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.
In the aftermath of the insider attack that took the life of a U.S. soldier last week, Army officials are reaffirming their concerns over the prevalence of such incidents among U.S. military personnel deployed to Afghanistan to train, advise and assist local security forces, the Associated Press reports.
Cameroon, the central African country once known as an oasis of stability amongst volatile neighbors, is falling apart. Recent disturbing images emerging depict a country descending into violent civil war as the Cameroonian government fights to quash an Anglophone separatist movement. Thousands of innocent civilians have fled to neighboring Nigeria and Chad to avoid the violent atrocities orchestrated by both sides.
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.
CAMP TITIN, JORDAN - "Now move from the 25 yard line to the 15 yard line," shouts one of the U.S. Marines training soldiers from the 77th Royal Jordanian Marine battalion. An observer can't help but wonder if the football imagery gets lost in translation when it is repeated in Arabic as the Jordanians march forward through the dust. At their new tape mark on the desert floor, they raise their M4 assault rifles and rip apart the quiet, plugging scores of live-fire bullets into wooden targets mounted to a wall of tires beneath the Aqaba Mountains.