In a jaw-dropping display of ignorance to the ground situation in Afghanistan, the top Marine Corps officer stated that the sustained rate of casualties inflicted on coalition personnel are a sign we are “winning the fight!” The Commandant of the Marines Corps General Amos, went on to describe these “green on blue” killings as acts of a “desperate enemy.” Ironically, his comments were conveyed to Marines in Afghanistan in a letter from the U.S. that was intended to improve morale.
The Commandant showed his complete disconnect with Marines in the field and his attempt to bolster morale utterly failed. Not only are these attacks effective and very well coordinated, but they have been sustained and are increasing. This General, IS NOT a sign of a desperate enemy. This is a sign of an enemy effectively exploiting a critical vulnerability in our non-existent Afghanistan strategy. Further, why would an enemy be “desperate” after surviving and thriving for over a decade against the full force of NATO knowing the Americans are retreating within a year?
Our trajectory in Afghanistan has followed the Soviet playbook of two decades prior relatively speaking to the letter and will end no differently. The Afghan military and police are simply not going to be able to effectively deal with the Taliban. At best, barely 10% of Afghan police and military are able to operate independently after billions of dollars and a decade of U.S. training and advising, and this is only with advisors and support! Obviously to everyone but General Amos, our advisors are having serious problems now and this will only get worse as NATO forces retreat home. What’s worse, is that training and advising have ZERO historical precedent for success against cross-border, state supported insurgencies like in Afghanistan. The Taliban however, have operated just fine without support or advisors. When the U.S. is not there to provide support, the Afghan military will simply be absorbed back into the Taliban and former Northern Alliance as civil war will return to Afghanistan. This is the blatantly clear reality General Amos is trying to vainly keep from the warfighters on the ground and the American public.
It is clear that it is time to either dramatically shift strategy or bring our troops home. Further, it is even more evidence of the need to completely replace senior military leadership, which after more than a decade of war has failed to achieve decisive results favorable to the U.S. Call your representatives and demand accountability and removal of failed military leadership!
By Guiles Hendrik