With War in Afghanistan over, Army prepares to send Infantry Battalion to Helmand Province.

 
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With War in Afghanistan over, Army prepares to send Infantry Battalion to Helmand Province.

If the title of this post doesn't make any sense to you whatsoever, you are in good company, because no one I've talked to understands it either.

Fox News:

Other publications are also talking about it.  Like the New York Times:

It will be the largest deployment of American troops outside major bases in Afghanistan since the end of the NATO combat mission in 2014. Though the military insists that the soldiers will not take active combat roles, American Special Operations forces have increasingly been drawn into the fighting in Helmand as one important district after another has fallen or been threatened by Taliban insurgents.

But by way pf perspective, we're sending 500 troops to a province that is 22,619 square miles, which probably doesn't mean much, until you realize that it's roughly the same size as West Virginia.  And if you've never driven through West Virginia, maybe a better comparison would be that Helmand is bigger than New Hampshire, New Jersey and and Connecticut combined.  In other words, that's a pretty damn big AO to have only 500 guys in.

The Guardian out of UK had a bit more to note about the oddity of providing combat troops to what is not supposed to be combat:

In keeping with Barack Obama‚Äôs formal declaration that the US is not engaged in combat, despite elite forces recently participating in an hours-long battle in Helmand, defense officials said the additional troops would not take part in combat. But they will help the existing Helmand force defend itself against Taliban attacks, officials said.

US military officials declined to offer many specifics about an upcoming reinforcement, but they described the mission as primarily aimed at bolstering the performance of the embattled 215th Corps of the Afghan military, through training as well as protecting other troops training Afghans in Helmand.

I don't know what to make of it all to be honest, but I wish you guys well.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to do an embed out there next year and see what is really going on.

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Posted in the burner | 27 comments
 
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Comments

I hope our Commander in Chief will support and defend our troop who are surrounded by vicious enemies and unreliable allies.

Our country's visit to SE Asia had a similar ring to it: send in the infantry to protect American assets and assist local friendlies.

If they are going back, let them do their job unrestricted! Stop the political games.

That was the toughest part at the end of the Iraq war; you are not allowed to walk around with a round in the chamber. Seriously? I'm in a f***ing combat zone, and I'm not allowed to have my weapon ready until someone engages me? It's going to be a messed situation really quick if they pull the same crap.

I agree with this comment. The ROE is tying the troops hands more than the government did in Viet Nam. Let the finest fighting force in the world do what it is trained to do. Fight and win. For those that haven't been there SHUT UP and be thankful we have people who will go and do what they are told.

Crazy stupid idea, nonsense, rediculous. Send in the B-52s with our Commander-in-chief piloting the first plane.

A thought or two: It is likely impossible to know what the "right step" is in the war-torn Middle East because our strategies for Iraq and Afghanistan to date have not worked and what seems most likely to work-- i.e., combat, support, and special operations actions,-- I believe will almost certainly result in hundreds of American dead within the first few months and thousands more before key territories are secured again, losses which we know the American public doesn't want to see again If we go down that road, though, we must be willing to leave thousands of troops behind for decades to keep the areas secure, as we did after World War II in Japan and Germany. This, too, though, would likely be a hard sell to the American public, the majority of which, whether history will judge it right or wrong, don't want a long-term military presence (at least one it knows of) anywhere in the world except at home. If we return to either or both countries with the stated goal of taking back and securing crucial areas and succeed, we know now that both the process and result will create even more hatred of us by large population groups in those and other Middle Eastern countries, which in turn will create more "home-grown" and foreign terrorists bent on destroying us.

Damned if we do and damned if we don't. People far smarter than I and who have been there and lived there say we are in for a very long, very difficult ride. The world today isn't nearly as straightforward, simple, and "black and white" as it was for WWs I, II, Korea, and VietNam. Hang on to your hats (and if you have them, maybe keep your weapons nearby).

Funny part is, all the people saying we need "boots on the ground", are the same ones saying we need to cut our deficit and debt!!!! Not to mention the blood of our troops.

Vietnam era officer and proud father of 3 sons that served.

I understand this will be deemed "Task Force Alamo"

for Dan: Buff's original mission~nuke? Ya don't need a ship capable of carrying many tons of ordinance to deliver a nuke.
In fact, a plane, such as the F-4, or any other tactical fighter in todays arsenal would be a much quicker and more efficient delivery system. Been there, loaded munitions on both.

There was a time when where we are going and how many would have been an EEFI item. Someone suggested that the CINC pilot the first B52. He would make a better passenger in the bomb bay.

I wonder what the people of Afghanistan think and want for the future of their country. Are they willing to fight for whatever it is they believe in !

No, it's not combat, not at all; it's a seminar on interpersonal & interethnic interactions. I remember attending a similar seminar when I was an exchange student in Vietnam....At the end of the seminar, in early 1968, they threw a hell of a wild party.......

A clear mission statement and force size to be successful or STAY OUT.

A clear mission statement and force size to be successful or STAY OUT.

A clear mission statement and force size to be successful or STAY OUT.

I believe the unit to be sent is from Ft. Carson, CO. Insider information says they are woefully prepared because so many senior NCO's have fled the military due to the Europe oriented commander-in-chief. Secondly, the equipment is inadequate. They are attending too many diversity training seminars. ROE are like Viet Nam.

The 2/87 inf of the 10th MTN division is going , they returned in 2014, references "outlaw platoon" and the " Lions of Kandahar"... Thinking it is their fifth deployment ...

I seen this same thing in Beirut , 1982,1983 and buried my friends in Arlington, Some idiot in washington D.C. thought he had a brain. A Division to protect Spec Ops troops, give me a break, do they think we are that stupid. Casper Weinberger took took his regret what he did to us to the grave. Hope these guys who ordered this do to.

This country needs a CIC that has a few brains. This idot that is CIC has no ideal what to do. He is not a leader of men and never will be. All we get from him is vacations flying AForce One from one golf course to another. Please be smart whwn u vote this time and don't show the world what fools we are.

From what I understand the Afghan troops in that area are in big trouble.So it is understandable that our troops would want to/try to help them out.The bottom line is that Afghanistan is a mess.Unless you are willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars over the course of a couple decades WE ARE WASTING OUR TIME,MONEY AND BLOOD IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD.

Politics as usual, it's we turn off the rhetoric and support our troops as best we can because the CIC and all the rest are just going to keep doing what they always do LIE...LIE...LIE

Evidently the US is under the misconception that a return to Afghanistan will end the never ending war . Reality check it won't !! Do we have an endless supply of body bags? Unfortunately that will be the ultimate result ! Afghanistan as well as Iraq is operated thru tribal war lords . Democracy is non-existent
Oh sure they had elections and had people elected to office but the government is powerless . Meanwhile we keep sending troops and supplies to these countries never ending . Unfortunately I see a full scale involvement with thousands of more troops with the same end result . Does anyone recall Russia when they attempted to resolve the problem . They failed and they got out ! History seems o be repeating itself . Don't misunderstand sympathize with the people of these countries but it's long past time that they rise up and take control of their country . Been there done that Vietnam era vet.

Great job for a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Maybe ISIS will get it next.

weHO EVER IS BEHIND THIS SHOULD DEMOTED TO ASHOLE:

weHO EVER IS BEHIND THIS SHOULD DEMOTED TO ASHOLE:

Having been "in country" during all of '68-69, I get it. Memory stirs up never-ending realities of a failed attempt to bail out a small country, at a shameful cost of over 58,000 of America's very best.
Now, our glorious administration in Washington has decided we should try again in yet another armpit of the world. A sorry-assed move that will, yet again, fail entirely. Well, I have one firm suggestion: Let those who have such determination to let history repeat itself be asked to do one thing: SEND THEIR SONS TO ThE FRONT OF THE LINE. First in, and last out! Take a deep breath and ponder that mandate. The sights, sounds, and smells of war are guaranteed to tarnish the hearts and souls of our finest; tarnishing the history of this great nation once again. That is a promise, and sadly so. If this fight is going to take place, let our war be taken to ISIS, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the rest of these misfits caught up in their visions of grandeur, by our fighter jets and strategic bombers. NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND. Their terrorist cause is a regimen of fear that must be scorched from this earth.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.