...Much of what I saw during my deployment, let alone read or wrote in official reports, I can’t talk about; the information remains classified...
...Entering this deployment, I was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true: that ...military were progressing toward self-sufficiency.
...“What are your normal procedures in situations like these?” I asked. “Do you form up a squad and go after them? Do you periodically send out harassing patrols? What do you do?”
As the interpreter conveyed my questions, the captain’s head wheeled around, looking first at the interpreter and turning to me with an incredulous expression. Then he laughed.
“No! We don’t go after them,” he said. “That would be dangerous!”
“Also, when a Taliban member is arrested, he is soon released with no action taken against him.
Well said...We all know there is a difference in the ground truth and what is reported. After all, who wants to be the guy who tells the King he isnt wearing pants - other than my CPT. Facts are GOs are political figures and they dont get promoted unless they paint rosy pictures, O6's likewise and on down the chain. The only guys who will tell the God's honest truth are the E5-E8's who get locked away when anyone -who doesnt want to hear the truth - comes around.
We saw it in Iraq this past year and we are now seeing it rear its ugly head in Astan, again.
Cant say much about the credibility level of his critique, but it already made the NYT in a piece titled "In Afghan War, Officer Becomes a Whistle-Blower" (also has replies from Petreaus and the Army) and Time.
As an outsider I think some points he makes sound valid.
And generaly speaking, fighting a COIN war with an official... deadline for exit, is very likely going to end badly!
My arrival in country in late 2010 marked the start of my fourth combat deployment, and my second in Afghanistan. A Regular Army officer in the Armor Branch, I served in Operation Desert Storm, in Afghanistan in 2005-06 and in Iraq in 2008-09. In the middle of my career, I spent eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve and held a number of civilian jobs — among them, legislative correspondent for defense and foreign affairs for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.
As a representative for the Rapid Equipping Force, I set out to talk to our troops about their needs and their circumstances. Along the way, I conducted mounted and dismounted combat patrols, spending time with conventional and Special Forces troops. I interviewed or had conversations with more than 250 soldiers in the field, from the lowest-ranking 19-year-old private to division commanders and staff members at every echelon. I spoke at length with Afghan security officials, Afghan civilians and a few village elders.
I saw the incredible difficulties any military force would have to pacify even a single area of any of those provinces; I heard many stories of how insurgents controlled virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a U.S. or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base.
I saw little to no evidence the local governments were able to provide for the basic needs of the people. Some of the Afghan civilians I talked with said the people didn’t want to be connected to a predatory or incapable local government.
From time to time, I observed Afghan Security forces collude with the insurgency.
Davis: “Here you have many units of the Afghan National Security Forces [ANSF]. Will they be able to hold out against the Taliban when U.S. troops leave this area?”
Adviser: “No. They are definitely not capable. Already all across this region [many elements of] the security forces have made deals with the Taliban. [The ANSF] won’t shoot at the Taliban, and the Taliban won’t shoot them.
That murder took place within view of the U.S. base, a post nominally responsible for the security of an area of hundreds of square kilometers. Imagine how insecure the population is beyond visual range. And yet that conversation was representative of what I saw in many regions of Afghanistan.