Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Realities of a Calendar Based Plan

MarineCorpsTimes has a nice snap-shot of what we will see more and more in the march to 2014 and beyond. Ground gained will be lost as we leave before the ANSF are fully seasoned and ready. Literally the definition of half-baked. 

It didn't have to end this way - but district by district it will where ever the Pashtun have the critical mass to be able to force the issue, and we made the conscious decision to let it happen.
Rather than concentrating on the border, the border police are based here and in other villages along the Helmand River in Khanashin district, focusing security operations about 60 miles north of Bahram Chah. To push south, the border police would need more manpower and larger weapons, said Lt. Col. Rasoul, who oversees the ABP police kandak, or battalion, with headquarters in Taghaz, a village with a few thousand inhabitants but no paved roads or electricity.
The situation hints at certain complexities as the U.S. military shifts to a security force assistance mission in Afghanistan. The strategy was widely implemented this summer, as thousands of Marines and soldiers across the country returned to the U.S. as part of a force drawdown.
The Marine Corps’ footprint in southwestern Afghanistan has shrunk from about 17,000 in the spring to 7,000 now, with many of the remaining forces redistributed to assist Afghan units, rather than run independent counterinsurgency operations.
Since the shift, Afghan National Security Forces have been tested in numerous bloody battles, particularly in Sangin, Kajaki and other districts in northern Helmand where resistance has been stiff for years. Even in southern Helmand, Afghan units have struggled with logistics, planning and internal power struggles that threaten to undermine security.
“It goes back to the question that everyone asks: When we pull out, can the Afghan forces do what needs to be done to secure Helmand province?” said Lt. Col. David Bradney, who commanded 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, in northern Helmand until the unit rotated home to Twentynine Palms, Calif., in October. “I would tell you that, yes, the Afghan National Security Forces are absolutely capable enough to beat the Taliban. It’s all a question of gumption and will. Do they have the leadership to force the discipline of action, and the commitment to get their forces into the field and risk, perhaps at times, being unsuccessful, to achieve success?”
No one should be shocked. We made the decision to support a policy that thousands of years of military experience tells us would fail ... and we did it without a whimper ... but everyone kept their chance at another star or good post-retirement gig. Everyone kept their good parking space.

There is another article out of Australia that is very much worth your time to get a non-USA perspective.  In part;
But as any honest futurist will admit, there is no way of knowing exactly how events will unfold once we leave: good, bad or indifferent. It is not inconceivable, however, that a de-facto division of the country may emerge between the Pashtun south and the northern groups.
The stronger we can make the ANSF before we leave the less likely is the scenario of being fulfilled. Besides, once we leave the Pashtun groups likely will splinter and dissipate their strength with infighting.

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