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 02 Feb 2012 @ 5:53 AM 

First, I’d like to announce a new blog, Afghan Blue III, which will be more about the experience than about COIN. Of course, the way that I perceive things is affected by what I know, like anyone. This blog will continue as what it has become. Read more

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Categories: Afghanistan
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 02 Feb 2012 @ 07 17 AM

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 20 Dec 2011 @ 6:04 PM 
 

 

The mighty (ahem) 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team has completed its rotation at the National Training Center at Ft Irwin, CA. Lost in the vastness of the Mojave Desert, the NTC is iconic. This was the ground that sharpened the spear during the Cold War and prepared the most awesome land force ever fielded for the brutally swift victory of Desert Storm. The elite Krasnovian (politically incorrect to actually call them, “Russians,” even at the height of the Cold War) motorized and tank units thundered across the desert, taking on all comers and humbling most. Commanders have been broken at the NTC. Commanders have lost their commands at the NTC. The NTC was known for a level of realism that could not be matched elsewhere. Read more

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Categories: analysis, COIN
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2011 @ 06 04 PM

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 20 Nov 2011 @ 2:13 PM 

It’s been awhile, no doubt, and there are many reasons why I have eschewed posting on this site for some time. Not all of them bear exploration. However, there are a couple of cats to let out of the bag. First; I’m going back, yet again, to Afghanistan. Second; I started blogging as a way to keep my friends and family connected to what I was doing. Perhaps Facebook explains why so few new bloggers have entered the fray in the past couple of years. I’ve realized that there are two different readerships that have followed what I’ve written over the past couple of years, and so I’ve decided that I will open a separate blog for the experiential piece, since this blog has become more or less dedicated to COIN theory and practice. Read more

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Categories: Afghanistan, COIN, Stability Operations
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 20 Nov 2011 @ 02 13 PM

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 18 Jun 2011 @ 2:57 PM 

The report discussed in the NYT is not new. I read the report about six weeks ago, and from personal experience it makes some sense. I would encourage leaders preparing to deploy to read it. This is why I’m disappointed that ISAF is refuting the report rather than learning from it. At least they appear to not be taking it seriously. If this is true, it is a mistake. Read more

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Categories: Afghan National Police, Afghanistan, ANA, COIN, doctrine, General Military
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 18 Jun 2011 @ 02 57 PM

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 16 Jun 2011 @ 5:04 PM 

This will be brief. Does anyone else find it ironic that the Pakistanis are now suffering insurgent incursions from Afghan territory and are actually complaining that the Afghans need to prevent these incursions? Yes, it’s ironic that the shoe would be on other foot. It’s even more ironic that the Pakistanis would feel the frustration of not being able to pursue cross-border insurgents back to their havens. Read more

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Categories: Afghanistan, AfPak
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 16 Jun 2011 @ 11 29 AM

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 15 Jun 2011 @ 9:39 AM 

There have been a couple of decent articles in the past week or so that are good conversation-starters regarding Afghanistan and the challenges facing both Afghans and Coalition forces on the local level. The first, a AP piece by Deb Reichmann of the Associated Press, paints what appears to be a gloomy picture of the challenges of working with local governance in, in this example, Logar Province. It’s a good piece to spark some discussion, and anyone who has worked on the local level in Afghanistan would recognize the dynamics at work. Read more

Tags Categories: Afghanistan, analysis, COIN, COINdinistas, COINiots, COINtras, Stability Operations Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 15 Jun 2011 @ 10 50 AM

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 06 Jun 2011 @ 4:46 PM 

What does legitimacy mean to any of us? The “birthers” here in the US claim that President Obama cannot be the legitimate President of the United States. But they have not picked up arms. Most of them still pay taxes. There have been isolated outbursts, including at least one military officer who refused to deploy based upon his belief that the commander in chief is illegitimate. Other than that, the legitimacy of the United States government is not in serious question. Read more

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Categories: Afghanistan, COIN, development, Stability Operations
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 06 Jun 2011 @ 04 46 PM

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 01 Jun 2011 @ 11:51 AM 

Losing. Or winning. Read more

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Categories: Afghanistan, analysis, COIN, Stability Operations
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 01 Jun 2011 @ 08 43 AM

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 31 May 2011 @ 4:38 PM 

The United States has been meeting with the Taliban’s Tayyab Agha, who is either one of Mullah Omar’s best friends or he is on the outs with him… depending on who you listen to. While the news was pretty much under the radar as far as news coverage, there has been plenty of opinion expressed by many Americans about the concept of a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan. Much of it is reflexively negative. Read more

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Categories: Afghanistan, COIN, development, Stability Operations
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 31 May 2011 @ 04 38 PM

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 17 May 2011 @ 1:03 PM 

Pakistan has been featuring prominently in the news for quite some time now. Questions abound regarding why Pakistan seems to be a willing host to terrorists and insurgents. In the aftermath of the death of bin Laden on Pakistani soil the Pakistanis are expressing righteous indignation about their violated sovereignty and muted approval for the death of the poster child for international terrorism. Still, questions remain about the nexus of complicity and incompetence in the Pakistani security apparatus. “Why,” we ask, “do the Pakistanis harbor our enemies from Afghanistan and permit the most wanted man in the world to dwell right under their noses?” Read more

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Categories: Afghanistan, AfPak, analysis
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 17 May 2011 @ 01 03 PM

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