07 February 2012

Kabul, we have a problem...

The United States engaged enemy forces in Afghanistan earlier than it did in Iraq.  Afghanistan was secured (militarily) with a modest, asymmetrical force compose dof special operations units, local nationals and traditional units.  The result was a relatively swift victory in a fractured, mostly rural / undeveloped and tribal nation.  Afghanistan has no seaport, no major infrastructure, no major exports (save opium) and no real central government.  It is a nation of divergent, tribal groups barely linked by the common religion of Islam.

Prior to 2001, it was the training haven for Al Qeada.  It afforded numerous secure locations to prepare for global jihad against the forces of the West and internal enemies of a future Caliphate.  Our success in Afghanistan hinges solely on our overwhelming ability to delivery lethal force to any part of the nation within minutes.  This ability, however, will not convert an eleventh century culture into a modern society.

We are now facing peace talks with the Taliban, as we inevtibaly must and a likely premature exit in 2013.  This will result in Afghanistan devolving back into sectarian violence and partitioning.  It will also mean our presence wil be limited to a base in Khandahar or one of the -Stans from where SOCOM units will act to kill any coalescing threat which may spread outside the borders of the nation.

Michael Yon has written extensively about our challenges and now we have an Army O5 reporting his frustration with the truth on the ground.  The truth on the ground in Afghanistan is the summary of his article.

Let's just hope we can maintain that ability to decisively deliver necessary force to preserve our own security.  I fear that the security for the Afghans will remain elusive.