Today McCaffery turned away from endorsement of COIN without end. He said that it was time to consider a cost/benefit analysis of what we are doing. That means that his pals in the generals' club are making a similar assessmen. They don't get to determine national policy but at least they will probably stop urging a continuation.
Colonel Jack Jacobs expresses similar but more sensible things on MSNBC.
The command in Afghanistan tried today to make up for murder of children and women by a US infantry staff sergeant (probably a rifle squad leader?) by sending Green Berets (US Army Special Forces) into the violated villages to try to make peace with the people. TTG and my other SF brothers here will see the awfulness of that. The GBs are the culturally sensitve linguist commandos who have been making progress in eastern Afghanistan in building village defense forces from the villagers as well as village police. The big army dislikes these men, but they always are called when somethig really hard has to be done. Major Gant was the prophet of that kind of thing in Afghanistan and many here mocked the idea, Why does the big army dislike the GBs? Why does the salami fear the slicer?
In Washington and Kabul the staff boot-lickers and spokesmen all rushed to explain that this wuld have no long-term effect. Good luck on that. The asses at the WH said the same thing. McCain implied that this "incident" will have no lasting effect. This is more stupidity.
Several years ago, I said in a debate (IQ2) that COIN would not work in Afghanistan because the human, time and financial resources would not be available to do the job. To do COIN like the GBs can do it you mist become a part time member of that community and culture. The infantry can't do that. Their function is to kill and destroy enemy forces. They don't even like the idea. Combatting enemy forces is a valuable function in the right circumstances but not in COIN except to engage enemy guerrillas. Larry Derita (one of Rumsfeld's pretty boys) told me once that they wanted to make the whole Army like the GBs. I laughed and explained that these men really are SPECIAL and that not many are like them or can be made to be like them. It went right past him.
Steve Clemons and I were right in that debate in NY City. Do we get a bonus?
The media srill does not grasp the difference betwee post,camp, station and unit. "This sergeant is from Joint Base" blah! blah!. LISTEN!! The post you are at is your address. It is not your identity. Your unit is your identity. Don't ask where the unit is based in the States, Germany, Korea, etc. These troops are not the NG. They are not home town folks in the local community. Ask what unit they belong to. Ask who is in the chain of command. A unit has a soul. It has a culture. Some are good. Some are terrible. This unit is not Tacoma. pl