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Showing posts from October 11, 2013

U.S. Naval Update Map: Oct. 10, 2013

Editor's Note: Due to the U.S. government shutdown, this week's Naval Update is not as current as usual.

The Naval Update Map shows the approximate current locations of U.S. Carrier Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups, based on available open-source information. No classified or operationally sensitive information is included in this weekly update. CSGs and ARGs are the keys to U.S. dominance of the world's oceans. A CSG is centered on an aircraft carrier, which projects U.S. naval and air power and supports a Carrier Air Wing, or CVW. The CSG includes significant offensive strike capability. An ARG is centered on three amphibious warfare ships, with a Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked. An MEU is built around a heavily reinforced and mobile battalion of Marines.
Carrier Strike Groups

The USS Nimitz CSG with CVW 11 embarked is conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR.
The USS Harry S Truman CSG with CVW …

Afghan Elections: A Political Maturation?

Summary


Afghanistan's 2014 presidential election may be the most critical event the country will have experienced since the United States toppled the Taliban and fabricated the current republic in 2001. The contest will determine who will succeed President Hamid Karzai, a name that has become synonymous with post-9/11 Afghanistan. And though more than two dozen former militia commanders, political figures and technocrats have declared their candidacy, only a few contenders are actually in position to win. Ultimately, the winner will have to have earned the backing of Karzai himself.

Analysis


Most discussions over elections tend to focus on demographics, and in Afghanistan, discussions over demographics tend to focus on the country's fractious ethnic landscape. But no single group has a majority -- Pashtuns represent 42 percent of the population, Tajiks 27 percent, Hazaras 10 percent and Uzbeks 9 percent -- and much more important, all the groups are divided internally, so the e…

In Libya, an Alleged Kidnapping Plays Into Tensions

Summary


The temporary abduction of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is the latest manifestation of the country's deteriorating security environment and the central government's inability to control the hundreds of thousands of armed revolutionaries, militiamen and Islamist militants in the country. But his kidnapping, which was reportedly conducted by government-aligned militia forces, is more a symptom of intra-governmental political competition than it is of unchecked violence and lawlessness.

Analysis


The Libyan government has confirmed that armed men, who are suspected revolutionaries, removed Zeidan from his Tripoli residence and held him against his will for several hours before releasing him unharmed Oct. 10. The prime minister was not injured in the incident and was reportedly held inside the Interior Ministry's offices.

There are conflicting reports that his abduction might have been an attempted arrest. In any case, the incident represents the second serious challe…