Afghanistan has been rising to the surface of my thoughts again recently. Part of this is because I recently was asked to speak conduct some counterinsurgency training for a group of soldiers who are beginning the process of preparing for a deployment to that country. It will most likely be the last time I get to do that before I retire from the military and I’m get a bit nostalgic about the whole thing.
you should read for both the reoccurring themes you find with today’s war and also for the remarkable stories of survival that boggle the imagination. Imagine the events of Black Hawk Down getting stretched out for six weeks minus the reinforcements. Of special interest to me was the fact that most of the events of this narrative involved areas where I had spent some time. The area from Charikar to Kabul saw some desperate battles as the embattled British attempted to first reach safety and later just tried to stay alive.
Spencer Ackerman writes a story for wired.com about Stanley McChrystal titled “How Special Ops Copied al-Qaida to Kill It”. The title is more exciting than the story and I suspect if you’ve been paying even a passing interest in U.S. military policy in Afghanistan over the past couple of years I’m not sure there’s anything shocking here but it is a nice underscore to just how impressive McChrystal was.
This may be totally inside baseball and have no real impact on the battle for the narrative between ISAF and the Taliban but I have to admit I found the twitter war between the two compelling stuff. (h/t Abu Muqawama) While I know ancient armies would taunt each other across the battlefield, has any army ever uttered words such as these:
@ISAFmediai dnt knw.u hve bn pttng thm n ‘harm’s way’ fr da pst 10 yrs.Razd whole vllgs n mrkts.n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout ‘harm’s way’Really, @abalkhi? UNAMA reported 80% of civilians causalities are caused by insurgent (your) activities http://goo.gl/FylwU
Anyone want to guess when Goodwin’s law will kick in?