Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

What must be done in Afghanistan (II): Gird for 5 years or more

More from that thoughtful Army officer who is a veteran of our current wars: The range of 20-40k troop increase makes zero sense. We need to identify those critical pieces of human (key tribes and population centers who can influence the spread of the Kabul government to the local level) and physical terrain (key roads ...

579298_091014_soldier2.jpg
579298_091014_soldier2.jpg

More from that thoughtful Army officer who is a veteran of our current wars:

The range of 20-40k troop increase makes zero sense. We need to identify those critical pieces of human (key tribes and population centers who can influence the spread of the Kabul government to the local level) and physical terrain (key roads and other resources for health, etc). Identify that and put the troops there. These areas are the mid term goals of 3-5 years. The long term of 5-8 is the handover to ANSF. Kids do not run up to us in AFG like in Iraq. Why? They know nothing but war and zero government. And we cannot show anything for it outside of Kabul and a couple areas."


More from that thoughtful Army officer who is a veteran of our current wars:

The range of 20-40k troop increase makes zero sense. We need to identify those critical pieces of human (key tribes and population centers who can influence the spread of the Kabul government to the local level) and physical terrain (key roads and other resources for health, etc). Identify that and put the troops there. These areas are the mid term goals of 3-5 years. The long term of 5-8 is the handover to ANSF. Kids do not run up to us in AFG like in Iraq. Why? They know nothing but war and zero government. And we cannot show anything for it outside of Kabul and a couple areas.”

Photo via Flickr user The U.S. Army

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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