Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gen Allen Prepares to Depart Afghanistan

General Allen, COMISAF
photo by SGT K. Summerhill
After serving almost 19 months as COMISAF, General Allen is leaving Afghanistan. He has accomplished a lot during this tenure and put out a lot of fires while ensuring that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are in the lead in the fight against the Taliban. 

Many of his achievements include cutting the size of the ISAF (and U.S.) force, transitioning from ISAF fighting on the battlefield to the Afghans in the lead for combat operations, instituting the Security Force Assistance (SFA) concept with the fielding of Security Force Assistance Advisory Teams or SFAATs.

Along the way he had to constantly develop and repair relationships with the Afghans every time something bad happened that would set back our mission (burning of Korans, Marines urinating on Taliban corpses, a Soldier killing 16 civilians in the Panjwai massacre, etc.). Other challenges he faced was keeping the coalition focused and committed to the effort - a difficult task in the face of events like the Insider Threat problem.

His biggest failure, perhaps, may be the lack of resolve when dealing with Karzai on the issue of Afghan corruption and the failure of ISAF to help establish a more legitimate government that is respected by the Afghan population. But perhaps we are playing a waiting game until the Afghan election to see if they step up and elect a less corrupt and more competent president.

General Allen deserves our thanks for his service and fine job. Read more about his tenure as ISAF commander in a recent news article entitled "For U.S. Leader in Afghan War, Much Time Making Peace", The New York Times, February 6, 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.