Small Wars Journal

Is Our Afghanistan Counterinsurgency Approach Irrelevant?

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 3:05pm
Is Our Afghanistan Counterinsurgency Approach Irrelevant?

by Colonel Lawrence Sellin

Download the Full Article: Is Our Afghanistan Counterinsurgency Approach Irrelevant?

"You know you never defeated us on the battlefield", said the American colonel.

His adversary pondered this remark a moment. "That may be so," he replied, "but it is also irrelevant."

That conversation occurred on 25 April 1975 in Hanoi between Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., then Chief, Negotiations Division, U.S. Delegation, Four Party Joint Military Team and Colonel Tu, Chief of the North Vietnamese Delegation.

Colonel Summers is now best known as the author of a powerful critique of the Vietnam War titled, On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War. It analyzed the reasons behind the US tactical victory, but strategic defeat in that conflict.

Download the Full Article: Is Our Afghanistan Counterinsurgency Approach Irrelevant?

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a recently retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve. He is a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq.

About the Author(s)


ok (not verified)

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 9:27am

unless the pakis stop supporting the taliban the sanctuaries will be kicking and alive. how sick is it that they take our money and then help the quetta shura simultaneously!!!

Madhu (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 5:22am

one more:

Commenter Inteltrooper writes the following comment on a different SWJ post:

"My question is, if the ANP are neither an effective police nor paramilitary force, and serve only to victimize the population, what exactly are we doing propping them up? Either our approach to mentoring them is flawed or we've set them up from failure from an organizational standpoint (which I believe)."

That is not the first time I have seen such an opinion expressed. Focus on ANA?

Madhu (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 5:03am

Thanks for the responses <strong>6ogurez</strong>

First, I want to apologize for the use of "swanning around" in my previous comment.

I'm an outsider civilian to all of this but will try to answer your very good questions.

<strong>On Kashmir</strong>: Unfortunately, I have to answer a question with a question! Would this envoy be a specially appointed high profile position? If this is done publicly it will be met with very great unhappiness in the Indian capital and be vociferously resisted. If chances of success are slim, giving up this kind of diplomatic "capital" is fruitless.

Better to encourage talks behind the scenes between the leaders. Again, my question back to you would be: how can we assure any agreement would be upheld? Participants have tried to hammer out many an agreement in the past. The sticking point has generally (but not always) been a weak civilian Pakistani government that cannot keep any "peace" agreement. How will an envoy solve this fundamental problem?

1. I've read differing assessments of the ANP and ANA. By too big I meant the logistics trail of keeping the ANA and ANP supplied. Where will the supplies come from and who will pay? The absolute numbers of ANA and ANP seem too big to be sustainable long term to me but I don't know for sure. A third less but focus on the ANA and those units that have shown more progress?

I'd love to have someone else jump in. There is this:

"And thats the root of at least one problem. The U.S. has made it clear that we want more ANP, even more than doubling the current size. I advocate exactly the opposite approach. We need a smaller Afghan National Security Force, both ANA and ANP. Since the U.S. controls the purse strings, it doesnt work to say that we dont have authority over this process....We need a smaller, more reliable, well trained, force that will do the things that Jim Foley observed, and even more efficiently. U.S. troops should be working hard to ferret out those who will and those who wont, send home those who wont, and give the extra pay to those who will. Incentive is a common motivator for all mankind."

2. I have read so many contradictory statements regarding the roots of corruption so I will defer to your points. What do you think of this? From Der Spiegel:

"The NGO community in Afghanistan has grown into an industry where a large part of aid budgets is spent on security, and money gets frittered away on pointless projects. Afghans are becoming increasingly skeptical about the foreign organizations that are supposed to be rebuilding their country.",1518,718656,00.html

And from someone in Afghanistan:

"It occurs to me that a rational approach towards Afghanistan would mandate we spend more time and effort bolstering leaders like Governor Brahavi while simultaneously ignoring and marginalizing the central government in Kabul. That is the only way (as I see it) that we can compliment the military success we are seeing in the South. That is just my opinion mind you and it is irrelevant. There is no money to be made by the old-boy firms in Washington DC by putting a hand full of guys out into the bad lands to work directly with Provincial officials."

I am not qualified to judge the two excerpts above. Do you think a slower but steady flow of monies is better absorbed by the system?

3. My proposed alternative is simple:

a. Fewer high profile visits to the region by a parade of leaders. This makes the military complacent and less likely to act.
b. Don't increase aid to the military. The problem is not capacity but will. Restraint is an option. Doing nothing, believe it or not, is an option.

OTOH, it looks like we will do the following (via VP Biden):

"Obama has promised to visit Pakistan in 2011. He needs to bring concrete offers of help and to deliver clear red lines. Improved access to American markets for textiles, helicopters for counter insurgency and a commitment to an extended strategic dialogue are his deliverables . He will face considerable opposition in Congress to aid requests from the new Republican majority and he will have a hard-sell to explain why we need to help. To do so he must also lay down clear red lines: an end to ISI's ties to the Taliban and LeT."

How do we ensure the redlines are met? Don't know.

4. Focus on security and rule of law. Metrics will have to be local because I don't see how one size fits all. Perhaps a considering new constitutional "convention" conference or whatever as <strong>Robert C. Jones</strong>has been exploring over in the SWJ Council forum once we see how the momentum against the Taliban is shaping up in the Spring.

That's it.

Hey, thanks for taking my points seriously and responding. I learn a lot from these sorts of exhanges.

Take care.

6ogurez (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 3:58am

Kashmir easily solved? I'm not naive but too long it's been in the 'too hard to deal with' pile. We've had special envoys for Sudan, Good Friday peace talks, several for the Middle East but until most recently none (I do consider Special Representative at level with Envoy) for the subcontinent . Why is that?

As to your second message. On all four points my questions are on specifics and a measuring stick for success.

1) what's 'too big'? Numbers of recruits in a given year? The breadth and width of their deployment? Count ANA and ANP separately or together? we are going to supply them? How long? If the Soviet-Afghan war is past and prologue the US taxpayers would expect that to be cost effective? In a word- cheap.

2) In my view (Afghan style) corruption is less a matter of "who gets what, how long and how much" but rather degree of tolerance. Weak rule of law (disincentive) against a backdrop of complete absence of Western-style accounting and extensive use of hawala system of payment and remittance sustains corruption in breadth and depth.

3) Your proposed alternative?

4) focus on what? economic viability? rule of law? internal security? border security? prioritize problems or adapt a holistic approach? at what level? Afghan provincial or district level or at the NATO regional command level? Are the same metrics applicable in Faryab as in, say, Paktika?

In a word 'paradox' applies across all points. For example, does poor economic viability and resultant high unemployment breed insecurity or does the lack of security mean people don't feel secure going to work which, in turn, disrupts economic viabiity?

"The above comments reflect personal opinions of author only and, in whole or in part, do not constitute official views of the US Department of State or the US Government."

6ogurez (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 2:18am

Maj K,

I think you're referring to National Security Strategy '02 which mentioned pre-emption. I would say it could be morally defensible if there is perfect information on your foes plans and intent and a positive outcome is guaranteed. Pretty much impossible conditions at that point.

Containment does have a political downside- perception of being 'soft'. It's the perfect political billyclub if things are 'going wrong'. For example, Truman was getting hammered for being 'soft on communism' as the Korean War was going south (pun intended).

Madhu (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 8:57am

To be more clear:

1. Focus on building up Afghan military. Don't go too big. They have to be supplied in the future.

2. Do what Andrew Exum said and slow down the flow of cash to Afghanistan for aid so that it can be properly absorbed and doesn't fuel corruption.

3. Quit trying to "work" the Pakistani military side. If we need to pay for logistics and the occasional drone short term (long term, those will be a problem) then do so. Other than that, quit the swanning around with Pakistani generals.

4. Focus on the Afghanistan side. Focus. Focus. Focus.

Madhu (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 8:53am

<em>How about putting the Kashmir issue to forefront?</em>

Kashmir "solved" means what exactly? Indians will strongly resist internationalization of the issue and the parade of leaders to her shores means no one is going to push that angle too far.

Who in the heck is going to "keep" any agreement that would be made? In Pakistan, I mean? Indian and Pakistani leaders have tried plenty in the past and come to tentative agreements. And then coups and stuff happen. Funny coincidence.

A solution to Kashmir will come after the elite regimes in Pakistan (the deep state and others) clean up their own internal issues. After, not before. Anything sustainable.

Will a semiautonomous or free Kashmir that supports the rights of minorities stop the radical's focus on the region? Doubtful. And a state that doesn't support minority rights is just one more radical basket case in a region that doesn't need it.

How is this going to work in reality as opposed to a state department worksheet?

Conventional wisdoms I read on foriegn policy and military blogs:

1. "The Pakistanis have a "point" on strategic depth and we would think the same if we were in their shoes." Er, no, the policy is a failure at what it set out to do. Benazir Bhutto herself made that point.

2. "Kashmir will go a long way toward solving problems." If that were the case, all those previous tentative agreements would have held. Too bad coups and stuff keep happening.

3. "There are moderate institutions that we can work with." Yeah, but the Army ain't one of those high profile visits by Petraeus and Mullen are just propaganda coups for the other side. Sorry to be so harsh. I don't know of a nicer way to put it.

Sorry, <strong>6ogurez</strong>. None of that was directed at you. I enjoyed reading your comments to be honest.

Our problems have a lot to do with the "old Hands" and the old Cold Warriors that thought they would recreate the old relationships in Pakistan. We'd go back to what we know. We'd rent an army out to do our bidding.

And then we'd build one next door to protect Afghanistan against the first one we rented.

This is the main conceptual weakness of our policies. All this squabbling about COIN and non-COIN and we forgot to actually focus on Afghanistan.

Big oops.

Someday, someone is going to write an HR McMasters like book about the decision makers and how their conceptual frameworks have gotten us where we are.


Fri, 01/07/2011 - 3:26am

Very interesting that you bring up the Long Telegram/NSC-68; that's what I started arguing in '09 pre-CT+ vs COIN+ debate as the only suitable, feasible, and acceptable way to deal with AFPAK (in my previous SWJ essays). Our neo-"Forward Policy" has completely lost touch with that strategy and it's very sad. The Long Telegram and the policy it created is what America *was* really about. Nation-building at the barrel of a gun and 'fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here' are ahistorical and intellectually bankrupt in comparison.

And you're 100% right about creating a permanent surrogate state. But I'd call it a welfare state. Afghanistan has at least been a rentier state for decades upon decades and now we're only reinforcing it to the point that they have no other viable possibility.

Metrics about containment? Interesting to begin thinking about but I submit that it will be much easier to determine those than it has been for PC-COIN. 10 yrs into this war and we still don't know what winning looks like because we don't have a real end-state. As COL Gentile points out in his article 'Conditions-based Afghan Loophole,' our end-state is illusory 1) because we're don't own our own strategy, and 2) because we don't really 'win' anything...there's no victory; we just hope to be able to create enough ANSF fast enough to take over the fight for us and hope it doesn't go to pot after that. Doesn't sound like the successful end to a campaign plan to me.

6ogurez (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 1:14am

When I hear $10 - $12 billion a year that to me is synonymous with 'permanent surrogate state'.

I believe you're alluding to Kennan's "Long Telegram". Perhaps it would take that kind of commitment of vision which spanned 8 administrations?

Also you say, "It's cheaper in the long run and directly addresses national interests. It would also be easier to get regional support through defined mechanisms."

I would add it would probably placate the domestic politics of major NATO allies like Canada and Britain which would 'keep them on-side' (to quote former ISAF CG David Richards). It could, at the very least, sustain commitment of non-NATO allies like South Korea too.

Finally, the devil's in the details... What metrics should be gathered to this end? or to start out which countries to support such a containment strategy? How about putting the Kashmir issue to forefront?

Like the Palestinian/Israel conflict, settling that conflict could go a long way. A permanent solution like that would likely terminate the 'cause celebre' appeal the Kashmir cause has for extremist internal Pakistan movements which would reduce their overall numbers as well as their outside funding. The end result could lead to Pakistan pulling troops (if India does so too through treaty) from Kashmir and putting them in the restive NWFP or other border provinces like Balochistan.

"The above comments reflect personal opinions of author only and, in whole or in part, do not constitute official views of the US Department of State or the US Government."

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 3:32pm

It's tough to take issue with Sellin's warning. It's been made repeatedly and it's up to our civilian leaders to address it. But what can the military do to account for the civilian leadership's inability or unwillingness to do so? The military has it's mission. How does it play the hand it has been dealt?

Military planners need to assume that the ISI will continue to back the Taliban. Is it impossible for the GIRoA to significantly displace Taliban influence in Afghanistan, so long as the ISI supports the Taliban? If the answer is yes, then what? If it is no, then what are we doing wrong?


Bob's World

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 4:17pm

A couple of thoughts,

First to "Anon": It's not "the ISI", it's the government of Pakistan; and if in fact the civilian leadership has no control over the military or the ISI, then those organizations become the de facto "government of Pakistan." To separate them out only serves to grant the civilian leadership an alibi that is undeserved, and not helpful in dealing with such problems.

Second, it is not the "government of Pakistan" that is the COG or the key to dealing with AQ, it is the Taliban themselves. The government in Afghanistan has no standing to help us solve our problems with AQ, so our support to them is a bit illogical, though so burdensome as to clearly not be "irrelevant." Similarly the Government of Pakistan is equally illsuited and equipped to truly deny an AQ that the Pashtuns and the Taliban are willing to offer their sanctuary to.

We are a state, so we think like a state, and think that there are state solutions to every problem of state.

This is, in fact, not a state problem, and will be in non-state approaches that we find the security we seek. Our strategy is improper, but it is GIROA that is irrelevant to the problem that brings us to their fair land.

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 7:25pm

Thanks for the clarification. I'll be sure to state "Pakistan" rather than "ISI" from now on.

But I wasn't attempting to rehash old debates. I was more interested in exploring the significance of the author's argument, given the current situation. If the author's argument is accurate, then civilian leaders will likely need to adjust course soon. Either they will or they won't. In either case, how should this impact military planning in the near or long term? I ask this because this forum's audience is primarily people with military experience.

Easy to say that civilian leaders must adjust course, a bit harder to say what the new course should be. Sellin proposes this:

<i>The US and NATO must recognize Pakistan as a key partner in any Afghan solution. Concurrently, a regional diplomatic approach should be initiated to end the war and help Pakistan address its insecurities.</i>

Exactly how that is to be accomplished is not said, and doing it might prove harder than saying it.

carl (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 5:22am

Thank you COL Sellin. It is gratifying when somebody with name recognition publicly states, in effect, "I say, there's an 800 pound gorilla in the room...and he's choking the life out of people." It is impossible for us to win and the Afghans will suffer indefinitely unless the Pak Army/ISI is stopped from doing its' diabolical business. I don't know if we can stop them but we can't unless we try. In order to do that we have to officially recognize the problem and somebody who isn't retired has to state what COL Sellin has stated. If that happens it will be a glad day.

I am always careful to say Pak Army/ISI instead of Pakistan, Pakistani or the Pakistani gov. I avoid Pakistan and Pakistani because the poor Joe on the street doesn't have much say in what goes on so it isn't fair to single him out.

I don't say Pakistani gov because the civilian leaders have no power at all over the army or intel forces. If they try to influence foreign policy they will be ignored. They cannot hire or fire anybody in the Pak Army/ISI. The last time somebody did that the army simply dismissed the civilians and took the place over in name and deed. Since the civilian gov is simply window dressing, I don't think it accurate to refer to them.

The corporate entity that is at the center of and responsible for most of this mess is the Pak Army/ISI. I figure that it is better to plainly state that.

Bob's World

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 6:28am


Then you "agree", the ISI/Pak Army IS the de facto "Government of Pakistan." While I am all for being clear; such as calling out "The Government of Iran" when we have issues with them rather than simply say "Iran", as the people have little influence over the policies of their government; it is not helpful to split out parts of the government as the problem while holding the whole of government blameless.

That is a bit of diplomatic gamesmanship that enables us to continue to work with the government of a country on one level, while being in conflict with / or being in disagreement with the actions of that same country at another level. In so doing we create functional sanctuaries and create new classes of non-state actors that we have little power over. If the ISI/Pak Army are not either under the control of the Government, or the de facto head of the government, then they are in fact a "non-state actor" as we have freed them from the constraints of statecraft and the rule of law.

We do this a great deal, and it is creating more problems than it solves. It was the root of Israel's problem when Lebanon attacked them through the vehicle of Hezbollah. He held Lebanon blameless, which limited Israel's options tremendously as it took away a legal, tangible, containable, deterrable, defeatable threat and turned it into an amorphous, non-state challenger free from all of those bothersome constraints on bad behavior. We do the same thing in Pakistan. We should stop. My opinion.

It is a bit of "State-think" to do this separation. They do it to ourselves as well, as the Embassy staff sits across the damn road from ISAF and says "ISAF this.." or "The military that...", holding themselves blameless and removed from the problem. That is not helpful either. It is a bit of State culture, and perhaps common to all diplomats who must be able to have civil conversations with their enemies, so they create these fictions.

Regardless, the key to AQ is the Talian and the Pashtun people. The governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan must be part of any solution to that problem, but their is no effective solution to be found in working through either one. Just as one must "use a network to defeat a network," one must "use a non-state actor to defeat a non-state actor."

Larry is raising important points. The problems he points out regarding our internal workings are valid. I don't think he is as on point on his solutions to our external problems though.

From both COL Sellin's post and the responses here, the implied COA that the US/ coalition forces ought to execute is one that requires some sort of direct (limited?) intervention within the borders of Pakistan itself, including possible direct, open confrontation with the Pak Army/ ISI........or greater assistance to the Indian government that forces the Pak Army/ government to greatly shift its focus away from their west and more towards their Indian border.

Am I way off in my read of this?

carl (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 11:54am


My own citizen observing opinion is that going into Pakistan without permission would be a nightmare and is the not something that should done. There are a number of things that could be done that alone or in combination, could move things in the right direction.

First, official recognition by our side of what the Pak Army/ISI is up to, backed by public release of intel that I optimistically assume we have. That would force them out in the open.

Then we should go after the money. A lot of the civilian and Pak Army/ISI elites are making money off this conflict. The money would include cutoff of military aid and support, going after bank accounts of key figures, cutting off gov to gov aid and whatever other financial target could be discovered. If the elites felt genuine financial pain that would be helpful.

Maybe most important would be to give up the Karachi supply line. That would be the worst financial pain of all that we could inflict on the elites and would demonstrate to the Pak Army/ISI that we are really serious about this. I realize we would have reduce the scale of our efforts in Afghanistan to that which could be supplied via the northern route but that might not be bad.

Those are the kinds of things I was thinking about.


Thu, 12/30/2010 - 1:19pm

If we decided that the strategic gain in Afghanistan, despite all of the Al Qaeda/Taliban/ISI fear mongering, was not worth the required expenditure and uncertain outcome, and we pulled out or significantly drew down immediately, what would the dire outcome be? If we magically pacified Afghanistan and the Pakistani border haven for AQ tomorrow, would AQ dry up and blow away? Who is thinking like a state?

Finally, to the first anonymous, the military has a significant role in offering sound advice and workable plans to civilian leadership. The military leadership cannot be absolved by the wand of "it's the civilians fault," especially when the military leadership and all of the retirees out there in think tank land work so hard to shape the debate, poison alternatives, and force the civilians down a certain path. At the top, they are all working in the political and policy realm. Unfortunately, too few are thinking about the connection between strategy and policy, choosing instead to go with what they know: tactics, institutional preservation, and politics.

Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 9:17pm

I guess my original question, more succinctly stated, is "assuming the author is correct, what now?"

Madhu (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 12:13am

Pretty much any variation of what we are currently doing. Drones where our interests overlap with Pakistan and they allow drones internally, work on securing the South in Afghanistan because Pakistan won't allow us to do anything about those sanctuaries and hope that the North has a natural "stopping" point toward the Taliban based on a different regional population make-up.

Oh, and as we transition, try and work the CARS logistical routes as much as possible I suppose. And maybe a Lisbon II to titrate aid monies better because the open spigot isn't getting us anywhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Quit having so many high profile visits of generals and stuff like that in Pakistan because it sends the wrong message.

Focus on the Afghanistan side of the equation with the understanding that Pakistan will not change in the near term.

Okay, that's my confused layperson take on it. I'd appreciate any corrections to the above.


Tue, 01/04/2011 - 2:58am

The author captures the essence of the solution right here <i>"It may be most useful maintaining a stalemate, that is, preventing the Taliban from winning in Afghanistan and, thereby, providing a platform from which a political solution may be launched."</i> but then goes on to contradict it with groundless wishes of a regional geopolitical solution to draw the Pakis into ending the safe-haven problem.

The answer is containment. While we waste blood and treasure on COIN tactics in lieu of a strategy and ignore (wish away?) geopolitical realities, it's a self-licking ice-cream cone. And after 10 yrs we should be tired of the flavor.

Too many contradictions in the article: the Pakis have a vested nat'l interest in doing exactly what they're doing; they won't stop and we know it (we taught them how to do it in the '80s for god sakes). We won't exercise the right to cross the border and deal with it directly...nor should we. We continue to pay the Pak gov't....Pak Army/ISI...hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid with nothing to show for it. The only real strategic partners we have in the region are Russia, China, other SCO states (for containment purposes) and yes, Iran. While we think AFG and PAK are 'strategic partners, were losing our geopolitical leverage with the rest of the 21st century.

The Sov-Afg war ended because <i>"Gorbachev [couldn't effectively] advocate U.N.-brokered regional negotiations aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan and isolating Islamist extremists."</i> Neither can we while the Pakis subvert it in the same way we subverted the Soviets. We should instead be looking at similar isolation and containment with a healthy dose of CT+ thrown in. The problem we have today is because after the Soviets left, there was no containment of the implosion. We let it seep out, evolve, and grow in its own happy little isolation. As said earlier, we cant fix any of this for the Afghans; the most we can do is ensure it doesnt seep out, evolve, and grow again.

Fixing AFG, let alone Pakistan, is a fools errand and our tax dollars would be better served by something we <i>can</i> accomplish...keeping the Central Asian Deobandi/Pashtun/AQ nexus in a tight little box, keeping up drone strikes and SF raids up and monitoring the security of Pak's nuke arsenal. If thats threatened, we can deal with it a lot more effectively (and proactively) than what we've been trying to accomplish for the past make that past 20 AFPAK.

The above comments reflect the author's opinion only and not those of ISAF, the US Army, or the DoD.

6ogurez (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:32am

thanks Major K. I mentioned this on Tom Rick's blog, the cost in blood in treasure are enormous. All the talk of COIN barely mentions the cost it would take to maintain the numbers of ANP or ANA to secure the country.

With respect to containment I believe US taxpayers will be more amenable in the future, i.e. when politically palatable. Both manpower and resource flows to Afghanistan while yes do come from Pakistan, much illicit trade has to enter first through Karachi. Whatever containment strategy arises must address the maritime aspect. In that light containment becomes more workable with much less reliance on fickle partnerships with China, Russian and SCO. Still, it would require a major investment in customs and law enforcement liaison with Pakistan but certainly more accomplish-able.

"The above comments reflect personal opinions of author only and, in whole or in part, do not constitute official views of the US Department of State or the US Government."


Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:32am

Totally agree; containment will, in the future....after we've nearly bankrupted ourselves through this effort, become more politically palatable. Also agree that containment will take a coordinated, heavily invested (diplomatically, politically, economically) and competent effort. But it's an effort we know we can achieve...our not-always-effective track record wrt NK, Iran, Syria, and even Iraq (sea, air, and land forces and containment efforts) are 110% more effective than our current strategy and track record in AFPAK. Over the past 50 yrs, we know how to do containment. It's cheaper in the long run and directly addresses national interests. It would also be easier to get regional support through defined mechanisms.

The above comments reflect the author's opinion only and not those of ISAF, the US Army, or the DoD.


Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:16am


Forgot to mention:
<i>"...the cost it would take to maintain the numbers of ANP or ANA to secure the country."</i>

How does $10-$12 billion dollars a year sound?

I wonder what *<i>real</i>* US national priorities <i>that</i> could pay for?

The above comments reflect the author's opinion only and not those of ISAF, the US Army, or the DoD.