Monday, February 6, 2012

How military leaders have let us down: US Colonel speaks out about Afghanistan

Colonel Daniel L Davis, an armoured corps officer of the US army, who landed in Afghanistan in 2010 has spoken out his mind and the 'truth' behind the US operations in war torn Afghanistan and has accused the US military of painting a misleading picture of progress in the war in Afghanistan while glossing over the Kabul government’s many failings.
Daniel says that he stayed almost a year in Afghanistan, traveled widely in support of many operations by the US army, but says what he saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.
In an article 'Truth, lies and Afghanistan -  How military leaders have let us down' posted in the Armed Forces Journal (AFJ), Colonel Daniel writes:
Much of what I saw during my deployment, let alone read or wrote in official reports, I can’t talk about; the information remains classified. But I can say that such reports — mine and others’ — serve to illuminate the gulf between conditions on the ground and official statements of progress.
Talking of the credibility gap, Colonel Daniel quotes:
A January 2011 report by the Afghan NGO Security Office noted that public statements made by U.S. and ISAF leaders at the end of 2010 were “sharply divergent from IMF, [international military forces, NGO-speak for ISAF] ‘strategic communication’ messages suggesting improvements. We encourage [nongovernment organization personnel] to recognize that no matter how authoritative the source of any such claim, messages of the nature are solely intended to influence American and European public opinion ahead of the withdrawal, and are not intended to offer an accurate portrayal of the situation for those who live and work here.”

When it comes to deciding what matters are worth plunging our nation into war and which are not, our senior leaders owe it to the nation and to the uniformed members to be candid — graphically, if necessary — in telling them what’s at stake and how expensive potential success is likely to be. U.S. citizens and their elected representatives can decide if the risk to blood and treasure is worth it. 

Now that the US is all set to leave Afghanistan, leaving behind a more destabilized country than it was when US along with the support of its allies stormed it almost a decade ago, many questions arise in onlookers mind which when viewed in the confessions of Colonel Daniel above, paint a gory picture of the state of affairs in Afghanistan, contrary to all assertions and propaganda through official channels.

The US despite its military might could not subdue determined Vietnamese in the 60s and 70s and were forced to abandon Vietnam War with much humiliation and shame. Now after a decade, isn't the US abandoning Afghanistan in a much more disgusting and humiliating mode? The ongoing efforts to engage Taliban in talks says it all.

You may read the complete article at Armed Forces Journal 
Note: A non-classified version is available at Afghan Report


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