Posted by: tristar3research | February 24, 2009

Afghanistan Battlefront Moves to the Forefront

So, there is a U.S. drone command post inside Pakistan

Finally, a bit of advice from a young captain on the ground in Afghanistan. He’s advising President Obama on the non-surge and so he’s not very optimistic about the Afghan police forces’ willingness to work with the U.S. military presence. Craig Mullaney recounts that the Afghans have a saving about foreign troops in their country: ‘You may have all the watches, but we have all the time.’ Getting Afghanistan through its August 2009 elections may be important but the Pakistani government has abandoned northwest Pakistan to the Taliban so the pressure is ratcheting up.

Afghan National Army soldiers

Afghan National Army soldiers

From his site: A West Point grad, Rhodes scholar, and Army Ranger recounts his unparalleled education in the art of war and reckons with the hard wisdom that only battle itself can bestow. A West Point grad, Rhodes scholar, and Army Ranger recounts his unparalleled education in the art of war and reckons with the hard wisdom that only battle itself can bestow. A West Point grad, Rhodes scholar, and Army Ranger recounts his unparalleled education in the art of war and reckons with the hard wisdom that only battle itself can bestow.  One haunting afternoon on Losano Ridge in Afghanistan, Captain Craig Mullaney and his platoon were caught in a deadly firefight with Al Qaeda fighters when a message came over the radio: one of his soldiers had been killed in action.

Mullaney’s education had been relentlessly preparing him for this moment. The four years he spent at West Point and the harrowing test of Ranger School readied him for a career in the Army. His subsequent experience as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford couldn’t have been further from the Army and his working class roots, and yet the unorthodox education he received there would be surprisingly relevant as a combat leader. Years later, after that unforgettable experience in Afghanistan, he would return to the United States to teach history to future Navy and Marine Corps officers at the Naval Academy. He had been in their position once, and he had put his education to the test. How would he use his own life-changing experience prepare them?

One haunting afternoon on Losano Ridge in Afghanistan, Captain Craig Mullaney and his platoon were caught in a deadly firefight with Al Qaeda fighters when a message came over the radio: one of his soldiers had been killed in action. Mullaney’s education had been relentlessly preparing him for this moment. The four years he spent at West Point and the harrowing test of Ranger School readied him for a career in the Army. His subsequent experience as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford couldn’t have been further from the Army and his working class roots, and yet the unorthodox education he received there would be surprisingly relevant as a combat leader. Years later, after that unforgettable experience in Afghanistan, he would return to the United States to teach history to future Navy and Marine Corps officers at the Naval Academy. He had been in their position once, and he had put his education to the test. How would he use his own life-changing experience prepare them?

Of course, with a weak central government, a network of warlords interested in lining their pockets, very few allies, and a massive opium trade, how are we going to “win” this war?? It’s been called by ex-CIA officer Milt Bearden the Graveyard of Empires… In contrast, General Petraeus always says, “Hard is Not Hopeless.”

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