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The Army's New Advise-And-Assist Brigade Is Getting It Done In Afghanistan — So Far
The Army's 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) deployed downrange to bolster the U.S. training, advisory, and assistance mission in Afghanistan four months ago, and so far the unit's impact on the ground has been, well, "positive" — or, at least, according to a new Pentagon report.
- The June 2018 DoD report on 'Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan' indicates that the SFAB immediately extended training, advisory, and assistance efforts "below the corps and zone levels" to deal with individual ANDSF units, resulting in "more robust TAA efforts and increased...effectiveness of ANDSF operations," per the DoD.
- More specifically, the arrival of the 1st SFAB provided "an increased level of advising expertise and afforded the flexibility" for new training areas, including "warfighting functions, including maneuver tactics, intelligence, communications, logistics, and maintenance."
- The major benefit came from a straight-up increase in personnel. The 1,000 SFAB soldiers who arrived in Afghanistan in March boosted the number of advisory teams from three to eight, allowing U.S. forces to embed across "the entirety" of the Afghan National Army.
- The Pentagon report also claims that the uptick in SFAB advisor embeds "proved extremely effective against the Taliban," which has been forced to resort to guerrilla tactics and other sporadic attacks in urban centers; similarly, ISIS-K fighters in the ever-turbulent Nangarhar province "faced significant territorial, leadership, and personnel losses."
Taken alone, the DoD report seems promising. But despite the Army's bullishness on the new unit, it's hard to reconcile with other damning assessments of the ongoing U.S. mission in Afghanistan — such as data that indicates the Taliban is controlling or contesting 59% of the country's 407 districts.
Are you deployed downrange or training with an SFAB? Or have a non-sanitized anecdote regarding the brigade's performance downrange? Hit us up in the comments or via email. We would love to hear from you, as always.
Read the full report below:
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.