How to win and end the war in Afghanistan

The latest White House leaks reported President Donald Trump has serious concerns about the effectiveness of his commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson.

In this article, the leaks point to an unclear message that is flowing throughout the Trump administration.

It is particularly refreshing in that it was written by and individual with multiple tours in Afghanistan and appears that he has lost little in the way of knowledge he learned during his command officer training. (Source)

 

John Nicholson

Retired Army Lt Col. Allen West outlines what the Commander-in-Chief must do to clarify the mission and what “winning” is defined to be.

This is how the military plans, conducts, and completes a mission.

Pleas pay attention, Mr. President.

Colonel West further states, “Winning isn’t a tactic, it’s an end game.”

General Mattis has claimed that an additional 4,000 troops are required in Afghanistan.

Here is the battlefield calculus: For every one combat troop deployed,  and I mean a trigger-puller who goes out to engage and destroy the enemy, there are 4-5 logistical support troops.

It’s critical that the president decides, what “winning” means?

It’s what we call in the military “troop to task,” and before determining the troop level, you need to define the tasks…which is part of the commander’s intent.

As Written By Allen B. West

Allenbwest.com

August 7, 2017

One of the things I really didn’t like about my time in themilitaryand tried to avoid, were indecisive commanders.

You can ask anyone who’s served what happens when they hear these words: “I don’t really know what I want, just draw up some plan and let me see it.”

This is like shooting in the dark at an indoor target range, then turning on the lights to see if you hit anything.

You end up expending more ammunition because you never really know where the target is.

That’s why the military has something called “commander’s intent.”

This is where a good commander issues guidance laying out what they see as the purpose of the operation/mission, the key tasks and method necessary to meet the purpose, and their desired end state, final goal or objective.

This is planning guidance and its ‘necessary for a competent staff to begin crafting a comprehensive plan…not go shooting in the dark.

And so yes, I am concerned about having a national strategy for Afghanistan, a place where I spent two-and-a-half years.

A place where we just lost two of our finest to a Taliban attack. And it appears where those leak problems continue for the Trump administration.

See the entire article below.

 

As reported by NBC News, “President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisers tasked with crafting a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the war’s top military commander during a tense meeting at the White House, according to senior administration officials.  

During the July 19 meeting, Trump repeatedly suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war, the officials said.

Trump has not met Nicholson, and the Pentagon has been considering extending his time in Afghanistan.

Over nearly two hours in the situation room, according to the officials, Trump complained about NATO allies, inquired about the United States getting a piece of Afghan’s mineral wealth and repeatedly said the top U.S. general there should be fired.

He alsostartled the room with a story that seemed to compare their advice to that of a paid consultant who cost a tony New York restaurateur profits by offering bad advice.

Trump is the third president to grapple with the war in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, two American troops were killed in Afghanistan when a convoy they were in came under attack.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Trump’s national security team has been trying for months to come up with a new strategy he can approve.

Those advisers are set to meet again to discuss the issue on Thursday at the White House. The president is not currently scheduled to attend the meeting, though one official said that could change.”

Let me offer some advice and assessments, if I may. First of all, “winning” is not a strategy, but an end state, and as

First of all, “winning” is not a strategy, but an end state, and as such it needs to be defined. This is where commander’s Intent is vital.

If staff planners know what the commander wants they’re better equipped to meet that intent with a concise strategy and plan.

The fact that General Nicholson only has 8,400 troops must be analyzed to assess if those resources are adequate for “winning.”

President Trump has already said he would defer the decision on additional troops to Afghanistan to the Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis. General Mattis has claimed that an additional 4,000 troops are required in Afghanistan.

If staff planners know what the commander wants they’re better equipped to meet that intent with a concise strategy and plan.

 

The fact that General Nicholson only has 8,400 troops must be analyzed to assess if those resources are adequate for “winning.”

President Trump has already said he would defer the decision on additional troops to Afghanistan to the Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis. General Mattis has claimed that an additional 4,000 troops are required in Afghanistan.

 

Does it mean we  continue to train the Afghanistan armed forces?

Or does winning mean we beat back the Taliban, ISIS affiliate, and the Haqqani network? And to what levels, how many provinces and districts do we want to see cleared of Islamic terrorist influence?

Furthermore, what are we to do about the Islamist sanctuaries that cross the border into Pakistan?

How do we put more pressure on Pakistan diplomatically and economically?

The key isn’t to look just at Afghanistan, what we call the area of operations (AO), but also the area of influence (AI).

Historically, we failed to do so in Vietnam and allowed the enemy to have defined sanctuary located in Laos and Cambodia.

Also, when it comes to battlefield calculus, the decision must be made on whether we’re going on offense, enemy orientation, or we’re going to be terrain-oriented and on defense?

If “winning” means we’re going on offense, then a successful operation requires a 3:1 ratio over the enemy, with overwhelming combat force.

And that would include combat multipliers such as artillery, attack aviation, and close air support — and don’t forget the logistical footprint.

Why talk about firing General Nicholson if you haven’t provided him the requisite resources for success, for “winning?” And what I find rather perplexing was the praise heaped on General Nicholson for utilizing the MOAB ordnance to destroy an ISIS underground complex. It was said those operational decisions were delegated to the commander on the ground. So why are we hearing President Trump talk about “firing” the general? President Trump must decide first and foremost, does he truly want to do what’s necessary to win in Afghanistan? Does he want to move away from nation building and move towards an aggressive strike-operations focus? And President Trump must understand we cannot continue down the road believing that our U.S. Special Operations Forces are the answer for everything. We have to rebuild that military capacity — especially of light infantry-type units — that can be quickly deployed, require less logistical support, and can deliver a decisive blow using operational maneuver against the enemy. We must open up the rules of engagement, but we also need to provide the combat multipliers for our ground troops: heavy mortars, light to medium artillery, and combat aviation support. There’s no way the enemy should be able to move anywhere in Afghanistan without being seen, engaged and destroyed. We have to cut off their logistical supply routes and strike their underground complexes.

Let me be brutally honest, we’ve NEVER focused on winning in Afghanistan! We’ve seen it as what we call an “economy of force” operation and never brought the enemy to its knees. We were close, but then we transitioned over to NATO control and the enemy found the gaps and seams to exploit.

So yes, if you’re part of NATO and have deployed troops there, the mission has to be consistent: seek and destroy the enemy in the AO and in the AI. Now, the Trump administration has already walked back the talk about firing General Nicholson, but this is another issue for the administration: leaks.

I continue to advocate that what President Trump needs isn’t another rally in West Virginia, but a primetime Oval Office address on his “doctrine” to lay out what is his National Security Strategy. And please, spare me “the I’m not telling you” line of unpredictability being a strategy talk. My concern is what I’ve seen in this week: incoherence.

When it comes to the issue of North Korea we have a U.N. ambassador saying “all options are on the table,” a secretary of state who says “regime change is not an option and we’re pursuing talks,” a CIA director who says “regime change is an option,” and a vice president who says “talks are NOT an option.” There’s only one commander in chief, and what’s necessary for success — “winning” — is clear guidance and intent that gets everyone on the same strategic sheet of music.

What is winning in Afghanistan? Islamic jihadism does not have a base of operations, sanctuary, and realizes that we will seek them out and destroy them…and the government, the people, of Afghanistan understand that premise. And they will because the only thing they comprehend and respect isstrength.

As Carl von Clausewitz stated, “war is about the imposition of one’s will upon another.” And that folks is “winning.”

 

 

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About JCscuba

I am firmly devoted to bringing you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the progressive movement. Obama nearly destroyed our country economically, militarily coupled with his racism he set us further on the march to becoming a Socialist State. Now it's up to President Trump to restore America to prominence. Republicans who refuse to go along with most of his agenda RINOs must be forced to walk the plank, they are RINOs and little else.
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11 Responses to How to win and end the war in Afghanistan

  1. Brittius says:

    Allen West, is an individual who should have been made general and placed on the JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff, NOT, JC Scuba…), but the politically correct climate had pencil pushing geeks pissing their panties. In combat, things will, at times, get a bit carried away. If people back in the States cannot accept that, then they should not send troops to foreign lands. We, me, you, and everyone else, have seen, veterans now missing limbs. They were whole when they enlisted. Veterans missing parts of their faces and heads. They were whole when they enlisted. Veterans missing mental faculties, they were whole when they enlisted. Veterans missing the family, whether parents, or spouse, or their own flesh and blood children. Terrible price. They were whole, when they enlisted. When things go from zero, to “Holy [M]ucking Shit!”, in about 2.5 seconds, how, can anyone fault Lt.Col. West? I don’t care about Obama and his My Little Pony, brand of prosecuting a war. I want to serve with West. I would follow him through the Gates of Hell, with a five gallon can of gasoline strapped on my back, punch the Devil in the face, and make it back out through the Gates of Hell, and not look for a medal. Only call it, “just doing a day’s work, that’s what I get paid for”. For anyone who has been in the military, any branch, any MOS, they understand the concept of “doing my job”. Lt.Col. West, was only doing his job, only doing what he was paid for, what he was trained for as a soldier and as an officer, and the Pentagon, kicked him in the ass. Allen West, will always be held in the highest regard amongst all veterans. You want to win a war, then hunker down, keep quiet, and pay attention to the briefings. Do not run around like a pisspot leader such as Obama was in the WH for eight years.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

    Like

  3. JAFC says:

    In war, it is indeed a VERY good idea to know what your objectives are.

    HOWEVER, common sense and a rational sense of curiosity leads one to ask what the ENEMY’S objectives are.

    OUR objectives are to control X amount of acres of land and access to them. In OUR view, Afghanistan controls our access to the countries of central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, western China, southern Russia, etc). We’re engaged in what the Brits, back in the days of Queen Victoria, called The Great Game (for control of the proverbial Cockpit of Asia, and the mineral wealth therein). We also want our version of Peace, Brotherhood, and Democracy to take root so the inhabitants of those benighted lands will be friendly towards our commerce and (what’s left of) our political culture. OUR final objectives are purely secular, and thus forever changing..

    The ENEMY’S objectives are to maintain and expand a religion which for a millennium and a half has been diametrically opposed to just about everything we believe in and how we behave towards each other. THEIR final motives are entirely religious, and thus remain fixed forever.

    We only control the land our troops – when under arms – physically occupy, and our ability to bribe the locals (our mythical friendly allies) not to stab us in the back is entirely dependent on the convenience of THEIR motives and schemes at any particular time and place.

    Fought on those terms, we can never win.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Simply Linda says:

    How many years have we been there? 16-17? I’ll take a different approach here and say bring every single man and woman home, period. Enough is enough. There is no end game, there is no winning. Winning what? The hearts and minds of the Afghans? I might sound harsh, but enough already. I’m all for a bit of isolation from the EU, Afghan, ISIS, Syria etc. at this point and time. Shore up our shores and get on with rebuilding our military, get our planes and helicopters/Ospry upgraded. Obama has left us in a really big mess, that my friends is a real story. Lt. Col. West is a good man. —–(stealing from Brittius) You want to win a war, then hunker down, keep quiet, and pay attention to the briefings. With all these traitors, I mean, Soros folks still in the WH, I, for one, am glad Trump is voicing his concerns. Are they the right concerns or comments? Probably not, but at least someone is asking questions. I think he ought to meet with that General and hear it from his mouth, I also read that Trump is talking to the troops directly, which has caused an uproar with the Generals. TO BAD, About time someone is taking the horse by its reigns. Talk to every single person, including a private and all the way up to the generals. Just my opinion and listening to the Marine rant and rave about the folks who are advising Trump. He/the Marine would follow Kelly to the ends of the Earth (his former boss). Sometimes, these Generals have been in for so long, some no longer know the end game and/or are still doing the same thing(s) as earlier and no longer can adapt to the changing strategy of war. Just saying.

    Ok, JC I’m sure you have something to say about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JCscuba says:

      Of Course, I do!

      The United States must develop a military strategy that enshrines protecting our own country from enemies foreign and domestic.

      What in the world is worth fighting for against ISIS in Iraq and Syria?

      That’s the question Trump should be asking his flag officers as they make further plans.

      They must remember we have our own home-grown jihadists as well as those who have illegally entered our country to contend with.

      We can no longer get involved with other people’s civil wars when it comes to fighting with the savages in the Middle East and Africa.

      The video below is a wake-up call and spells it out loudly.

      “War is bad for everyone, with the exception of arms manufacturers.

      The United States must abandon its policy to force democracy in lands where there has never been any.

      Any gains made will be lost as our State Department comes up with a way to say “We Won,” when in fact our Spec/Ops soldiers, airmen Marines, and members of the Navy return shrouded in white flags, the flag of the losers. See the entire very sad article here. https://whatyouthoughtiwentaway.wordpress.com/page/2/

      Liked by 2 people

    • Brittius says:

      You’re not “stealing”, you are only borrowing a cup of sugar for your apple pie recipe.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pamela says:

    . This is purely my own speculation on this situation, but when I think of the continuous US military presence in Afghanistan two words come to my mind: Dope and Oil. This godforsaken central Asian nation has been one of the world’s largest growers of the opium poppy for many years now. I believe this lucrative industry, and the prospect of oil running under the ground there was what first lured the Soviet Union to invade back in 1979. Afghanistan is often called “Russia’s Vietnam”. It ended up being Moscow’s Waterloo.
    America has been involved militarily in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years now, much in the same way we were involved in Southeast Asia. What was accomplished in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos? Communist regimes eventually took over all three of those nations. Between 1955 and 1975 the lives of 58,000 US servicemen were lost while the big rubber companies and international arms dealers and their investors on both sides of the political aisle in Washington DC became extremely wealthy through the spilled blood of a generation of young American men.. Adding insult to injury, like the conflict in Korea, Vietnam was never officially declared a war so those same fat cat senators and congressmen could not be prosecuted for consorting with the arms dealers who sold weapons to both sides in the conflict.
    How many unsavory political wheeler-dealers (Think: Bill and Hillary and the rest of their criminal ilk) have vested interests via Big Pharm in the opium crops being grown in Afghanistan? How many(Think: The Bush Family) have money invested in the oil companies siphoning black gold out of the rugged terrain?
    We did not prevent Communism from flourishing in Southeast Asia nor will we succeed in eradicating the influence of Islam in Afghanistan.
    We have sacrificed enough of our brave men and women serving in the US Armed Forces on the altar of human greed and selfishness.
    If I were President Trump, I would bring all our troops home to America from the Middle East. We need them here to patrol and defend us and our borders from the machinations of those who seek to harm us. And I am not just talking about Mexican criminals and drug cartels and Islamist jihadists. Some of the worst enemies of the American people regularly operate within the unhallowed halls of power in Washington DC.

    Like

  6. Dave the Differentiator says:

    The discussion has drifted to where most committees go – nowhere.

    The strategy in any war is to kill the enemy. How you kill them is simple in todays technological environment. America has the most advanced technology ever invented for war. America can watch every move on the ground with satellites and use drones and 1,000 pound Hellfire Missiles to kill from afar. The C-130 gun ship bring a lethal dimension to war-far not known in the past – flying tanks.

    One problem is America is trying to obey rules set by the enemy. WRONG. America needs to kill the enemy – not allow them to set the rules. Trying to avoid collateral damages is not a rule of war. Bombs do not do selective killing – bombs kill every thing within the killing radius of the bombs.

    When America decided to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan the death toll was large, but actually save so many lives by stopping the war. If America has more M.O.A.B.’s then it is time to drop these and make the statement that America will kill you all if you do not surrender. Brutal, but to the enemy who has a choice – surrender or die!

    Like

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