Military News Highlights: December 30, 2010

Busy With Afghanistan, the U.S. Military Has No Time to Train for Big Wars

Clearly the US military, and especially our infantry-centric units, are on the “margins” when only one brigade combat team has been able to break away from COIN focused training this past decade and conduct full-spectrum operations type training necessary to maintain current and future US strategic interests.  Further, the capability to conduct forcible entry operations has atrophied and “takes practice, and we don’t get a ...

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Military News Highlights: December 29, 2010

Insurgents Set Aside Rivalries on Afghan Border

Four primary threat streams emanate from the Pakistan – the Mullar Omar Quetta Shura Taliban, the Haqqani network, the Hekmaktyer organization, and AQ.  For almost a decade these distinct groups have co-existed and operated exclusively with AQ parceling support from each.  It does not bode well when recent intelligence and battlefield evidence indicates that the threat has merged.  Regardless of the reason, be it recent US/NATO pressure creating battlefield syndicates  or ISI ...

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Military News Highlights: December 28, 2010

Iraq Wants the U.S. Out: Prime Minister, in Interview, Says Troops Must Leave Next Year as Planned

Lest we forget that close to 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn.  At least the Iraqi Prime Minister made it abundantly clear that all US troops must leave at the end of 2011 as planned.  Maliki put the issue to rest for Pentagon planners and some Iraqi officials that are hoping to extend the deadline.  In the meantime ...

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Military News Highlights: December 27, 2010

U.S. troops battle to hand off a valley resistant to Afghan governance

Some truth finally from the battlefield.  An infantry battalion commander concludes that his task force is “locked in an endless war for an irrelevant valley.”   Ask any Soldier and Marine that has served in the Pech Valley, Kunar Province since 2005 and they will tell you the same thing.

It’s about time commanders are finally telling it like it is.  “There is nothing strategically important about this terrain…we ...

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Military News Highlights: December 21, 2010

For Brain-Injured Soldiers, Top Quality Care From a Philanthropist, not the Pentagon

The primary health care plan for our active duty force, called TRICARE will not provide “cognitive rehabilitation therapy” (CRT) for treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) because the treatment is “still unproven.”  Project Share, a charity based out of the Shepard Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Injury in Atlanta is singularly focused on assisting brain-damaged soldiers – their efforts, to serve as a ...

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Military News Highlights: December 20, 2010

Life and Death Decisions Weigh on Junior Officers

To command soldiers in combat is a privilege, one that this young infantry company commander relishes.  To be clear, life and death decisions weigh more heavily on rifle company commanders than any other combat line officer because of the nature of command and control that battlefield tactics require.  Rifle companies are organized by three-to-four platoons and operate exclusively at the whim of his command.  Often these companies are assigned large swaths ...

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Military News Highlights: December 16 & 17

Uncertainty marks White House review on Afghanistan, Pakistan

In regards to the highly touted release of the administrations review of Afghanistan, one-step up and two-steps back. 

 One-step up, “strategy is showing progress”; two-steps back, no new information on how soon Afghan Security Forces will be able to assume responsibility for security and when the “rat-lines” coming out of Pakistan can be severed.

 One-step up, “we are on track to achieve our goals”; two-steps back, gains are still “fragile and reversible” and ...

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Military News Highlights: December 15, 2010

U.S. intelligence reports cast doubt on war progress in Afghanistan

National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) are authoritative assessments by the Director of National Intelligence related to a particular national security issue.  NIE’s are not written in a vacuum and express coordinated judgments of the entire US intelligence community.  Although these assessments are classified, summaries and excerpts are simultaneously provided to policy makers and/or leaked to the media when NIE’s are published. 

Commanders in Afghanistan argue that the most recent spate of ...

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Military News Highlights: December 14, 2010

Richard Holbrooke Dead: Diplomat Dies At 69

Reportedly, Richard Holbrooke’s last words before sedation to his Pakistani surgeon:

“You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”

Rest in peace Mr. Holbrooke.

 No Decisive Victory One Year Into Afghan Surge

Actually there have been no decisive victories 9 years into the war in Afghanistan.  Routing the Taliban from October 7 to mid-December 2001 was not decisive.  Failing to kill Bin Laden in Tora Bora in 2002 was not decisive.  Fragmented US/NATO operations ...

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Military News Highlights: December 13, 2010

6 Americans Killed by Bomb at a New U.S.-Afghan Outpost

Six American soldiers were killed and more than a dozen American and Afghan troops were wounded on Sunday morning when a van packed with explosives was detonated at a new jointly operated outpost in southern Afghanistan.

The soldiers were inside a small mud-walled building near the village of Sangsar, north of the Arghandab River, when the bomber drove up to one of the walls and exploded his charge around 9 ...

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