Friday, March 6, 2015
Pessimism vs. Optimism
SIGAR (pessimism) and RS HQs (optimism). If ever there was a difference in reporting on the situation in Afghanistan it is found in the differing accounts of how things are going in Afghanistan according to SIGAR and RS HQs. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has consistently pounded ISAF and now RS HQs on the reconstruction effort while Resolute Support HQs (formerly ISAF) has always seemed to paint a 'sunny' picture. Having spent part or most of 2010-2014 in Afghanistan in both Kabul (ISAF HQs) and on the ground at COP and FOB level with tactical units I can say that my perspective is somewhere in between the two outlooks provided by SIGAR and RS HQs. The staff at RS HQs, in many cases, are clearly out of touch with what is happening within the ANSF below corps level (ANA) and regional level (ANP); while SIGARs reports are sometimes a little off the mark. Read more in "IG hints at command cover up of shrinking forces", Washington Times, March 3, 2015 and "Campbell-Sopko feud on public Afghan audits spills to hearing", The Washington Times, March 4, 2015.