak of 187,900 in FY2008 primarily because of increases in Iraq beginning with the invasion in March 2003.

In FY2009, total troop strength is expected to remain the same as planned increases in Afghanistan offset declines in Iraq. By FY2012, overall troop strength for the two wars is likely to decline to 67,500 when the withdrawal from Iraq is expected to be complete.

Contents of this Congressional Research Service (CRS) report: (I) Introduction: Obama Admin. Plans for Afghanistan and Iraq; (II) Wide Range in Deployed Troop Strengths in DOD Sources; (III) In-Country Troop Strength: FY2002-FY2012; (IV) Cost Implications of Changes in Troop Strength: FY2009-FY2012; (V) Ways to Measure Troop Levels for the Afghan and Iraq Wars; (VI) Trends in Troop Levels From FY2002-FY2008 Using Five Alternative Sources; (VII) Service Roles and Readiness Concerns. Figures and tables.

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August 2, 2010 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan (ISBN: 9781437935271)

Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan (ISBN: 9781437935271)
By John F. Tierney
(Paperback, 79 pages, 2010, $30)

After a six-month investigation, this report exposes the circumstances surrounding the Department of Defense’s (DOD) outsourcing of security on the supply chain in Afghanistan to questionable providers, including warlords. The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking.

In short, DOD designed a contract that put responsibility for the security of vital U.S. supplies on contractors and their unaccountable security providers. This arrangement has fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials, and perhaps others. Not only does the system run afoul of DOD’s own rules and regulations mandated by Congress, it also appears to risk undermining the U.S. strategy for achieving its goals in Afghanistan.

To be sure, Afghanistan presents an extremely difficult environment for military operations, logistics, and business practices. Nevertheless, the evidence indicates that little attention was given to the cost-benefit analysis of allowing the system to continue in a fashion that injected a good portion of a $2.16 billion contract’s resources into a corruptive environment.

This report is confined to the facts pertaining to the Host Nation Trucking contracts, and in that limited sphere there are constructive changes that can be made to the U.S. supply chain in Afghanistan to improve contracting integrity while mitigating corrupting influences. The report offers some realistic recommendations to serve as a catalyst for what appears to be a much-needed reconsideration of policy. Figures.

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July 9, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Preliminary Mineral Resource Assessment of Selected Mineral Deposit Types in Afghanistan (ISBN: 1437935060)

Preliminary Mineral Resource Assessment of Selected Mineral Deposit Types in Afghanistan (ISBN: 1437935060)
By Steve Ludington
(Paperback, 44 pages, 2010, $25)

Last week, U.S. officials announced the discovery of nearly $1 trillion worth of “previously unknown mineral wealth in Afghanistan,” reports Newsweek, especially in iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium.

But in Feb. 2002, a detailed proposal addressing natural resources issues critical to the reconstruction of Afghanistan was prepared. Afghanistan has abundant metallic and non-metallic resources, but the potential resources had never been assessed using modern methods.

This assessment, published in 2007, reviewed the geology of Afghanistan and selected appropriate deposit models. Then delineated permissive tracts for each type of deposit was prepared. Geologic maps and location maps showing the distribution and types of existing mineral deposits and occurrences were used in outlining these tracts. Geophysical and geochemical maps, as well as knowledge about the exploration history, were used in tract delineation and estimation. Illustrations.

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June 25, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Memorial Day Book Special: Rakkasans: The Combat History of the 187th Airborne Infantry (ISBN: 0891416048)

Weekly Book Special: May 18th-May 24th

Memorial Day, on May 31st, commemorates American soldiers who died while in service. In commemoration, this week’s special is:

The Rakkasans:
The Combat History of the 187th Airborne Infantry

By E.M. Flanagan, Jr. (Hardcover, 392 pages, 1997, $25.00)

The Rakkasans: The Combat History of the 187th Airborne InfantryThis is the complete account of one of the most remarkable regiments in the history of the U.S. Army, written by a retired lieutenant general who served with airborne outfits during World War II and the Korean War.

The 187th Infantry Regiment, known as “Rakkasans,” have fought in every major American military conflict from World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq.

They were chosen by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to be the first wave of troops to occupy Japan, were the only airborne unit in the Korean War, made history at the Vietnam War’s Hamburger Hill, and made a grueling helicopter assault during Operation Desert Storm. Includes 30 rarely-published photos.

Here’s a 60-second video of the Rakkasans preparing for deployment:

“The Rakkasans is important military history,” writes Kirkus Reviews. “It is well researched and articulated for both the student of military history and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in military history.”

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May 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Supreme Court Rulings on Enemy Combatants, Senate Filibusters, Threat of Bioterrorism, National Broadband Plan, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)

New government reports this week:

1) Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
by Jennifer K. Elsea and Michael John Garcia (Paperback, 18 pages, $15)

As part of the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the U.S. has captured and detained numerous persons believed to have been part of or associated with enemy forces. Over the years, federal courts have considered a multitude of petitions by or on behalf of suspected belligerents challenging aspects of U.S. detention policy.

Although the Supreme Court has issued definitive rulings concerning several legal issues raised in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, many others remain unresolved, with some the subject of ongoing litigation. This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance to U.S. detention policy. The report also addresses a few notable decisions by federal district courts that are the subject of ongoing habeas litigation.

Finally, it describes a few federal court rulings in criminal cases involving persons who were either involved in the 9/11 attacks or were captured abroad by U.S. forces during operations against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated entities.not convicted.

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2) Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate
by Richard Beth, Valerie Heitshusen and Betsy Palmer (Paperback, 22 pages, $15)

Contents: (I) The Right to Debate: The Right to Recognition; The Right to Speak at Length and the Two-Speech Rule; The Motion to Table; (II) The Conduct of Filibusters: Germaneness of Debate; Yielding the Floor and Yielding for Questions; Quorums and Quorum Calls; Roll Call Voting; Scheduling Filibusters; (III) Invoking Cloture: Matters on Which Cloture May be Invoked: Timing of Cloture Motions; (IV) Effects of Invoking Cloture; (V) The Impact of Filibusters. Tables.

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3) Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress
by Frank Gottron and Dana A. Shea (Paperback, 13 pages, $10)

The federal government’s efforts to address the perceived threat of bioterrorism span many different agencies and are organized and directed through several strategy and planning documents. These agencies have implemented numerous disparate actions and programs in their statutory areas to address the threat.

Despite these efforts, many experts, including congressional commissions, non-governmental organizations, and industry representatives, have highlighted weaknesses or flaws in the federal government’s biodefense activities.

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4) Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan
by FCC Staff (Paperback, 360 pages, $45)

Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century. The number of Americans who have broadband at home has grown from 8 million in 2000 to nearly 200 million last year.

But approximately 100 million Americans do not have broadband at home. Broadband-enabled health IT can improve care and lower costs by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades, yet the U.S. is behind many advanced countries in the adoption of such technology.

In early 2009, Congress directed the Fed. Communications Comm. (FCC) to develop a National Broadband Plan to ensure that every American has “access to broadband capability.”

To fulfill Congress’s mandate, this plan seeks to ensure that the entire broadband ecosystem — networks, devices, content and applications— is healthy. It makes recommendations to the FCC, the Executive Branch, Congress and state and local governments. Figures.

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5) All-Terrain Vehicles: How They Are Used, Crashes, and Sales of Adult-Sized Vehicles for Children’s Use
by Susan Fleming (Paperback, 68 pages, $20)

All-terrain vehicles (ATV), which are off-road motorized vehicles, have become increasingly popular. However, ATV fatalities and injuries have increased over the last decade and are a matter of concern to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission).

Many ATV crashes involving children occur when they are riding adult-sized ATVs. Manufacturers and distributors have agreed to use their best efforts to prevent their dealers from selling adult-sized ATVs for use by children under the age of 16.

This report examines (1) how ATVs are used and the advantages of their use and (2) the nature, extent, and costs of ATV crashes. The report reviewed ATV use and crash data and discussed these issues with Commission staff, industry officials, user groups, and safety stakeholders. Includes recommendations. Figures.

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April 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment


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