ecurity Information Publicly Disseminated

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shoots Load & Pulls Out

The announcement of President Obama to pull out 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and an additional 23,000 by the end of next summer. The remaining 70,000 troops would leave with all foreign combat troops by 2014, the year Afghanistan's military is to take over security responsibilities. The Afghan military has about 150,000 troops and plans to increase the number to 300,000 by 2014. This is extremely optimistic and logistically complicated.

As a result of diplomatic talks in the 1980s between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev a change in Soviet foren policies emerged. The decision to decrease the soviet footprint world wide lead to the withdrawal of the occupying soviet forces from Afghanistan.

The Soviet withdrawal took place in two phases, from May 15 to August 16, 1988 and the second from November 15 to February 15, 1989. The Soviets had negotiated ceasefires with local Mujaheddin commanders, so the withdrawal was generally executed peacefully. The Russians literally packed up there trucks and tanks and drove home on the invasion routs in which they came.
The U.S. forces have considerable assets in country and each must be evaluated for there functionality and portability. For example any type of communication encryption and targeting equipment along with soldiers will be removed via air transport to Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait. There is also the need for some heavy weapons and equipment to be sanitized or transported out of the theater. If I was to speculate on the manner of extraction. Heavy equipment would transit via rail lines through the north to the port of Riga in Latvia and to the south using the road system to the port of Karachi. Items such as HUMVEEs APCs and certain artillery peaces may be left behind in-tacked for Afghan security forces to utilize.

The strategic withdrawal of armed forces from a still hostile theater of operation is a complicated leap frogging type of affair with units covering the flanks of others as the pull out progresses. Security for overland transport is critical especially in the AFPAC region. There will be Taliban, AL-Qaeda and local tribal factions looking to disrupt convoys all the way from Kandahar to Karachi.

If we are to learn any lessens from the Soviet withdrawal it would be that the Marxist Government left behind was not universally accepted and was overthrown  3 years after the Soviet occupation and guidance was discontinued.

The (DRA) Democratic Republic of Afghanistan armed forces were built up to an official strength of 302,000 in 1986 and divided up into 3 branches consisting of the ministry of defence forces numbered 132,000, the ministry of interior 70,000 and the ministry of state security 80,000. This division was devised to separate authority thus reducing the opportunity of a military coup. What was not anticipated was the defection and desertion of Afghan service personal at the rate of 30,000 per year.

The security vacuum left behind made it possible for the Mujaheddin to reemerge as the Taliban and eventually Al-Qaeda.

As President Obama has outlined, the numbers are similar, however the situation has changed some what in the fact that the coalition forces are not leaving behind a war ravaged Marxist puppet state. For all outward appearances Afghanistan is better off now in terms of infrastructure and economic opportunity that ever before. Unfortunately other problems exist such as a totally corrupt government and a thriving opium trade. In 2009 the  proceeds from opium was 52% of the country's GDP.

We can only speculate at this point what the ramifications will be regarding the “War on Terror”. Will we eradicate extreme global criminal behaviours? It’s doubtful. Will terror groups consolidate and become even more despicable? Probably. Are Extreme Muslims and Islam mists ever going to have a “come to Jesus moment” and curtail there despicable behaviour? Not ever, we are living with that reality.....

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