Military News Highlights: January 14, 2011

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Vantage Point: The Challenges of Small-Unit Patrolling in Afghanistan

C.J. Cheevers from the New York Times has been a go-to 24/7 resource for the SFTT news project; CJ also recently published the definitive history of the Avtomat Kalashnikov this past year in “The Gun.”  his NYT blog is a new entry that he will update periodically that the SFTT news team directs your attention to.

The first video blog provides an upfront and personal look at an aero-medevac of a wounded Marine in Marja.

As these video blogs become available, the SFTT news team will re-post them.

U.S. moves to strengthen local Afghan officials

In an attempt to improve legitimacy and capacity, the cornerstones to good governance, Regional Command South has created “security bubbles” that allow local residents and government officials to interact and “govern”, while “200-300” Taliban fighters remain around Kandahar.

Let’s do some math.  The population of Afghanistan is approximately 30 million.  The population of Kandarhar city proper is approximately 500,000.  Who knows the what the number of government officials and employees are required to make the trains run on time.

Oh, and the most recent  estimate of insurgents in Afghanistan is 25,000, but now we are supposed to believe that there are “200-300” Taliban fighters “around” Kandahar.   Do the math.

Rush for results in Afghanistan may undermine aid goals

In 2008, the USG approved a $75 million rule of law reform initiative for Afghanistan that neither reformed nor proved to be much of an initiative.  Unless you can accept that $15 million was spent to hire consultants that hosted kite-flying competitions.

Great way to spend US tax dollars.


Five US/NATO troops were killed in action on January 12, 2011 in Afghanistan.

The grind continues.

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