Saturday, 19 August 2017

Singer Aryana Saeed talks about her concert

Americans are devising a new strategy to further destroy Afghanistan

In recent weeks, two major players in the private security industry proposed that Trump administration officials privatize U.S. military operations in Afghanistan to an unprecedented degree. Erik Prince, former owner of the now-defunct firm Blackwater Worldwide, proposed a scheme that would entail the appointment of a viceroy to oversee operations in Afghanistan, and the use of “private military units” to fill in gaps left by departing U.S. troops. Meanwhile, Stephen Feinberg—owner of DynCorp International, which holds numerous major U.S. government security contracts at present—similarly proposed that the Trump administration privatize the military force in Afghanistan, though his conceptualization of such a force calls for it to be placed under CIA control.
Luckily, Defense Secretary Mattis reportedly has so far declined both offers. Research overwhelmingly indicates that replacing U.S. military personnel with contractors is not likely to be a militarily effective solution for the Afghanistan problem.
First, research has shown that security contractors tend to decrease military effectiveness when working alongside regular military units in large numbers, primarily due to coordination issues fed by convoluted command-and-control systems and resentment and misperception between the two types of forces. Coordination problems between the military and contractor forces lead contractors to have a negative impact on the military’s integration, responsiveness, and skill when the two groups are co-deployed in the field.
Second, while security contractors operating on their own—free from any alliance with an extensive force of friendly military troops—have been shown in some instances to increase operational effectiveness and achieve tactical and strategic goals, this has primarily occurred when they have been sent into an area without clear state support. In such cases, they can operate covertly and with “plausible deniability” for the state actor supporting them, which may allow for looser interpretations of the norms of international humanitarian law. In other words, contractors can be effective, but it may not always be pretty. Notably, current Department of Defense policy mandates compliance with standards of behavior may preclude such activities—but may also explicitly preclude some of what Prince is proposing.
Perhaps more relevant in this case is the fact that the tactical and strategic effectiveness of contractors who are operating without longer-term military support typically lasts only as long as the contract is in place. In Sierra Leone, in the late 1990s, paramilitary firm Executive Outcomes was successful in securing enough of the country to hold the first free elections in thirty years, but the peacefully-elected president was then ousted in a coup within eighty-nine days of the contract expiration.
Third, in a counterinsurgency effort such as Afghanistan, U.S. military policy focuses on establishing legitimacy with local civilians. The use of armed contractors has been shown to be risky in this regard: a survey of 152 U.S. troops showed in 2007 that 20 percent of them had at times witnessed armed contractors performing unnecessarily threatening, arrogant or belligerent actions in Iraq. Similarly, nearly 50 percent of a sample of 782 surveyed State Department personnel who had experience working alongside armed contractors in Iraq showed in 2008 that armed contractors did not display an understanding of—or sensitivity to—Iraqi people and their culture.
Finally, there is the question of who would fulfill the contracts themselves. The Department of Defense already has a relatively large number of operational contractors working in Afghanistan (23,525 in total as of July 2017), and recent Department of Defense reporting indicates that contracted support requirements may increase based on pending troop-cap decisions. A small portion of that number (3,734) are security contractors and of those contractors, only 1,695 are armed and capable of paramilitary activity along the lines alluded to in the recent proposals by both Prince and Feinberg. From what labor pool, therefore, is the “private army” in question to be drawn?
Both recruitment and retention are critical here. At key points during the contracting surge in the early years of the Iraq War, private security company vetting and hiring standards varied and were at times relaxed in order to hire a large number of contractors quickly. A company’s recruitment policy could therefore affect the quality of the force.
Moreover, the labor pool for highly skilled contractors is limited, and both retention of such skilled personnel and their overall effectiveness could be hindered by deployment-related health effects: a 2013 study indicated that 25 percent of a large, multinational sample of contractors screened positive for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a rate higher than among civilians (6 percent have PTSD) or even U.S. service members (8–20 percent). Even more troubling, 23 percent of those who were deployed overseas at the time of the 2013 survey had probable PTSD, and most were not being treated for it. In contrast to the numerous mental-health resources available to members of the U.S. military, very few (if any) resources are available to help private contractors struggling with deployment-related mental health problems, and seeking help is highly stigmatized across this population. Research has found that untreated mental-health problems reduce productivity and attentiveness—setting the stage for decreased effectiveness and even the potential for harm in an operational environment if left untreated.
None of these research findings bode well for the long-term stability and security of Afghanistan if contractors are used to replace U.S. troops in the country. While operational contractors are now an entrenched part of the Department of Defense’s “total force” and are here to stay, large-scale privatization of the U.S. force in Afghanistan is unlikely to be effective.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON heartofasia.af

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Afghanistan becomes member of International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD)

Founded in mid 1928, ICOLD is an international non-governmental organization dedicated to sharing of professional information and knowledge of the design, construction, maintenance, and impact of large dams.
Afghanistan’s energy and water ministry in a statement said that the Paris-based organization had announced that Afghanistan had met the criteria for the membership with its solid programs for building dams and water management.
ICOLD totally has 100 members. The Afghan committee for the organization is led by Energy Minister Ali Ahmad Osmani. The organization assists nations in the development and management of water and hydro-power resources.


Ivo Toniut is an Italian business consultant based in Afghanistan. He has been working in the construction and civil engineering industries for nearly forty years, holding different positions; business traveling in more than fifty countries across four continents, and acquiring knowledge of four languages besides Italian native. During almost four decades, he has gained a significant professional background consisting of a mix of technical, commercial, and legal skills. His experience, skills, his ability to adapt to any work environment, his extensive network of personal and professional relations in Afghanistan and the Region makes him a unique specialist and a reliable reference point for European companies willing to do business in and with Afghanistan by investing in, or trading with local companies.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Afghanistan: consultation held in Herat City to discuss international trade challenges

Afghan industry leaders, small business owners and representatives from the public sector met in Herat on August 13 to explore trade-related provincial challenges and solutions that can feed into the ongoing design of the country’s National Export Strategy (NES). 
The NES will provide a blueprint for competitiveness and development of the country’s export sector and strengthen links between export development and socio-economic growth. It will include detailed activities, targets and impact measures, indicating what exactly needs to be done, by whom and with what resources to improve the country’s export competitiveness. The event was jointly organized by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), with the technical support of the International Trade Centre (ITC). The consultation in Herat follows the first NES stakeholders’ consultation held in Kabul on 20-21 February and in Mazar-e-Sharif on 18 May. A major trading hub, Herat province plays a significant economic role in Afghanistan. It hosts a number of traditional and emerging industries, including sectors prioritized in the NES, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, marble and saffron. Between August and September 2017, further consultations will be held in Kandahar and Jalalabad, culminating in a second national consultation in Kabul. The provincial NES consultations are crucial in making sure that stakeholders beyond the capital are included in the design of the strategy. These consultations are complemented with factory visits to assess supply-side issues in prioritized sectors. The NES has strong support from both the government and the private sector, as it provides national and international development partners with an appropriate implementation plan for trade-related operations. Resource mobilization efforts will be developed in line with the strategy’s plan of action. ‘The project aims to strengthen the country’s trade capacity so as to capitalize on the recent accession of the country to the World Trade Organization’ and will contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of Afghanistan within the region,’ said Humayoon Rasaw, Afghanistan’s Minister of Commerce and Industry. Atiqullah Nusrat, Chief Executive Officer of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: ‘This event is an essential breakthrough in capturing, advocating and addressing the challenges, opportunities, and aspirations of the private sector in the Herat region. This will contribute to render the National Export Strategy of Afghanistan even more relevant, inclusive and realistic’. The NES initiative falls under the auspices of the ‘Advancing Afghanistan Trade’ project, funded by the European Union, which aims to assist Afghanistan in improving the conditions to use trade as a lever for enhanced regional cooperation, economic and human development, and poverty reduction.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Monday, 14 August 2017

The President of Afghanistan orders Kam Air to transport fresh fruit to India

The President of Afghanistan, H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, has stepped in to resolve the Afghan-India air cargo issues by ensuring that 120 tons of fresh fruit is transported to India every week. This comes weeks after long delays in air cargo that left tons of fresh fruits rotted at Kabul airport. Last week, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) called the Afghan-India air cargo a “failed process” as at least 120 tons of fruit are waiting for loading for over two weeks. Traders had complained about cargo flight delays in July as well when their produce were left in a warehouse at Kabul Airport for three days. President’s deputy spokesperson, Dawa Khan Minapal, said President Ghani has ordered Kam Air to prepare a Boeing 737 within the next four days to transport fresh fruit to India. “Our first flight to India will start on 17th of August and we will have two flights per week to India, one from Kabul, another from Kandahar,” Tolo News quotes Farid Paikar, Kam Air deputy head. The first cargo flight from Kabul to Delhi, establishing air freight corridor, was received on June 19, 2017. Subsequently, cargo flight from Kandahar to Delhi arrived on June 24, 2017. The connectivity established through the Air Freight Corridor will promote bilateral trade; provide Afghanistan, a landlocked country, direct access to India; allow Afghan businessmen to leverage India’s economic growth and trade networks for its benefit; and enable Afghan farmers quick and direct access to the Indian markets for their perishable produce.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE on Wadsam.com

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Considero offerte di collaborazione in Afghanistan

Esperienza ultratrentennale all'estero (5 anni in Afghanistan) nei settori consulenza e costruzioni, ricoprendo varie posizioni tra cui quelle di project manager, capo ufficio gare, direttore di cantiere e country director; considero offerte di collaborazione in Afghanistan con imprese di costruzioni o società di consulenza ed ingegneria attive nel settore delle infrastrutture di trasporto.  
>>> CONTATTO