View Full Version : The Modern US Army Officer

05-17-2010, 11:29 AM
Well worth the read.

War of Persuasion: The Modern U.S. officer emerges in Afghanistan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/15/AR2010051503645.html?hpid=topnews)
Greg Jaffe, WaPo

Even before the Keating attack, Brown believed that he might be able to help broker a peace deal between local HiG leaders and the Afghan government. His hypothesis had led him to write to Sadiq in September, about three weeks before the Keating assault.

In his letter, sent with the approval of his commander, Brown apologized to Sadiq for earlier NATO bombings that had killed civilians. Some of Sadiq's relatives had been killed when U.S. troops fired a missile into the insurgent leader's house, local Afghans said.

Brown also asked for Sadiq's "wisdom." "We need assistance from leaders like you that are able to reach out and encourage the people of Kamdesh to cease the violence and oust the Taliban," he wrote. He offered to meet with Sadiq whenever it was convenient and promised him protection.

Alone in his office a few weeks after the attack Brown re-read the letter he had sent to Sadiq in September. It made him cringe.
"I was playing to his ego. But reading it over, it sounds like I was kissing his ass from a position of weakness," Brown said months later. He paused and exhaled. "We certainly weren't operating from a position of strength."

05-17-2010, 11:48 AM
Second part of the story.

Combat Generation: Trying to work with an Afghan insurgent (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/16/AR2010051603492.html?hpid=topnews)
Greg Jaffe, WaPo

Last November, Lt. Col. Robert B. Brown received an enticing offer from a mysterious enemy.

The offer came from an insurgent known as Mullah Sadiq, who had been on the U.S. kill-capture list since 2005. Brown assumed that some fighters aligned with Sadiq had taken part in the assault.

Sadiq wanted 50 assault rifles, $20,000 and a promise that U.S. forces would not kill him. In return, he promised to turn against more-radical Taliban insurgents and to begin to work with the Afghan government.

Sadiq's proposition gave Brown a chance, however tentative, to achieve a victory of sorts in his corner of Afghanistan and redeem the loss of his men.

05-17-2010, 06:23 PM
Too bad that LTC got hustled. If he or his staff had really done their research they would have understood the situation in Nuristan. There was plenty of info generated on Mullah Sadiq and his cronies who are those same so called “Taliban commanders in the area, Dost Mohammed and Haji Usman” along with a host of other trouble makers. This article tells me we are in some bad shape. Kamdesh is strategic in that region for a lot of reasons that are not discussed in the article. By pulling out of Kamdesh it is a victory for HIG, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba which also operate in that area. Without controlling Kamdesh the coalition has given up everything from Gowardesh all the way up through Barg-Matal. The Govt of Afghanistan holds no influence in that area. All of these individuals could have been gotten in one way or another but the ROE and the bureaucracy at the top will not do what needs to be done. Good luck with those drones! Too bad were still screwing around with these guys. We had our opportunity, and the command climate couldn’t act fast enough. Maybe one day the commanders will have faith in their subordinates on the ground rather than micromanage from above. I’m not going to hold my breath though.