One Week with Task Force Buffalo

One Week with Task Force Buffalo

Changing the Face of the Arghandab

by Captain Jonathan Pan

Download the full article: One Week with Task Force Buffalo

A rebuttal to Sean Naylor's Army Times Article, "Stryker soldiers say commanders failed them."

ARGHANDAB RIVER VALLEY, Afghanistan -- Sitting on the banks of the Arghandab River is the Baba Sahib Shrine. It provides a great view to the verdant Arghandab Valley, which is in stark contrast to the rest of the dusty province.

One can see the magnificent Baba Sahib shrine from the Arghandab District Center, which is where Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment (Task Force Buffalo), 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) centered their counterinsurgency efforts. While one can enjoy a lush view of the Arghandab River Valley and its beautiful sites from the district center- that is probably the last thing on the unit's mind.

Task Force Buffalo has suffered a lot of casualties and has therefore been the subject of over a dozen articles over the past few months. Through the fog of war and the emotional loss of comrades, it is difficult to see the good being done. Yet, facts show that Task Force Buffalo has helped many Arghandab residents who braved staying in the district while the Taliban campaigned to infiltrate Kandahar City from the north. However, it is discouraging to not see any articles in relation to their stability and development efforts. Here is a one-week snapshot at the activities of Task Force Buffalo in Arghandab.

Download the full article: One Week with Task Force Buffalo

Captain Jonathan Pan is the Economics Development Officer, Task Force Stryker (5/2 ID SBCT) in Afghanistan.

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Comments

Did Captain Pan's comment disappear, or am I just unable to see it now?

Also, thanks for making the edit to my first comment; now that I read it, I was right the first time, unless we take out the second "of"... so you know, if you're really bored today. ;-)

Either way, thanks to Captain Pan for his thoughtful response and clarifications.

1. What was the diagnosis for the child? I don't mean to downplay the charity of your troops, but 200 Afghani is something like $4, just for purposes of prospective of readers.

2. As a rebuttal to a specific article, I generally look for information that contradicts the article in question. I don't see anything that contradicts the account provided by Sean Naylor. If you included anything, can you point it out?

3. The HA goods provided to the displaced families is a good gesture. I would go further to say that it is the least you could do. Can you elaborate on why they were displaced from the Arghandab?

4. Having the ANSF hand out the goods is not a novel idea. Once it is transported to the valley by Americans, do you think the Afghans are under any illusions regarding where the goods came from?

5. You write:

It is acknowledged by most of the civilians working at the Arghandab District Center that they are on a glide path now.

How many civilians work at the DC? How did they "acknowledge" this? What is meant by "glide path"?

6. You write:

Even though Arghandab district was the most "kinetic" district within Task Force Stryker, it is very heartening to see that there have been around 24 projects started in Arghandab.

What projects are these, when will they be completed, and how do they contribute to improving the overall governance, security, and economic strength of the district?