Sunday, July 16, 2017

While The Pentagon Works On A Strategy For Afghanistan, U.S. Marines Try To Maintain The Status-Quo In Helmand Province

A US Navy Corpsman and US soldier take part in a helicopter Medevac exercise in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Thomson Reuters

Reuters: As Washington ponders Afghan mission, Marines toil in Helmand

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan (Reuters) - While Washington works on plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, U.S. forces on the ground are grappling with building an army in the middle of a war their commanders say is locked in stalemate.

It is slow, hot, often frustrating work, ranging from overseeing basic infantry training to trying to create modern logistics systems for an army in which many soldiers cannot read or write.

"There are enormous challenges ahead," said Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, who led a task force in Helmand five years ago and who has returned as commander of around 300 Marines training and advising the Afghan army and police.

When the Marines left Helmand in 2014, they did not expect to return, but building the Afghan army has been slower than anticipated. Many issues trainers focus on, such as improving army leadership or getting troops off vulnerable checkpoints, are ones American advisers have recommended for years.

Read more ....

Update: Back in Afghan Hot Spot, U.S. Marines Chase Diminished Goals (NYT).

WNU Editor: I think everyone knows that the U.S. focus right now is on Iraq and Syria .... and to recapture from the Islamic State the cities that they control. Once that has been accomplish .... the focus shifts to Afghanistan. What do I expect the U.S. to do in Afghanistan .... the same model that was used in Iraq. Afghan military units supported by U.S. artillery and air strikes .... U.S. advisers on the ground .... a strategy to encircle Taliban strongholds .... and to then destroy them through attrition. Will this strategy succeed in Afghanistan .... it all comes down to the Afghan army, and their willingness to fight.


James said...

You are right in that it comes down to the Afghani army. I have publicly said the fight is lost there and I still believe that, but they may have a chance to turn it around and make me recant.

As far as the Syrio/Iraqi conflict is concerned ISIS was never the main problem, the Overture is done and the main Movement is to begin. Though there I have to say the Iraqi regular army in the end performed better than I had anticipated. Political events in Baghdad and in southwest and central eastern Syria will now dominate.

Jac said...

I know everybody hate Donald Rumsfeld, but he was 100% right when he said, after the retreat of Al-Qaida, we have nothing to do here anymore.

He was rebuffed by his boss. Well, we have to let these terrorist's to make their bed and destroy their bed again. That's lest costly than to keep the ground. And after a while they have to choose an other strategy. Means we are mastering the way.

Jay Farquharson said...

Nope, Rummy the War Criminal elected to, at the first Loya Jirga, put the exact same War Ciminals, Warlords and Drug Dealers back in charge,

That had utterly destroyed Afghanistan in the 6 way war after the Soviet withdrawl and the fall of the Nabjuallah Regime,

who's utter chaos, looting and destruction, created and drove the rise of the Taliban and al Quida,

So he could free up troops to attack Saddam in 2003,

Instead of allowing the Loya Jirga to empower the Reformers and Tribal leaders who wanted a safe, democratic and modern Afghanistan. Sadly, they almost are all dead now, killed by the Warlords, War Criminals and Drug Dealers.

Doubly sadly, Rummy said in 1991 that the reason not to topple Saddam, was that in the aftermath, the Shia, Sunni, Kurdish divides, would tear Iraq apart, ( PBS, The Gulf War Special, 1992), but in 2003, that there were no Sunni, Shia and Kurdish divides in Iraq.

Andrew Jackson said...

It's all fake war.