At Milnet.ca starting with a rather impassioned plea from a member of the US military, then noting problems with the Afghan security forces, and ending with a Pakistani view that fully reflects their Indian paranoia.
As for an Indian view, from some earlier reading:
…if you really want to expand your AfPak reading, take a look at this article by a retired, very senior, Indian civil servant…
For lots more on Canadian and international military matters, take a look at the Milnet.ca “Forums”.
Meanwhile, one of our usualest suspects is unusually unhappy with the Liberals (and usually unworried about homegrown terrorists):
As for the reason behind the plots, the terrorists got their wish. Unless the more war-supportive Liberals win the next election, Canadian troops are due to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2011 [that's still the, er, firm policy of the Conservatives, latest today via Milnews.ca--Mr Walkom should be cheering them] . Not because buildings blew up in downtown Toronto, but for a much simpler reason: Canadians don’t want their soldiers there any more.
Why not? In some serious measure because of those such at Doubting Thomas, who’s been at it for a long time. Fie:
A nattering nabob of negativism
Update: The Talibs get whacked and lie about it. Yet we are supposed to worry–a typical piece of media reporting (plus Gen. Petraeus, more here, is confirmed by the US Senate):
US, Afghans repel attack against major base
U.S. and Afghan troops repelled an attack Wednesday on one of the biggest NATO bases in eastern Afghanistan by militants who used a suicide car bomb, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons in a failed attempt to breach the defenses.
It was the third ground assault against a major coalition base in Afghanistan in the past five weeks — a sign that the insurgents have not been cowed by U.S. efforts to ramp up the war.
Eight militants were killed in the attack, which occurred at the airport base on the outskirts of Jalalabad about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Kabul on the main road between the Afghan capital and the Pakistan border.
The attack began with a suicide car bomber detonating his explosives near the gate to the base, followed by a half-hour gunbattle, Afghan officials said. An Afghan soldier and one international service member were wounded, NATO said.
Chief NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz said the attackers were unable to penetrate the defenses.
“While designed to garner media attention, this attack only temporarily disrupted operations as our forces successfully repelled the attack,” said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, a U.S. spokeswoman.
In a text message to The Associated Press in Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said six suicide attackers killed 32 foreign and Afghan security forces. The insurgents often exaggerate their claims [no flipping shoot].
The Jalalabad attack followed a May 19 ground assault against the giant Bagram Air Field north of Kabul and another three days later against Kandahar Air Field in the south [more from Adrian, with audio].
Those attacks — though militarily ineffective — have raised concern in the NATO mission about the audacity of the insurgents in the face of overwhelming NATO firepower. In all three assaults, insurgents launched what the military calls complex attacks — those that employ multiple types of weapons…
Wednesday’s attack occurred hours before the U.S. Senate confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan…
And note this, never mentioned by our self-obsessed media:
The DAF [Danish Armed Forces] has suffered 31 troop-combat fatalities in Afghanistan since 2001, the highest number per capita of population than any other ISAF country…
Who here knew about those war-fighting Scandinavians? Denmark’s population is some 5.5 million, almost exactly one-sixth Canada’s. On a per capita basis compared to us they have taken 186 dead; we’ve taken 150.
Upperdate: Broader media update from the Conference of Defence Associations:
Afghanistan: “A Winnable War”
Uppestdate: A real must-read from BruceR. (he’s been there as a CF mentor with the ANA, see here, and p. 8 here) at Flit on Afghan training, er, deficiencies:
Today’s essential Afghan reading: the SIGAR report
The SIGAR report on the problems with the ANSF Capability Milestone (CM) system is out, and worth a read. The clear implication is that prior to the arrival of Gen McChrystal and his team, ANSF mentoring had really been spinning its wheels.
The fact that this report was coming has been known by ISAF for some time: so long that the current official response that it’s now so out-of-date as to be unnecessary seems a little disingenuous…
This is significant: up until the month the SIGAR report’s conclusions were known, the DOD position was that the CM system was actually understating ANSF capability. Now that the SIGAR report has come out, along with other evidence that ANSF capability has been, if anything, historically overstated, they’re saying that in fact, they weren’t even measuring capability at all…
The reason a pure “potential measurement” system was not appropriate for units already in combat should be clear: combat tends to have an attritional effect on all three measurements. If the CM system had been purely an on-paper evaluation, and a truthful one, the units incurring heavy fighting should have seen their evaluation scores go DOWN, not up. And given the importance of a high CM rating to the Afghan defence ministry, this in turn would have led to Afghan units avoiding potential combat situations even more than they did, to keep from hurting their “scores.”..
Lots more worth the look.