Military News Highlights: December 14, 2010

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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 from 2002-2009 led to no decisive victories.  And since the Afghan “surge” in 2010 no decisive victories.  To be sure there have been tactical successes and limited operational gains, but these margins gained have not sealed the deal.  To say that the US/NATO will be able to claim “victory” by 2014 is a fools errand.

But don’t take my word on it, here is what 30 academics, aid workers, and others in Afghanistan wrote to the Commander-in-Chief, “The situation on the ground is much worse than a year ago because the Taliban insurgency has made progress across the country.”

The Engines of Every Mission

The backbone of the Army is the Non Commissioned Officer, and the point man for every platoon is the Platoon Sergeant, the “engines of every mission.”

“The platoon sergeant is platoon daddy. These are my kids.”

Army company listens to suicide bombing unfold over the radio

A gripping account of a rifle company monitoring this past Sunday’s suicide-VBIED attack that destroyed a sister company’s platoon combat outpost and killed 6 US soldiers and wounded many more. 

The grind continues.

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