Friday, September 26, 2014

Afghan War Lessons Learned and How to Fight ISIS

The news programs, print media and Internet is just bursting with analysis and recommendations about how to "degrade, defeat, and destroy" the Islamic State (or ISIS, or ISIL, etc.). While many of these reports, tracts and observations are presented by well-meaning academics, scholars and members of 'think tanks" - very few have an experience mix of the big picture and 'boots on the ground". One observer that does is Michael G. Waltz. With his experience as a Special Forces officer with two tours in Afghanistan and as an advisor to VP Cheney on South Asia and Counterterrorism, Waltz has first-hand experience at the ground and policy level. He is the author of a forthcoming book entitled Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret's Battles from Washington to Afghanistan available on Together with Alyssa Kelly, a national security analyst at Askari Associates, Waltz provides some lessons learned from Afghanistan and hopes that the current administration and his national security advisors (as well as senior military commanders) remember 10 impediments to success when dealing with ISIS (and with our allies).

1. National Caveats
2. Interagency Coordination
3. Lesser Capability
4. Different Doctrinal Approaches
5. Incompatibility
6. Intelligence Sharing
7. The "Maintaining the Coalition" Mentality
8. Command and Control
9. Unmet Expectations
10. The D-word: Detainees

The full article with an explanation of the ten impediments can be read in "Ten Lessons From the Afghan War About How to fight ISIS", The South Asia Channel, Foreign Policy, September 23, 2014.

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