Michael's Dispatches

COMISAF Assessment


Please click here for pdf.


# Frank 2011-01-25 02:00
Appealing to the intellect and guts of his troops instead of just being a cheerleader. Smart guy, good fight for his career and his current (and past ) positions in the Army.
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# Michael Yon Comment 2011-01-25 02:41
This letter is important: it coincides with my instinct that I thought we seem to have turned the tide on the enemies. They are reacting to us now instead of us to them. That General Petraeus put this in writing is significant. Have never seen him BS, good-bad-ugly.
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# carol 2011-01-25 03:03
This reads at times like well crafted poetry:

"up front I want you to know"

"our efforts were given a further boost"

"particularly noteworthy",

"relentless pace of targeted operations"

"this is after all their country and we are working together"

- tons of great phrases to rival "once more unto the breach" and "we shall fight on the beaches".

Yes, I am putting this in the same category as the finest literature.
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# Peter 2011-01-25 03:35
Let's hope the General is right. Keep praying for Afghanistan and peace.
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# Douglas Gugino 2011-01-25 03:41
Thank you for LEAKING this memorandum Mr Yon !!!!!!
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# Michael Yon War Correspondent 2011-01-25 04:02

You are welcome, Sir, but that was not leaked. They want distribution so that more troops will see it.

Next thing you know, the milblogs will be accusing me of an OPSEC violation. A blogger at Blackfive accused me of being disembedded from the Canadians for OPSEC; I never even embedded with Canadians.
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# PhilM 2011-01-25 04:04
While not all of the world's peacemakers have been outsiders or warriors, they have all been, first and foremost - as General Petraeus is - a conciliator. Might is not always right, as our sad history of the world has shown, but those who have used their might to effect Peace are indeed true conciliators, as they do it for others and not themselves. Being an independent correspondent of his activities, now across two nations, Michael has brought forth his true humanity to assist their freedom. Thank you for sharing this with us.
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# Ed 2011-01-25 04:07
Mike's got it right. Although, Petraeus writing at year's end has a naturally peaceful season to reflect on. let's see what happens in the 4th round of this boxing match when the snow melts and the opposition comes out swinging again. Still, it makes me think holy shit, is this the turning point? Let's slam this baby home for history, soldiers. Let's set us up some railroads, highways, mining industry and local governance that gives a damn. It could be like the locomotive tracks taming the raw Wild West all over again. But it's actually 2011, and the old West is now in the iPhone age.
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# Michael Yon War Correspondent 2011-01-25 04:27

Thank you -- by the way, iPhones and Blackberries will work in Afghanistan.
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# Steve Gough 2011-01-25 04:52
The General uses the word "contractor" more than once and in a positive way. Is he talking about the same contractors as I understand it in this sense? If so it appears that he fully supports their use unlike most in the military. If managed correctly they supply much needed assistance thereby enabling our fighting forces to do their jobs. The General has shown himself to be a particularly sharp man, good to see him taking this to everyone.
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# kudzu35 2011-01-25 05:11
Douglas, this letter isn't "leaked" its unclassified and is not FOUO and is also found on the COMISAF homepage: http://www.isaf.nato.int/from-the-commander/from-the-commander/letter-to-the-troops-jan.-25-2011.html thanks for playing
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# Gerard Lingner 2011-01-25 05:33
General Petraeus, this is an excellent set piece on the current situation and estimate of near term actions by ISAF and its allies. You hold out hope for progress in Afghanistan, while not promising unachieveable goals. I rely a lot on Michael Yon's reports, but I also read the various news services and commentators. Best wishes on your program and its goals. I will be following your progress thoughout the coming year. Godspeed. Gary Lingner
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# Wally Black 2011-01-25 05:39
I thought the mission was to get Bin Laden. It has not been done, so lets leave so the rats will come out in the open.
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# richard40 2011-01-25 05:40
If anybody can turn Afgansitan around, Petreaus is the guy. However, I think in many ways the situation in Afgansitan is worse than Iraq was, pre surge. Its going to take time, and I'm not sure the US population is willing to provide it, although it is heartening that Obama was willing to back off on the 2011 deadline, and extend it to 2014.
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# victorsam 2011-01-25 05:55
Now if only Pakistan would cooperate and send forces down thru their connecting mountains and valleys and/or maintain some kind of an official border. We could pop the enemy like a zit. Otherwise, isn't the obvious answer that we are just pushing the enemy into Pakistan, all the while hopefully establishing and maintaining security in Afghanistan? The letter also reads like and exit strategy date of 2014 to me. Then what happens? Accolades to our soldiers for a job well done of course, but I don't want to see the troubles of the region continue to manifest if we have any real control over it.
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# willis 2011-01-25 06:09
"Let's hope the General is right. Keep praying for Afghanistan and peace. "

And above all victory. Freedom and democracy must not give way to Sharia law.
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# Dennis 2011-01-25 11:33
Contractors enabling fighting men to do their job? My son, a US Army Infantryman just returned from Iraq . He described his role simply as "protecting contractors". He went on to say his role was to secure ground for American businesses to setup shop.
Its not all as it appears to be.
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# Judith 2011-01-25 12:55
There will NEVER be (peace in Afganistan) or any where else between countries that have been fighting since the begining of time. War is a money maker for all countries, and ours is the worse. Sharia law will still be there after we lose more of our countries blood. Bring home our military from Iraq and Afganistan. Gen. Perraeus is paid to say what he is told to say. Only the (boots on the ground) being blown up and shot at KNOW what's going on.
Most f them are so young they don't even know what they are fighting for, they don't know our history of war. Who the hell cares if all the other countries want to kill each other--------we need to worry about THIS COUNTRY. We are fighting a war here that is taking us to "hell in a hand basket"
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# J Davis 2011-01-25 17:28
BRING OUR TROOPS HOME! 10 years is long enough. Funny how in nine years we couldn't accomplish anything except getting our troops killed. Now the U.S has accomplished more in one year than all the years we have been there put together. Something smells fishy about this. I thought it was all about Bin Laden.... well after 9 years we haven't found him, he isn't there or we really haven't been trying very hard to find him. How about we stop worrying about the Afghan people and start worrying about the American people. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!
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# Bruce honaker 2011-01-26 02:06
Judith, how dare you say our troops dont know what they are fighting for. They did not make the toughest decision of their life to become political commentators, and I will not try to explain to some one like you what is gone through their minds while they are being sworn in, you will never get it.
They know exactly what they are fighting for, the soldier on the left and the right of them.
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# David Hoff 2011-01-26 05:43
If you put enough frosting on a cake, you cannot tell what kind of cake is on the inside. It could possibly be just another COW PIE, and not so sweet.
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# Mark Vinson 2011-01-26 09:25
I am most encouraged by the General's observation that the enemy is increasingly responding to our operations, instead of vice-versa. This indicates that we have regained the initiative. General Petraeus then describes how we maintain the initiative by linking and expanding our successes and enabling Afghan security, governance and economic development. Sounds like a plan for success.
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# Afghan Patriot 2011-03-31 14:34
[Comment removed by Webmaster]
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# Glenn Warren 2011-11-20 21:39
Remember the negative consequences when we withdrew from Vietnam, the result was re-education camps, executions, repression and Cambodia. Khmer Rouge: At least 1.7 million people -- nearly a quarter of Cambodia's population -- died under the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge from execution, disease, starvation and overwork, according to the Documentation Center of Cambodia.
For those that are feeling selfish, just watch what happens to the women and children of Afghanistan when we leave.
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