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Afghanistan: General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey trip report.

Please click here to download or view the complete After Action Report from General [ret.] Barry McCaffrey.

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# Bryan Blackmon 2008-07-31 14:55
Wow. This assessment is powerfully succinct and addresses both the problems and solutions of Afghanistan. The next President and all of congress should have this as required reading. Are we prepared for the long haul?
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# Bob Hammons 2008-07-31 17:20
I read this report with a jaundiced eye. Barry McCaffery's early reports on Iraq were highly politicized and wrong. His latest report on Iraq seems to be more of an attempt to move away from a situation where he was clearly maneuvering for a cabinet position in the Clinton administration. That fact colors my reading of his report on Afghanistan. (Also, I quit referring to him as a retired General Officer when he politicized himself, he is just a politician to me now.) I have professionally known him since he was the Battalion Commander of 2/30 Infantry in Germany in 1981.

Having said that, I tend to agree with most of his assessment and see this as what GEN Patraeus has inherited from ADM Fallon. What I do not agree with is McCaffery's assessment of the Army as "a rapidly unraveling Army". True, equipment is battered and mat??riel stockpiles are largely depleted, but the personnel of the US Army are not in the midst of a loss of morale as McCaffery would imply, just the opposite. Yes, I wish the government would greatly expand the size of the military to ease the continual redeployments. I don't remember this kind of deployment turnover during Vietnam and we should do something about lessening it. But make no mistake about the resolve of our troops to win. I only question the resolve of our country to win. It is a continuing complaint among troops that they are at war while America is at the Mall.

I have full faith that GEN Patreaus will resolve the Afghanistan issues as he resolved the Iraqi issues, in spite of shout downs by the Democrats and some Republicans in Congress, and Barry McCaffery too, that Iraq was unwinable. If we support GEN Patreaus and get out of his way, I have no doubt we will succeed in Afghanistan too.

Bottomline is that whoever is elected will have a daunting task to rebuild the military stockpiles and hopefully increase the troop strength to lower the OP TEMPO. Failure to do so will most definitely leave this country vulnerable.
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# Sal Amato 2008-07-31 21:59
All the best to you and yours. Keep up the great work and getting real information out to us here at home.
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# Sgt. Dude 2008-08-01 13:20
Please note what he says about NATO & Command Structures. It is spot on. Also, he is right about military unraveling.

Some of the caveats of some forces are completely silly (i.e. won't go out after dark, won't leave X area). What kind of help is that? Send 'em home in embarrassment - the only way to get things changed... Better have few that you can depend on then have this crazy hodgepodge of forces.

If you cannot abide by the rules & ROE then take your toys and got home. :-)
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# Dale Stoy 2008-08-01 19:03
Started to read your most recent report on Afghanistan and couldn't help but think of James Michener's "Caravans". I read it in the 60s and reread it 2-3 years ago when my youngest son was serving as a Marine in Kunar Province. I don't remember the exact language but, as I recall, the point was made that Afghanistan is an ancient broken, country and will never be fixed, expecially by kafirs. I'm not against being there, but I don't think people understand the job ahead because of its culture & history.
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# mary g 2008-08-03 16:23
Which is why our troops are so great.

God bless Michael Yon, our troops and their friends and allies

a soldier's mom
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