Join Date: Mar 2006
ISAF on ANSF: tactics an army does not make. They have to be more than that.
I expect many SWC readers no longer watch Afghanistan closely, but thanks to FP's Situation Report for highlighting a press conference by Lt Gen Milley, of ISAF:
Well, yeah, let me -- as I said, they did very well tactically. So we are transitioning right now from combat advising to functional advising. And what does that mean? So it's -- it's our assessment that the Afghan combat units, kandaks, battalions, companies, really do not need, with very few exceptions, tactical advisers with them on combat operations on a day in and day out basis.
We know that the Afghan battalions and companies can fight. We know they can shoot, move, communicate. They can conduct combined arms operations. We know that all of the maneuver brigades and -- all 24 of them -- are either partially capable, capable, or fully capable. We know that the corps can conduct, plan, coordinate, synchronize, and execute combined arms operation. That's important.
But tactics an army does not make. They have to be more than that. They have to be more than tactics. You have to have -- in order to sustain yourself over time, you have to have institutional systems that are in place where they can, in fact, replenish their forces, they can do personnel management, they can budgeting, they can do intelligence operations, infuse all types of intelligence, where they can train pilots and conduct rotary-wing and fixed-wing operations.
They've got to be able to sustain themselves logistically. They've got to be able to get spare parts and run entire distribution systems, so vehicles and weapons systems and other pieces of equipment don't break down. We've got to get their special operations capabilities, which are very good, but get them up to a very high level. You've got to develop a ministerial-level capability in order to do budgeting and planning and programming and those sorts of things.
...We want to improve their fires. We anticipate that it will be some years before they have a full-fledged capability for counterinsurgency fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, so we want them to have the capability to retain tactical overmatch through the use of indirect fires, through the use of mortars and artillery, and they made a lot of progress on that this past year.
...So right now, they're doing very well at like -- things like basic training and some small unit tactics. But we've got to also work with them to support and build a training management system that works over time without foreign help.
So the big ones -- aviation, ministerial development, special ops, intelligence, medical, C-IED [counter-improvised explosive device], fires -- those piece parts, those systems, those functions we want to shore up here in the next year or so. Some of them may take longer than a year. I think most of them -- medical, counter-IED, fires -- we'll be able to get that progressed pretty well during this year.
All remarks we've heard before, but the transcript has comments on the ANSF successes, with some official stats:http://www.defense.gov/Transcripts/T...nscriptID=5355