Sunday, October 11, 2015


Training the ANA - Not so Much. A recent visitor to Afghanistan provides us his views on how well the training program in Afghanistan is going.
"Yet the current training is aimed a bureaucrats more than warriors, revolving around administrative functions such as budgeting and planning rather than the best way to fire a rifle or mount an attack."
Read what David J. Lynch has to say in "Training Afghan soldiers is just not working", USA Today, October 5, 2015.

SFA and BPC Questioned. Phillip Carter, a former Army officer and a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security provides us his thoughts on having foreign troops fight our wars. He takes a hard look at the recent Security Force Assistance (SFA) and Building Partnership Capacity (BPC) ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and finds some areas where the effort was lacking. He cites a difference in interests, the complexity of U.S. weapons, and a lack of a will to fight among our surrogates. Read "Why foreign troops can't fight our fights", The Washington Post, October 2, 2015.

NUG, Bad Comms, & Bad Intel. The combination of a government mired in conflict (Ghani vs. Abdullah), bad communications across and up/down with MoI, MoD, Corps, Zones, etc., and bad intelligence is consistently setting up the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) for failure. Read more in "The Plight of Afghanistan's Soldiers", The Diplomat, October 7, 2015.

"I Fought For Nothing". An infantryman remembers his tour in Afghanistan (2004-2005) and contemplates if it was worth it. Read "I fought for nothing: Staggering incompetence, egregious corruption & America's doomed war in Afghanistan", Salon, by John Rico, October 7, 2015.

Did HTS rationalize Pedophilia in Afghanistan? An HTS explanation of "Man-Boy Love Thursday" may have contributed to the U.S. looking the other way when confronted with "Bacha Bazi" events. Or so says two authors of a recent story about the HTS. Two anthropologists conveniently tie the recent story of the Special Forces NCO getting kicked out of the Army for assaulting an Afghan police officer who was raping a young Afghan to everything that was wrong with the Human Terrain System that provided cultural advice to the U.S. military in Afghanistan. While their writing may be convincing to some it looks to me as another opportunity to attack a very valuable program that provided great results in the Afghan COIN fight. Read their news story (but with a grain of salt) in Counterpunch, October 9, 2015.

Pakistan - Aiding the Taliban . . . Still. If you want to solve the problem of the insurgency in Afghanistan then you must look east to Pakistan. So says Fareed Zakaria - an opinion writer for The Washington Post and also commentator on several other media enterprises. The bottom line is that very few insurgencies are defeated if they have a cross-boarder sanctuary and a powerful patron (that would be Pakistan and Pakistan). Read his article "The key to solving the puzzle of Afghanistan is Pakistan", The Washington Post, October 8, 2015.

Paper Plans and Reality on the Ground. The battle for Kunduz exposed the strategy for the defense of Afghanistan as paper thin. Despite air power, advisors, and intelligence support from the U.S. (and NATO, of course) the Taliban were still able to take a provincial capital and hold it for a number of days. This problem of containing the Taliban goes beyond the development of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) into a professional counterinsurgency force. It has a lot more to do with eradicating the senior ANDSF leadership of corrupt officers. Read more in "Is Kunduz the Beginning of the End for Afghanistan?", by Emile Simpson, Politico, October 4, 2015.

Prospects of Success in Afghanistan? Not so Much. One observer, Patrick Skinner, has a pessimistic view of the situation in Afghanistan. Read "What Endures From Operation Enduring Freedom", The Cipher Brief, October 8, 2015.

Ignatius on Afghanistan. David Ignatius provides us with his opinion of the current state of affairs in Afghanistan and Pakistan in "The U.S. cannot afford to forget Afghanistan and Pakistan", The Washington Post, October 6, 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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