The deployment of the first of the Army's specially-trained Security Force Assistance Brigades to Afghanistan in 2018 was supposed to be something of a moment of truth for a Pentagon stretched thin by the ever-expanding Global War on Terror.
But according to the U.S. government's chief watchdog for the U.S. military campaign, the units that were supposed to act as the tip of the spear for the Army's newfound emphasis on "advise-and-assist" missions have a major problem: they simply can't find enough soldiers to get the job done.
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 U.S. military has begun shifting troops and equipment from Iraq, where ISIS is trying to establish an insurgency, to Afghanistan, where the Taliban and other groups are waging a more conventional fight, officials told Task & Purpose on Monday.
Less than a month after announcing the upcoming deployments of thousands of U.S. troops to Afghanistan to relieve existing forces ahead of the spring fighting season, the Army says those soldiers will be accompanied by a fresh batch of combat advisors. The coming deployment marks a historic first: On Jan. 11, the branch announced the deployment of roughly 500 specially trained soldiers with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), to provide training and advisory functions for the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces.