Ubama’s Afghanistan Troop Surge = FAIL
- June 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm #26143
HOPE AND CHANGE?
Army’s 101st pays high price for Afghan surge year
JALALABAD, Afghanistan – The soldiers of the Army’s famed 101st Airborne Division deployed to Afghanistan confident their counterinsurgency expertise would once again turn a surge strategy into a success but are headed home uncertain of lasting changes on the battlefield.
As the division’s 24,000 soldiers return to Fort Campbell from their one-year deployment, doubts remain in the military that security in Afghanistan can last without a significant U.S. military presence for years. The division brought effective counterinsurgency lessons from Iraq, but is still waiting to see whether those strategies can take hold in Afghanistan.
What progress was made in improving security and governance came at a high price: The division known as the Screaming Eagles lost 131 soldiers, the most killed in a single deployment for the unit since Vietnam, with many more wounded or injured. The 101st has been a force in America’s major conflicts since World War II, when it was first formed for the 1944 Allied invasion of Normandy.
In the eyes of many of the troops returning to Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee line, they spent the year chasing ghosts across mountain ridges and feeling frustrated by the slow pace of the nearly ten-year war.
“It is very hard to see change,” said Capt. Tye Reedy.
While the Iraq surge was credited with scoring progress in that war, many of the division’s leaders said their challenge in Afghanistan was to keep soldiers focused in the face of setbacks.
When explaining what the division accomplished in the year at war, the division’s commander, Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell, can rattle off statistics from memory. But the one figure he often ends with is the number of soldiers under his command who were killed.
Campbell kept notecards with the names and photos of each soldier, held together by a rubber band in his uniform’s pocket. By the end of the deployment, the stack was as thick as a paperback book.
On six different occasions over the year, the division lost five or more soldiers in a single event, including a helicopter crash, suicide attacks and heavy fighting.
Campbell described those losses in military lingo. “We had some very, very kinetic events,” he said after arriving home at Fort Campbell.
Some of the heaviest fighting came near the end of their deployment in early spring as they attempted to wrest control from insurgents who were coming over the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan.
“My company, or my two platoons, we landed on 150 hardened Taliban fighters and lost three men, injured another three,” said Reedy, 28, commander of Charlie Company, 2-327 Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team. “That’s one operation on the border.”
In addition to fighting, troops also worked to train their Afghan military counterparts. But the relationship was strained at times, especially after incidents like one in November when a lone gunman from the Afghan Border Police shot and killed six soldiers from the division.
Cpl. Andrew Barnett, 28, from B Company, 2-327 Infantry Regiment, said trusting Afghans was difficult, especially when his unit got an intelligence report that indicated Afghan soldiers were communicating with insurgent fighters about their positions at a combat outpost in Kunar province.
“It’s kind of frustrating because we’re supposed to be nice and friendly and try to help them out, and we’ve got these guys who have infiltrated or are paying their buddies to give information,” Barnett said.June 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm #249027
iraq war pullout, FAIL
close gitmo, FAIL
secure border / immigration reform, FAIL
rid white house of lobbyists, FAIL
no new military actions without approval of congress, FAIL
government transparency, FAIL
convince the sheeple and brainwashed liberals to re elect him, WINJune 5, 2011 at 11:27 pm #249028
lolJune 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm #249029June 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm #249030June 5, 2011 at 11:44 pm #249031June 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm #249033
thingvold posting pics FAILJune 6, 2011 at 5:24 am #249041
That Obama poster is awesome……gonna be my new avi!!June 6, 2011 at 5:59 am #249045
i dont even get the palin oneJune 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm #249071
Jawshy, look at the pic and imagine my balls bouncing off her chin. That’s what I’m doing.June 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm #249092
LetibleuMemberJune 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm #249095
stop posting pics of fiveboltJune 7, 2011 at 2:07 am #249152
wtf.June 7, 2011 at 3:04 am #249158
that makes two threads ill be boycottingJune 7, 2011 at 3:19 am #249160
fucking leti, stop giving us nightmares!!
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