Argh! Why are we hinging success in both Afghanistan and Iraq on their ability to stand up their own armies and police forces? That’s how we win, betting that they will get their acts together?
Boy, are we the ever-wishful dreamers!
Obviously, the folks who planned out “success” in this war never really interacted with Iraqis or Afghans – because this is not a safe bet.
But a friend of mine who is an Army colonel put it this way, “What the hell else can we do? Either we stand up their Army or we get stuck there for the next 50 years. And no one wants to be stuck there that long. I sure as hell don’t”
So our bet is placed, deal with it.
But now we are so bent on selling the success stories of the Afghan National Army that we have minimized our own military efforts. We go to great lengths to build them up with the international press.
In a Pentagon press conference today (April 24) Col. Martin Schweitzer, commander of the 4th Brigade, 82nd Airborne told reporters from Camp Salerno (near Khost) that the Afghans are going to lead upcoming operations.
“I'd have never imagined that four years ago when I was here, never,” Schweitzer said. “And now I'm going to be subordinate to one of the corps here in Afghanistan for a series of operations, which I think is phenomenal.”
We are pimping our legacy to conform to political goals.
The 82nd Airborne – our elite paratroopers, the nation’s knife’s edge – the famed All-American Division, America's Guard of Honor – think Normandy, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Fallujah - and of course Afghanistan.
82nd Airborne Division:
And these paratroopers who have been above and beyond the call for the past five years of war – are now ready to be under Afghan command? And that's something to be proud of?
Now, that’s not phenomenal, colonel. It sounds plain sad.