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Old 02-20-2016   #41
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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:
Quote:
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
Quote:
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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Old 08-01-2016   #42
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Default GIRoA was no ready - really?

A short BBC report from Helmand Province:
Quote:
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
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Old 10-17-2016   #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/
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Old 03-02-2017   #44
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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

Quote:
...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:
Quote:
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.
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Old 03-09-2017   #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:
Quote:
....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
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Old 04-25-2017   #46
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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:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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/
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Old 08-03-2017   #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
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Old 08-03-2017   #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:
Quote:
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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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #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:
Quote:
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.
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