Showing posts with label General-Allen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General-Allen. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gen Allen: Comments on Afghan Troop Pullout Timeline

General Allen, the former commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, recently commented on the proposed troop levels during the Resolute Support mission and the timeline for the troop pullouts. He believes that more flexibility is needed in the timeline to ensure that a proper level of security is established and that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) receive the continued training, advise, and assistance that will be provided under the Security Force Assistance mission post December 2014. Read more in "Retired Marine Gen. Allen: Timeline for Afghanistan pullout "too short"", Navy Times, September 12, 2014 at this link.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gen Allen: Remember the Soviet Withdrawal

In a recent seminar conducted by the Stimson Center General John Allen (retired) stated that we need to compare the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan with the upcoming withdrawal of ISAF from Afghanistan. He said that the Afghan government in the first few years after the Soviets left managed to survive with the continued advisory assistance and funding of the Soviets. It was only after aid was cut off that the Afghan regime fell to the Muhjuhadeen. The same fate can possibly happen in the post-2014 period. Of note is that Afghanistan will require about $4 billion a year or more to pay and sustain its large Afghan National Security Forces. Read more in "How not to repeat the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan", USA Today, February 21, 2014.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Former ISAF Cdr Says War Planning Must Improve

At a recent gathering at The Stimson Center in Washington, DC the former commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), retired General John Allen, stated that the United States military has to improve in its war planning. He points out that we start wars very well but have trouble finishing the last phase - stability operations. This lack of forward looking planning was lacking in the Afghan conflict as well. Allen served as the ISAF commander from 2011 to 2013. He shifted focus from combat operations to the Security Force Assistance model and deployed hundreds of Security Force Assistance Advisor Teams to Afghanistan to conduct SFA. Read a news brief on his comments in "Allen: US Generals Must Improve War Planning",, February 21, 2014.

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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brookings Institution and General Allen Comments

General Allen, the commander of ISAF, recently spent some time with the Brookings Institution during his recent visit to Washington, DC. (He was addressing Congress for a couple of days on the state of the Afghan War). Some important comments that General Allen made during the Brookings Institution event include:

By September 2012 the U.S. troop level will return to pre-surge levels or around 68,000 personnel.

The main counterinsurgency effort will shift from the southern provinces to the eastern provinces.

The main threat in the east appears to be the Haqqani Network.

The 2012 Afghan-ISAF campaign for Regional Command East (RC East) will increase Afghan troop strength in provinces along the border, bolster the Afghan Local Police or ALP, Village Stability Operations (VSO) and special operations in the region. There will also be a greater density of U.S. forces partnering with their Afghan counterparts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gen. Allen and Afghanistan : Brookings Event

During his trip to Washington, DC General John Allen, the ISAF Commander, made the rounds before Congress and several news organizations. One of his stops was to Brookings for an hour-long discussion on Afghanistan. You can listen to the program here at "The U.S. Mission in Afghanistan",, March 26, 2012.

Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) Improving According to General Allen

During a press conference on March 26, 2012 Gen. John Allen briefed reporters on the situation in Afghanistan. Read a news account of the briefing in "Afghan Security Forces Improving Quickly, Allen Says", American Forces Press Service, March 26, 2012.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gen Allen and Congress: Corruption and Insurgent Safe Havens in Pakistan

General Allen has been testifying before Congress the last few days. During his testimony he stated that two of the biggest problems in ending the Afghan War successfully are corruption in the Afghan government and the insurgents access to sanctuary in Pakistan. Read more in "Allen: Corruption, safe havens block Afghan success", The Washington Times, March 22, 2012.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gen Allen Testimony Before Congress

General Allen testified before Congress on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 (the first of three days of testimony). The top allied commander in Afghanistan covered a range of topics to include the time-table for departure, shifting focus from southern Afghanistan to eastern Afghanistan, Afghan sensitivities in regards to administration of prisons, night raids by ISAF special forces, and transition of security responsibilities from ISAF to Afghan security forces. In addition, he addressed the recent problems associated with the Koran burnings and the Panjwai killings. He acknowledged that insurgencies have seldom been defeated by foreign forces - that history shows indigenous forces accomplish this counterinsurgency task best. Thus he states that transition to the Afghans doing the fighting is both the exit means and the strategy for success after our departure. Read a news article about his testimony in "U.S. General Sees No Sudden Afghan Drawdown", The New York Times, March 20, 2012.