"Today's training and advisory effort is only engaged at the regional corps level, not the brigades and battalions actually doing the fighting. Our advisors are helping only with support efforts such as human resources and procurement. This kind of effort is important for long-term success at the institutional level but the Afghans need tactical operational support now". This is probably one of the most accurate statements about the train and advise mission in Afghanistan that describes the current situation. See news story by Mike Waltz, Defense One, October 15, 2015.
Time for a COIN A-10? The U.S. Air Force plans (despite objections of Congress) to scrap its very capable fleet of A-10 Warthogs in other to free up funding for its very expensive and less capable (in terms of Close Air Support) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. One analyst says we need both - that it is time for a counterinsurgency-specific A-10. Read "A Tale of Two Air Forces", Atlantic Council, October 11, 2015.
Bacha Bazi and the U.S. Military. One writer, Justin Lynch, provides us his view of what the U.S. military needs to do when confronted with Bacha Bazi among our Afghan allies. He believes that ". . . failing to prevent our allies from recreationally kidnapping and raping Afghan boys will hinder the United States' efforts in Afghanistan". Read "National Security, Pragmatism, and Human Rights", The Medium.com, October 13, 2015.
It's the Economy, Stupid. Daniel Fisher, a former infantryman who served in Afghanistan, tells us how we are missing the boat in our counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. Read "COIN & the Capitalists: Private Sector Development and the Endgame in Afghanistan", Small Wars Journal, October 12, 2015.
Proxy Warfare - Not so Much. Adam Elkus tells us why the use of proxies to fight America's wars may not be such a great idea in "The Moral Hazard of Proxy Warfare", War on the Rocks, October 14, 2015.
Can Afghan Govt Forces Win? Thomas Biddle, a national security analyst, is interviewed about the current security situation in Afghanistan and prospects for the future. Read "Can Afghan Forces Resist the Taliban?", Defense One, October 9, 2015.