U.S. Army Trainers Due to Leave Afghanistan Will Return Soon by Lolita C. Baldor – AP
About 100 members of a U.S. Army training brigade scheduled to leave Afghanistan next month will take the unusual step of returning in February to help the next unit of advisers coming in, U.S. military officials told The Associated Press.
The advisers’ return is intended to help compensate for a monthslong break in the training of Afghan forces, between the time the first unit leaves and the second brigade arrives next year. It comes amid a surge in Taliban violence as Afghanistan enters its 18th year of war, and reflects concerns that progress made by the first brigade of elite Army advisers could be eroded by the pause in training.
Army Gen. Robert Abrams, head of U.S. Army Forces Command, who oversaw the creation of the training brigades, said the initial plan was to “accept the risk of having a gap” during the usually quieter winter season. That way, the units doing a nine-month tour wouldn’t eventually have to change over in the peak summer fighting time.
But he said the Army approved sending the advisers back to Afghanistan to serve the first three weeks with the 2nd Brigade when it deploys…