A WaPo correspondent is currently making his way through the Regional Command East (RC East) area and one of his stops included Logar province. In a recent article he provides us some atmospherics. See "In Afghanistan's Logar province, a plea for air support", The Washington Post, September 19, 2014. Two topics stand out for me in this article - generators and air support.
|Generator at OCC-P Pul-e-Alam|
close air support was key to the success and survival of American troops in Afghanistan. Air support could mean the difference between winning an engagement against the Taliban or suffering casualties. The Afghans began to rely on U.S. air support as well. When we started holding back enablers in 2013 (to include close air support) there was wide-spread dissatisfaction among the ANSF. Many advisors reported that ANA operations would come to a screeching halt when they found they could not get air support from the United States. So when the writer mentions the request of air support; that too, tells me not much has changed. Of course, the Afghan making the request has a valid point. He knows the U.S. is leaving but would prefer the air support continue for at least another month - which would coincide with the end of the traditional fighting season. Surely this is a reasonable request.
So . . . things are changing - ISAF is withdrawing; but . . . some things never change.