This piece in Armed Forces Journal by Lt Col. Daniel L. Davis is getting a fair amount of buzz. Titled “Truth, lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down,” the short article paints a very dark picture of the situation in Afghanistan while accusing military leaders of failing to tell Congress and the American people the “unvarnished truth.” Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, this is worth reading.
As might be expected, the Pentagon and ISAF have responded. Here is what the deputy commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said in response:
It’s one person’s view of this. From my personal point of view, I do a lot of battlefield circulation; I talk to commanders and soldiers; I have assessments from others, like my sergeant major that I put on the battlefield virtually every week to walk with both Afghan and coalition parts. So I take in a lot of — a lot of data from many different places to determine my assessment, to include a very objective, detailed assessment we do every quarter.
So I’m confident that — in my personal view that our outlook is accurate.
I did read the article, and I think that as you read that article, I don’t doubt what he describes in a sense, for instance, his occasion of watching a policeman watch an insurgent depart an area. You know, I think those things happen.
We have an — we have an ANSF that has doubled in size in 18 months, and we’re presently building. So you know, there’s — what I would say to you is that we have to be — try to be very accurate about what we see and what we understand the battlefield to be and not treat it as we want it to be. So I work very hard personally at that, and I also take — I pay attention to what — the folks who perhaps disagree, and I look for people to be around my conference room table that’ll argue with me.
See the linked article for more from the general.