An Article Worth Reading…

Folks with insight into the ‘status’ of the war have frequently said the truth was not getting out in the MSM.

HERE is an article from the Armed Forces Journal, written by a troop commander in this month’s Journal. I excerpted the first paragraph below: 

Truth, lies and Afghanistan
How military leaders have let us down
I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered more than 9,000 miles and talked, traveled and patrolled with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces.
What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.

And he’s not some desk jockey, without a clue…
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.

I tend to believe HIS report over what I see coming out of the Pentagon, the Administration and the MSM.  I would also bet his ass is in hot water for this, and he’ll retire as a LT.Col.

The truly sad part of this is the administration’s push, through Paneta to pull troops as soon as possible, without regard for the true situation and the facts that those few troops that WILL be left as ‘trainers’ will become targets on day one of the pullout.  It’s obvious this administration is even worse than the Kennedy and Johnson administrations with McNamara and his whiz kids trying to run a war from DC.  This time around, they’ve ignored/fired/minimized the folks that REALLY knew what was going on.

Your thoughts and comments?


An Article Worth Reading… — 19 Comments

  1. I believe those on the ground before I believe the politicians and bureaucrats.

    From what I see, we’ve gained no ground and our enemy hasn’t reached the point they fear us, or are willing to stop waging war. Otherwise, we haven’t won anything, but sure have lost some fine Americans and wasted resources.

  2. Honest first thought? I’m glad I never joined the military.

    Second, it pisses me off but it doesn’t surprise me.

    I’m of the opinion, and have been for a long time, simply from a historical perspective, that the only long term solution to victory in Afghanistan, short of total nuclear bombardment, is annexation of the country of Afghanistan as a federal territory of the US and a reversion to the tactics and strategies of the Indian Wars to deal with the threat there combined with incentives to encourage settlement of the territory of Afghanistan by continental US citizens.

    Since neither of those is an option we’ll probably find that most of the tags on our clothing say “Made in Afghanistan” forty years from now.

    I want to be wrong, but that article leads me to think that things I’ve been assuming were probably true are just that. For all the platitudes about “Supporting the troops” they’re going going to get the same fuck you that they got after Vietnam. No, this time around they won’t be getting the direct blame and heaps of scorn for it, but they’re going to wonder, “What was the point? What was accomplished long term?”

    The whole thing makes me sick and sad and ashamed.

  3. “…among them, legislative correspondent for defense and foreign affairs for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.”

    That taints the unbiased opinion in my mind.

    Are we there to hunt down AQ, who are a threat against US citizens or are we at war with the Taliban who are no threat to the US but provided havens for AQ. If providing cover and logistics is the determination, then we should be going hot and heavy in Pakistan.

    IMHO, we screwed up when we decided to get into nation building as a priority instead of hunting down and killing AQ. Rumsfeld was just as delusional in 2006 when he said the fighting was over.


  4. He makes good points. The culture of the military at the upper levels has changed from war fighting to making sure of survival in the post-withdrawal drawdown, and the really smart ones have been in that mode since late in the Bush administration.

  5. When Congress makes the brass concentrate on calling them “Senator” because they worked hard for that title, then we should only expect the top of the military command to be preoccupied with playing politics and not war. Stupidity starts at the top and that’s what we are getting out of political class these days.

  6. Politicians can’t stand news that doesn’t meet their meme. Since they don’t suffer the direct consequences of their stupidity, others, usually the military, bears the brunt.

  7. My thought is that I can’t see a scenario where keeping the troops plausibly gives a better long term outcome. We’ve put them in a no-win situation, and we should bring them home.

    If I thought we could actually accomplish the mission, I’d feel differently, but short of invading Pakistani Waziristan, you can’t defeat that enemy because they just dance across the border.

    It’s not right to keep the troops in harm’s way under these conditions.

  8. First, we need to stay the hell out of Asian wars.
    Second, where there is a threat, go in, eliminate it, and get the hell out.
    Third, eliminate about 50% of the 0-6 and above TO&E positions along with a bunch of E-9s.
    Fourth, forget “Nation Building”. Let them build their own damn antion.
    Take the money saved, reinstitute the draft, everyone serve nine months active.

  9. It basically echo’s all my friends concerns that are deployed over there. Yet the Obama admin are needing a check in the win column so badly they would endanger a country to do it. The more news I read about this clown the more I question why Congress is not pursuing at least 8 treason/impeachment cases. But then again they are part of the issue as well.

  10. Thanks NFO, this Lt. Col.’s article articulated what I’ve been hearing from my friends who are coming back from over there.

    It’s standard now to lie and obfuscate to the American people. And that pains me almost as much as the friends I’ve lost over there.

    I agree, we’ve put our military in a no win situation over there strictly for political reasons. And I fear we will be as ready as we were before for the start of the Korean Conflict when the next one starts.

  11. The name for my blog was inspired, in part, by the old Saigon Five O’clock Follies. What happened there is being repeated today. Politics trumps truth.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same…

  12. P.S. And yes, Lt. Col. Davis is a terminal O-5. That’s his reward for telling the truth.

    But at least he can sleep at night and look at himself in the mirror the next morning.

    Bah – I need a drink. And it IS after 5:00 local time…

  13. Jess- Good point.

    Robert- Understood.

    Gerry- Agree 100%!

    DB/Andy/MC- I think ALL of you are correct… and all part of a bigger ‘political’ picture, especially at the senior military levels…

    BP- All or nothing… but we’re not allowed to do that.

    Jim- And THAT may be the next ‘spot’

    WSF- Yep, concur.

    mmasse- Yep, and congress is as culpable as anyone…

    Tim- Concur with both comments!

  14. Time to pack it in. We deep-sixed UBL, mission over. Reminds me of Vietnam when it was winding down. Our secuity got hairier and hairier. If you were hit on the road the chances of support were slim. That’s what I’m hearing from some of my Eagle scouts that are now LTs there. Here is a note from one tonight (we send some goodie boxes):


    My men will certainly appreciate it! We haven’t gotten a mail drop since before Christmas, hopefully someone gets their head out of their 4th point of contact once it warms up. The support from home makes a huge difference and my guys are out of extra provisions and stuff like baby wipes since our showers have frozen over again! Unfortunately in the new army, and our remote location, even if we had the assets I doubt we’d even be allowed to build a gravity fed shower! Politics is everything anymore. Our BC and BN CSM are flyin in to do Platoon level PCC/PCIs today…yes micromanaging is alive and well in our Battalion, so we have all the correct boots on, have taken off all the aftermarket gear we use, and are prepared for 2 days of biting our tongues. I’m sure you remember those types of days fondly! I will let you know when the packages eventually make it and try to get some pics to send to your church before they are completely ransacked!
    Take care!
    PS- Kandahar is the vacation spot for us northern boys, three of my guys got minor frostbite in their sleep!


    He gets hit pretty much every day, fire fights 4+ hours, their local “terp” is confirmed Taliban. Obviously, it’s time to go. Our grand kids will obviously need to finish this someday, but we have lost our will and our leadership does not have their head in the game. Perhaps the next 9/11 will prompt a more brutal response.

    All in my no so humble opinion, of course.

  15. I think the Chinese Tibetan Policy will work better in Afghanistan than that of the Macedonians, British, Soviet or American ones have.

    Anyone really understand why we keep almost fighting wars without a reason for victory?

  16. Afganistan hasn’t been “conquered” since Alexander the Great. You know why? You would have to OCCUPY the whole desolate, barren place. The Brits couldn’t do it in the 1800’s, the Ruskies couldn’t do it in the 1900’s and WE CANNOT DO IT NOW! There is no “Afganistan”. There is a tribal culture that hasn’t changed in the last 1000 years, just like the part of Pakistan the paks have given “home rule” to. The money we have spent there is WASTED and the DAY we leave, it will remain the tribal backwater it has been.

    And what are we “protecting” with bases in S. Korea, Japan, Egypt, Germany, Italy, England and every other overseas base we have? How many TRILLIONS of dollars has been spent maintaining these cold war bases? We need to STOP BEING THE WORLDS POLICEMAN!

    We need a strong Navy and Marine Corps. Pirates around the world need to be blown out of the water. But keeping a “peace keeping force” in Sinia is stupid.
    Either bring them home or let the other countries PAY US to keep our forces there.