"Much work remains to be done"
Intense warcrafting is happening right now - with more on the way and the glittering UnSurge of 2014 - when Surge gets reversed and troops began to split, is right around the way
Essentially - how will Great Satan and her allies get there - and what will be Great Satan's role there afterwards?
The wonderfully crunk cadre of Great Satan's Combat Rock Stars - the cats that put the 'urge' in Surge and made COIN a safeword - unleash "Responsible Transition: Securing Great Satan's Interests in Afghanistan Beyond 2011" (pdf)
Created by former regime changer and Army General DW Barno hooked up with the delectable (sorry girls - he's taken!) exCaptain Ex - the good Muqawama (not to be confused with the evil Moqawama) just back all safe n sound from the Stan, 'Sponsible Xition lays it out to play it out.
CNAS will publicly D.C. debutante 'Sponsible Xition' Tuesday the 14th with General B and the Ex in the flesh along with the Watergater Wordwood guy that just penned "44@War" (13:30 to 14:45 - RSVP here)
In such a crunk and disorderly hood as the Stan and surrounding actor outers (state and non state), xferring full leadership to create "...an Afghanistan that can stand on its own, that ultimately is going to be able to secure its own territory, not provide a safe haven for terrorists, not drag down the security of the entire region..." must take into account all kinda funinteneded consequences.
Crazy scary stuff, including: a terror attack on American turf originating in Land of the Pure; an adversarial Land of the Pure; a resurgent Taliban; and a complete Afghan Nat'l Sec Force failure.
Hot spots include:
- Great Satan and Friends should begin a phased transition, starting in July 2011, from a large-scale mission employing in excess of 140,000 troops to a residual force of 25,000-35,000 troops.
- American troop presence beyond 2014 would be a residual force fully reorganized into an unconventional warfare task force (UWTF) that would guide military and counterterrorism operations.
- Great Satan and Friends should shift their direct investment in the government of Afghanistan away from Kabul and toward local governance.
- Great Satan should get kinda tough, scary, crazy and at times appear mean and decisively use more greater diplopolititary leverage over frienemies in Pakistan to drive more aggressive action against violent extremist organizations in the region.
'Sponsible X" raises an operational quiz as Sharq Awsatee's Stephen Dockery exclusively shared:
"How exactly does one hold the rural areas of Afghanistan with 1/4 the U.S. force presence and rising levels of violence? Planning for things like northern redoubts: "The ultimate fallback option in the event of this development might be basing the core elements of the residual force in northern Afghanistan locations well beyond the effective reach of substantial Taliban forces." (GsGf Notitorial - pg 30)
And a significant shift in Strategic Visioneering. Instead of - to paraphrase Col Nagle's fully crunk paraphrased edict that - "...A few more years, a few more troops and a few more trained ANSF and Surge hits critical momentum and it's won."
"Sponsible Xition" will mean more years and far less troops to fight The Forever War. A decidedly new phase for Great Satan ala "End of Dreams" - where multipolar players recog in certain circumstances - winning means not losing.
"...Instead the Afghanistan war in future years will be a model of the subtle battles of cunning and influence projection between asymmetric foes that has already become the norm in 21st century conflict. The rules and lessons of these conflicts, like the unending Syrian, Iranian and Saudi influence battle in Lebanon, have yet to be internalized by the world’s super power. It is a nuanced and very old way of influence fighting (that rarely involves a warrior, at least your own) in a multi polar world.
"...In the forever war, winning is not losing. It’s realizing that a principal interest is at stake and that large amounts of resources must be sunk every year just to come out even. A player in the forever war realizes that to invest in a conflict will only yield marginal yearly gains and losses, but it’s worth it because to not invest and leave entirely yields nothing.
"...We are coming closer to a realistic assessment about the progress that has been and can be made in Afghanistan, a heartening sign given that the U.S. long term plans for Afghanistan will be determined within the next 12 months.
"...What comes next is using that knowledge to answer the most fundamental questions about Afghanistan. Is a principal interest at stake? Can we afford to let Afghanistan’s future be carried by the other powers competing in Afghanistan? Can our administration, military, congress and population come to terms with being at war forever?
Pic - "Toughing it out"