Where is Sam Damon?

A blog dedicated to debate and commentary on national security, foreign affairs, veterans' issues, and a whole host of other topics. If you are not familiar with who Sam Damon is, click here. Feel free to post comments or contact Onager via e-mail at whereissamdamon@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

McChrystal Hearing

One change would potentially abandon the current division of labor, in which the forces of individual NATO members are responsible for certain parts of Afghanistan. Instead, the effort would be divided according to function, with NATO performing most of the training of Afghan forces...

Another goal, McChrystal said, would be to promote greater continuity in U.S. personnel by developing a corps of experts in Afghanistan's language and culture who would be assigned to the country for repeated tours.

To improve the complicated command structure in Afghanistan, McChrystal said, he would seek NATO approval to put his deputy, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, in charge of military operations in the five military regions of Afghanistan, allowing McChrystal to focus on higher-level strategy.

While I have never served in Afghanistan, these ideas seem like a good start to attempt to turn around what seems like a dire situation in Afghanistan. This strategy will be hard to implement, but I believe LTG McChrystal is being quite coy in describing how he will put his plan to work. The way I am reading how the McChrystal Strategy will be implemented is first, LTG McChrystal will assign units to a specific task, not to a specific land area or piece of the pie. This means that the U.S. mission will probably change from patrolling and training ANA in RC-East to being responsible for all high-profile direct action strikes (something McChrystal was in charge of in JSOC in Iraq) on Taliban strongholds across the entire nation. Meanwhile, the other countries' mission will be to train the ANA across all of Afghanistan. Next, due to this new division of labor and responsibility, LTG McChrystal will attempt to convince NATO that he needs LTG Rodriguez to be the tactical commander. He will explain that under the new division of labor, the U.S. will take all direct action tactical missions while the rest of NATO only trains the ANA. He will conclude with, therefore, you won't even have to answer to LTG Rodriguez since he will, for all intensive purposes, be the tactical commander of only U.S. troops. I am guessing that LTG McChrystal's U.K. deputy, Lieutenant-General J.B. Dutton, a fellow commando, will then be the "tactical" commander for training the ANA and all nations doing the training mission will report to him. This new division of labor will allow LTG McChrystal to focus on strategic level problems with Afghanistan Ambassador retired LTG Eikenberry and CENTCOM Commander GEN Petraeus. This is my educated guess on how implementation will occur... we will soon see if I have it correct.

No comments: