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24 June 2010


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Adam L. Silverman


Does it make me a bad person to think that Mr. Shueur is actually making sense in his remarks today on National Journal?

R Whitman

For Silverman or any others that can answer:

I normally do not comment on Afganistan. I am the first to admit that I know nothing about it. What does a Marine General bring to Afganistan that an Army General does not??

Patrick Lang


You don't want my opinion? The Army clique of COIN generals have made a mess of a number of things. Give a different service a chance to fix this to the extent that it can be fixed. pl


Mr. Scheurer says: "As a timeless truism one cannot find a better example than the phrase: "Afghans hate and will not tolerate their country being occupied by foreigner infidel." "

Then how was this war lost only when Obama was inaugurated? Year 1,2, 3, 4, 5, … of this war just don't count?

And again: "what Obama, Biden, Holbrooke, McChrystal, Petreaus, Nagl, and Kilcullen have given America -- utter failure, a thousand dead and untold numbers of wounded U.S. service personnel, and gargantuan waste of U.S. financial resources."

Should we thank George Bush for the great victory in Afghanistan, since we didn't lose until Obama became president?

Adam L. Silverman

Mr. Whitman,

I've never worked, operationally, with the Marines, so I can't really speak to your question. I do know that in Iraq in 2004, well ahead of anyone else's knowledge curve, the leadership of the MEF, which was the divisional command for Multi-National Corp West (MNC-W, which, essentially, was al Anbar), recognized that the local elites and notables, primarily tribal, were ready to come in and wanted to reorient towards Coalition Forces and against AQI/anti-Iraqi Forces. They repeatedly tried to facilitate this and kept getting shot down by folks at the Pentagon. Most notably Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, who called these Sunni Arabs "Nazis". A good recounting, which I've linked to before, can be found here:

As for Mr. Scheuer, while I agree with some of what he's written, as Fred has noted, he's got selective hindsight. I don't think he has any better understanding of proper COIN or irregular warfare than many of those he maligns. And you are correct that while President Obama is now the responsible party this mess has many owners and parents.

Patrick Lang


Why do you capitilise "marine?" pl

Adam L. Silverman


No particular reason other than I figure it was like Army; first letter capitalized.

Patrick Lang


"marine" is a common noun. "US Marine" is a proper noun. pl

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