I hope you're firmly in the role of occupierI'm in France - that's my excuse!
Wrong. But then it's much less taxing to play the man and not the ball. Hence why it's become the default for you and @Bubbles_BarkerIn this case 'The Man' is a poseur. Hence he's getting played.
Nail on head
It's an interesting question about whether you can always rigorously observe the first principle of war or whether you sometimes need to be more flexible. There's a thread on it somewhere.. . . the best argument would involve the demonstration of tangible progress towards clearly defined goals, agreed ahead of time between commanders and government.
That is, assuming you hold it to be the the duty of military commanders to argue the case for continuing a campaign with no clear purpose, and too few resources.
Personally, I'm of the view that their first duty was to ensure that the first principle of war was rigorously observed from the get-go.
Maybe that's just me
I'm struggling to understand whether your line about a leaving date being a time check is serious or not.Quite.
Edited to add: I keep rereading your post and I'm still unsure as to whether to laugh or cry.
A point well made @ChrisR and one that I witnessed first hand in PJHQ. If you look at any list of top reasons why projects fail, you will find that failure to secure / commit the right resources at the right time will be always there. Making do with what you are given can be a meritorious trait at junior levels, but it is a recipe for disaster at the operational and strategic level.Edited to add: (or should it be Chrissynote) I believe it's a well established issue that VSOs (and Commanders at all levels) have tended to ask for resources that they 'feel the market can bear'.
Is it a matter of opinion? It is the commander who has the executive role and where the buck should stop. Surely he is the only person who can be responsible for securing the right resources for a venture and, if he can't secure them, adjusting the plan to allow for what has been allocated. And adjusting the plan because of lack of resources (cost) means one or more of two things; taking longer (time) or doing less (quality).It's a matter of opinion as to whether you think that or pure military advice is their job.
Well, struggle on. I see a politically stated end date as the last in line of your time checks. I can't see how you could view it differently but we'll agree to disagree. This from US doctrine:I'm struggling to understand whether your line about a leaving date being a time check is serious or not.
Assuming it wasn't a joke, can you please explain how an easy-to-set leave date is remotely relevant to the subject of setting clear time checks during the campaign to measure progress and thereby persuade politicians to continue?
I'd say trying to identify an end state of any kind earlyn on in a COIN operation is pretty difficult and probably meaningless. Sure, one can have a strategic vision of what the end state might look like, when it might be possible and what you might need to commit to achieve it,, But, in reality, you have no real way of knowing whether it is possible.In my opinion a 'leave date' isn't remotely easy to set even if you're doing your job properly.
Indeed. We didn't achieve an end state though, not least because the campaign is ongoing. We also didn't do our job properly by setting an appropriate end date.Well, struggle on. I see a politically stated end date as the last in line of your time checks. I can't see how you could view it differently but we'll agree to disagree. This from US doctrine:
"Military End State. Military end state is the set of required conditions that defines achievement of all military objectives. It normally represents a point in time and/or circumstances beyond which the President does not require the military instrument of national power as the primary means to achieve remaining national objectives."
In my opinion a 'leave date' isn't remotely easy to set even if you're doing your job properly.
The headline is true but it over-simplifies the political reality that both public support and support in the houses for the Afghanistan campaign was waning.What we did is decide we and the US were leaving (mostly) in 2014 because POTUS said so, then cut and ran on that date. The same thing happened in Iraq with the US mission.
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