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Thread: ANSF performance 2015 onwards

  1. #41
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Musa Qala: GIRoA leaves

    Some classic Afghan quotes on this decision

    The commander of the Afghan army's 215th corps, Mohammad Moeen Faqir:
    Their presence in the area did not mean anything...We will use them in battle with enemies in other parts of Helmand province
    Citing Abdul Jabar Qahraman, presidential envoy for security affairs in Helmand
    There wasn't any deal....We learnt that there was no need to continue the fight in that area.
    Link:http://news.yahoo.com/afghan-troops-...72916177.html?
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  2. #42
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default GIRoA was no ready - really?

    A short BBC report from Helmand Province:
    It's almost two years since British Forces pulled out of Helmand. I watched them leave. At the time we were told by both politicians and senior military officers that the Afghans were ready to take care of their own security. Hindsight proves they were wrong
    (Concludes) Helmand shows that, without international support, it can unravel as fast as lightning
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-36941267
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-01-2016 at 07:42 PM. Reason: 27,078v
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  3. #43
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    Default

    A WaPo article, by a former Marine, from Helmand; it is hardly encouraging on the ANSF, which need Allied help (mainly US and some Germans):https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...lent-province/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-17-2016 at 12:15 PM. Reason: 30,588v
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  4. #44
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Afghan Air Force: a fledgling struggling

    Hat tip to WoTR for identifying this Army Times piece on the Afghan Air Force (AAF):http://www.militarytimes.com/article...ian-casualties

    ...according to the United Nations’ latest assessment is responsible for a troubling pattern of botched airstrikes that have led to a stunning rise in civilian casualties.
    Compared to 2015, last year the loss of innocent life caused by Afghan-initiated airstrikes doubled to 252, according to the U.N.
    From my "armchair" the AAF is hampered by things like these:
    the A-29, which joined the Afghans' fleet only last year, currently lacks the sophisticated communications equipment to make it truly effective in a close-air-support role. In fact, the aircraft can radio their operations center only within a 14-mile radius, U.S. officials said.

    Last summer, NATO and U.S. forces introduced a program to train Afghan tactical air controllers who guide pilots to their targets. The training lasts about four weeks......To date, the program has graduated 30 students, with ongoing courses in Helmand and Logar provinces. By the start of the next fighting season, in April, officials anticipate there will be more than 40 Afghan tactical air controllers qualified to coordinate airstrikes.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-02-2017 at 02:28 PM. Reason: 38,452v nearly 8k up since Mid-Oct '16.
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  5. #45
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    Default USMC prepare to help in Helmand, again

    Babatim aka Tim Lynch, an ex-USMC officer who was seven years "outside the wire" in Afghanistan, has a blog on his experiences and today an update was spotted - as he seeks funds to enable a return trip to Helmand, to accompany a small USMC contingent. See Post 201 & 212 on:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=5975&page=11

    The update has a comment on the ANA in Helmand, plus this on the preparation of the Marines:
    ....both Carter Malkasian and Mike Martin have been working with the Task Force to help them sharpen their understanding of the human terrain and inter-tribal conflicts in the Helmand. This was the best news I’ve heard in a long while. If you’re interested on gaining a thorough understanding of the inter-tribal dynamics that drive the cycle of violence in the Helmand Province there are just two books you need to read. The first is War Comes To Garmser written by Carter Malkasian, an American and the second is An Intimate War by Mike Martin who is British. Both men spent years on the ground in the Helmand and both are fluent Pashto speakers.
    Link:http://freerangeinternational.com/blog/?p=6239#comments
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-09-2017 at 11:32 PM. Reason: 39,304v
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  6. #46
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Can Afghan military turn the tide in Taliban fight?

    After last week's attack on an ANA base @ Mazar-e Sharif, BBC News asks 'Can Afghan military turn the tide in Taliban fight?' and here is a "taster" passage:
    Last year a record number of Afghan forces were killed - 6,800 in total. That is three times the losses of American forces during the entire 16 years of this conflict. And many thousands more Afghan military personnel were either invalided out of service or simply deserted.
    It emphasises once again the key problems the Afghan forces face: inadequate training and a lack of commitment from recruits, exacerbated by terrible conditions, corruption in the officer class and poor air support.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-39705124

    From my faraway "armchair" the cumulative impact of deaths, injuries and desertion since the ANA was reborn or reformed must now be sizeable. Having a significant number of ex-veterans, even if they served for a short time, would normally have an internal impact - there appears to be none.

    Given the political performance of the GIRoA; which is described briefly in the article - why would any soldier think his life is valued?

    So, casting caveats aside, the answer to the question is No.

    If the ANSF cannot 'turn the tide' what is our strategy as their allies? A question and sometime debate seen in other threads in this arena.

    The latest Soufan briefing asks similar questions, here is one point from BLUF:
    In what is already the longest-running war in American history, the Trump administration faces the prospect of an unending combat commitment with increasing costs and diminishing returns.
    Link:http://www.soufangroup.com/tsg-intel...n-afghanistan/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-25-2017 at 12:24 PM. Reason: 43,777v up by 4.4k since last post 6 weeks ago
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  7. #47
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    Default Helmand: an Afghan war

    A first-hand report by a journalist in Helmand, or those town still controlled by GIRoA. Though the title implies this is a 'America can't win' the focus is on the Afghans, so the USMC presence is not included. Needless to say it is not optimistic.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...s-rights-peace
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-03-2017 at 09:39 AM. Reason: 49,785v 6k up in 3 months
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  8. #48
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    Default A market place, not a war?

    Within a report on DoD contractor waste this gem, which reflects how Afghanistan works alas, with my emphasis:
    Sigar has long criticised the Pentagon for wastefulness during the USís longest war. In January, it told a Washington thinktank there was evidence that Taliban leaders had told their commanders to buy fuel, ammunition and weapons from Afghan soldiers because it was cheaper.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/global-d...a-457m-failure
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  9. #49
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    Default Defections are at Most a Side Show: the ANSF probed

    A typically thorough assessment by Anthony Cordesman, from CSIS; the full title being: 'Afghan Desertions in the U.S.: Assessing the Desertion and "Ghost Soldier" Problem in Afghan National Security Forces'.
    Link:https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghan...ional-security

    On my first reading there is much more than the ANSF, such as the population explosion and need to create 400k jobs per year!

    A couple of sentences:
    Afghanistan lacks coherent political leadership, and the World Bank governance indicators rank it as one of the worst governed and most corrupt countries in the world....The problems not only affect the morale, motivation, and leadership of Afghan defectors in the United States, they have a major impact on every soldier, policeman, and local policeman in Afghanistan.....At the same time, the other side of the story is the mix of pressures that can force men into the security services regardless of their loyalty until the real-world strains of combat, corruption, casualties, and being deployed far from home leads them to desert or leave. Afghanistan has become the equivalent of an economic nightmare for all too many of its citizens.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-31-2017 at 07:22 PM. Reason: 58,788v
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  10. #50
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    Default ANSF performance 2015 onwards

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-06-2018 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Copied to here and slightly edited.

  11. #51
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    Default What went wrong? The results less GIRoA control today.

    The cited SWJ Blog linked above IMHO contains some facts that reinforce concern that the ANSF serving the GIROA:
    By the fall of 2017 GIRoA only controlled territory containing less than 60% of the population which was down from over the 70% they held in 2016, and down from the 80% they held in 2014 when the lead for security operations transitioned from NATO to GIRoA. The remaining 40% was either controlled by the Taliban or was considered "contested". The ANDSF were incapable of recapturing the contested portions of the country, or those portions under Taliban control without increased levels of U.S. support.

    From 2010 to 2012 the U.S. led coalition conducted a full spectrum, comprehensive COIN campaign aimed at defeating the Taliban...The coalition, along with the ANDSF, was driving the Taliban, GIRoA had control over approximately 80% of the country, and security, governance, and basic services were largely in place. The ANDSF were maturing, and the transition of responsibility for security operations to Afghan control was underway. So what went wrong?
    For more explanation and a new strategy see the full article:https://www.realcleardefense.com/art...an_113012.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-06-2018 at 12:24 PM. Reason: 63,328v
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