By Christopher N. Koontz (editor)
Read or Download Enduring Voices Oral Histories of the U.S. Army Experience in Afghanistan, 2003-2005 PDF
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Extra resources for Enduring Voices Oral Histories of the U.S. Army Experience in Afghanistan, 2003-2005
By and large, there’s a risk that we’re going to nosedive into only being experts at tactics, techniques, and procedures; and that’s where our dollars are going, that’s where an awful lot of our thinking is going, and that seems to be where a good bit of our writing is going. I have concerns about that, because I think the Army is an institution that does have enough depth to be able to talk, think, write, influence at the operational and strategic level, and to take some ownership of that once again.
LT. GEN. BARNO: Well, it was a fact-of-life issue as well, as we had twenty thousand or less troops there covering a huge amount of territory, so we had to operate in a way that leveraged Afghan forces as much as possible, and also recognize the fact that we didn’t have an immense number of forces to cover every bit of the territory. So, we operated at a fairly low profile where, I think, in most cases, we were able to leverage our airpower very effectively. One of the things I’ve mentioned in other interviews is that we had the ability to operate throughout the country, essentially at platoon level, because we had pretty widespread knowledge that twenty minutes away from any contact there would be airpower overhead.
You got to know the leaders, the mullahs, the key provincial officials; and your companies or platoons typically got areas they were assigned, became expert at, and worked closely with the key leadership in those areas. Again, basic counterinsurgency strategy, where units had territory for the first time since we’d been in Afghanistan, and they stayed with these areas for the whole time there. So that was a very important part of what we were trying to do. We also worked on looking at how we could engage regional states [the fifth pillar].
Enduring Voices Oral Histories of the U.S. Army Experience in Afghanistan, 2003-2005 by Christopher N. Koontz (editor)