Thursday, April 30, 2015

SOF and Air Support to the ANSF Questioned

The primary mission of the NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan is to "advise and assist" at the corps, institutional, and ministry level. This mission means that for the most part, the troops are not engaged in combat. The extent of U.S. military forces involvement in combat operations in Afghanistan is restricted to "Train, Advise, and Assist" by special operations forces and air support where needed to prevent a significant setback of the Afghan National Security Forces. It is up to General Campbell, the commander of the NATO Resolute Support Mission and overall commander of the U.S. forces to determine how much or little SOF or air support is necessary. To some observers the departure of the bulk of U.S. forces in 2014 meant the end of the war - not so much. The ability of the Afghan security forces to combat and defeat the insurgents is still not mature. In fact, the fighting season ahead may prove to be just as tough as the 2014 fighting season. The Taliban are far from defeated and the Afghan Army and Police are not quite as good as Resolute Support HQs would like us to believe. Two writers seem to think that the U.S. military role is out of line with the assertions of the Obama administration that the U.S. is on the sidelines in the combat arena. Read "U.S. Attacks in Afghanistan Go Beyond White House' Pledges", The New York Times, April 29, 2015.

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