Feb 27, 2012

Infiltration in Afghanistan Issue (Early Birds Get To Be Depressed First)

It is said that there is no security on the net - even among "security" firms (not that Stratfor was ever worth sierra - or was a security co.).

On another topic, glad that we got out there early on the infiltration in AF issue.  Has become quite the natsec crisis recently.  Although some narratives are still hanging on tenuously:

“If the trust, ability and willingness to partner falls apart, you are looking at the endgame here,” said Mark Jacobson, who served until last summer as the NATO deputy senior civilian representative in Kabul.

The killing of the U.S. officers on Saturday occurred two days after a man wearing an Afghan army uniform fatally shot two American troops in eastern Afghanistan, the latest in a string of incidents in recent months in which local security forces have turned against NATO personnel.

And another piece in NYT today. “Afghan good enough” - slogan of the day.

(Although gov/media axis generally is trying to position the story as a "stay the course" and "we can't be pushed out of AF" theme - what can we expect in an election year - doubts as to the viability of the mission are becoming clear even to some of the normally oblivious.)

Feb 14, 2012

LTC. Davis' (U) Report Published in RS

While we were otherwise distracted during our annual SMC-Con at Trump's swanky SoHo tower, the entire unclassified version of LTC Davis' Afghanistan report (84 page PDF) was published in Rolling Stone along with an accompanying piece by Michael Hastings (the correspondent that broke the Bud Light Lime story).

Lots of IO stuff in LTC Davis's report.

 As COL Leap never even considered the American public’s support of the war might have been waning as a direct result of what was physically happening on the battlefield, General Baker likewise fails even to address in his article that the information operations – conceptually a perfectly legitimate and useful tool – must be tied strictly to effective actions on the ground.  It is noteworthy that nowhere in the multi-page essay did the General address, even in passing, that the IO plan is worthless if it does not accurately support the actions and conditions on the ground.  Instead, he emphasizes this to Army troops:

For years, commercial advertisers have based their advertisement strategies on the premise that there is a positive correlation between the number of times a consumer is exposed to product advertisement and that consumer’s inclination to sample the new product.  The very same principle applies to how we influence our target audiences when we conduct COIN.

It is remarkable to consider that a senior ranking officer in the United States Army emphatically suggests that standard marketing strategies are the “very same” for combat operations, and yet it is also very telling.  In explaining why a certain operation run by the 1st Armored Division was successful, he cited exclusively the actions the IO staff undertook, implying the actions of the combat troops had either little or no real impact on their success.

Feb 6, 2012

In Afghan War, Officer Becomes a Whistle-Blower

In Afghan War, Officer Becomes a Whistle-Blower

“No one expects our leaders to always have a successful plan,” he says in the article. “But we do expect — and the men who do the living, fighting and dying deserve — to have our leaders tell us the truth about what’s going on.

(Check out his piece in Armed Forces Journal):

Much of what I saw during my deployment, let alone read or wrote in official reports, I can’t talk about; the information remains classified. But I can say that such reports — mine and others’ — serve to illuminate the gulf between conditions on the ground and official statements of progress. 

PS: Exum, et al. are gonna be pissed.  ;)