The Army's Latest Weapon to Turn Around the War in Afghanistan by Wesley Morgan - Politico
The Army has a new tool it hopes will finally tip the scales in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan — and potentially other Islamist insurgencies. But can it work?
Meet the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, the first of six units of roughly 1,000 soldiers each that are specially designed to “advise and assist” foreign armies so that they can contain guerrilla movements on their own.
The new brigades are the latest in a string of Pentagon attempts to prepare Afghan, Iraqi and other foreign security forces to secure their nations. They are also the most concrete acknowledgment that all the costly efforts to professionalize such ragtag armies have failed — and the need is as great as ever.
The 1st SFAB is rushing to complete its final rehearsals before deploying to Afghanistan this spring as part of President Donald Trump’s revamped war strategy to push U.S. military advisers back to the front line to train Afghan units and call in air and artillery strikes.
“This is not going to be like previous deployments,” the commander of the brigade, Col. Scott Jackson, told POLITICO during the unit’s recent training here in the Louisiana woods, which included a cast of role players depicting the Afghan police and army units they will be trying to turn into a lasting force to contain the Taliban…