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.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made a silly mistake Oct. 31 while attempting to perform damage control amid outrage over how the Army’s new Security Force Assistance Brigades are being branded, drawing a second wave of backlash from the Special Forces community he was trying to placate.
The United States Army is quickly reorganizing to expand its training, advising, and assistance to foreign forces — even as two militaries trained and equipped by the U.S. are clashing with each other in the contested Iraqi city of Kirkuk. The flaring military confrontation between Kurds and Iraqi federal troops highlights the dangers of bolstering the battlefield capabilities of foreign governments whose objectives don’t necessarily align with America’s national interests.
With training for the first of six new so-called Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) set to begin this fall, the U.S. Army is offering several perks, including a $5,000 bonus, to recruit seasoned soldiers for the assignment, Army Times reports.