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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default US$100 billion and lessons learnt?

    I only rarely catch Modern War Institute @ West Point articles, but this one aroused my interest. As the opening passage says:
    The United States has invested more than $100 billion in training and equipping security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past sixteen years. The result? ISIS swiftly defeated the Iraqi Army in 2014, securing large swaths of land, and requiring international intervention. Since the US presence began decreasing in Afghanistan in 2015, the Taliban have steadily forced the Afghan Security Forces out of rural areas, gaining control of vast portions of the country. An additional 3,500 US service members will soon be en route to reverse this trend. The $100 billion spent to date is a milestone, not a final bill.
    It lists five lessons:
    Lesson 1 – Effective advisory missions rely on high-caliber, well-trained, and committed individuals who demonstrate competence as advisors; furthermore, the advisory mission must endure long enough to ensure success.
    Lesson 2 – The advisory force cannot be general purpose—it must be tailored for the specific environment into which it will deploy.
    Lesson 3 – The highest degree of competence and effectiveness that an advised force can achieve when operating independently is better than any level of readiness that relies on US assets (to a degree).
    Lesson 4 – On a larger scale, the advisory mission cannot rely solely on military and security forces.
    Lesson 5 – Like all military endeavors, the advisory mission must be undertaken with a clear objective in mind, with consistent and reasonable intermediate metrics to determine effectiveness over time.

    Elsewhere on SWJ Blog there is an article on Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) and the MWI article asks:
    The current evolution of the SFAB generally marks the fourth attempt at tackling the advise-and-assist mission set since the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-15-2017 at 07:11 PM.

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