Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
4 comments

General News

THE AFGHANISTAN ARMY: THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE UNPREPARED

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 10/22/10

opednews.com

Observing the relationship between the American and Afghan soldiers is rough, ugly, and beautiful all at the same time.

Both American and Afghan men deploy into combat zones. Collectively, they spend weeks at a time without showers, yet they continue to fight. Thus far, the Americans have performed courageously. Many have gone on 3 and 4 deployments suffering from endless injuries. Countless reports indicate the American warriors are suffering from the "Too much war and not enough warriors syndrome". Thus far, the "Too much war" syndrome has made the Pentagons plan for Counterinsurgency almost impossible.

As I walked throughout the ISAF training facility and the countryside of Afghan villages, it became ever clear to me that the US soldiers were doing all that they can. However, Afghanistan's problem is not the Americans Soldiers. Leaving Afghanistan to itself is the glaring nightmare.

Recall the McChrystal/Petraeus pro-Afghan surge strategy:

"To train and equip the Afghanistan Army, and then hand over leadership so American's can leave"

An unnamed Senior Colonel from public engagement/communications dept. at ISAF headquarters made his opinion clear about exiting Afghanistan and COIN:

"In 22 years of military service, I have never seen the current level of large-scale stupidity, this is a world-class cluster F%#$".

"[The Afghan army] goes through an 8 week training course, they are issued M16's during their training and when they complete the course, ISAF sends them to the combat field with AK-47's without previous training. The US is providing the Afghan Army with pickup trucks, yet most Afghans cannot drive". they have never driven a day in their lives. Think for second, how many accidents do American PFC's get into??? LOTS!!!! DOZENS!!!! I know two NCO's that got into wrecks this morning!!! Young American PFC's join the army, and they already have years of driving experience. Afghans have donkeys and motorcycles. In some cases, an American 18-year-old boy scout is more capable than the Afghans, and 30% of the Afghan recruits do not pass or quit once they reach their unit in the combat zone"

Understanding the Colonel's flamboyant remarks might seem preposterous, seditious, or benign, but if one recalls General McChrystal bombastic remarks in Rolling Stone , the narrative is somewhat familiar. I interviewed a number of ranking people from the low-level to the high level and the story has many parallels.

A Junior Sergeant who specialized in the training of vehicle operations, commented:

"Sir, they just do not work like us. You can't understand it unless you're here. [Afghan's]". They". They" just don't function how we want them too. In the time it takes to train one Afghan, I could teach a hundred high school kids.

Another Senior Colonel in charge of the Afghan Army Training curriculum admitted,

"there is an obscene amount of problems with the training operations, and there is NO WAY the Afghans will be able to take over combat operations in July 2011. We are here building the psychology of the Afghanistan Nation a few hundred thousand troops cannot do that task."

"even though our own troops have a plethora of stresses, they are performing reasonably well considering all the issues, but again, we are building National capacity for Afghanistan"

The Senior NCO's and Officers explained the complex reality:

"Afghan's get 8 weeks of training and then they are sent to the front lines of some really nasty conflict. A US Soldier gets an entire year of training, and then the 20-year-old boy finds placement in a unit of many seasoned warriors. The young 20-year-old Marine is conditioned for an entire year and then joins his unit for battle. Afghan's have no one to look up to, they are in the Afghan Army for money, and they are looking to American soldiers as parents. If we leave, the Afghan confidence flies out the window"

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Jake Diliberto is the Co-Founder of Veterans For Rethinking Afghanistan. He was a Marine Cpl. He served with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and served on security forces for II MEB in Operation Iraqi (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Enough is Enough: War Chatter from the Oval Office

THE AFGHANISTAN ARMY: THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE UNPREPARED

New Afghan Plan: Countering Loss Ego's ousting Counter-Insurgency

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

The Afghanistan conflict is a hotly debated issue.... by Jake Diliberto on Friday, Oct 22, 2010 at 9:03:33 AM
Oh, their own country. What happened to their lead... by Allan Wayne on Saturday, Oct 23, 2010 at 1:20:37 AM
But..........But............Obama said............... by Robert P. Philipps on Saturday, Oct 23, 2010 at 3:51:17 PM
I am old enough to remember "Vietnamization". It d... by Ralph Dratman on Saturday, Oct 23, 2010 at 8:11:55 PM