The Corner

National Security & Defense

Training Error

James Stavridis:

In retrospect, we trained the wrong kind of army for Afghanistan. America and the ISAF tried desperately to use the U.S. army as the model, and it was the wrong approach. The U.S. way of war is very resource-rich: exquisite satellite-based intelligence; high-end technology with precision guided firing; superb air cover (manned and drone) with nearly instantaneous response times; crisp and clear command and control that provided over-the-horizon connectivity; “on time” logistic systems that allowed fuel, food and ammunition to support combat operations; and “golden hour” medical evacuation to sophisticated hospitals. The Taliban had none of that, and while the U.S. was side-by-side with the Afghans, those local partners could fight — by relying on American support.

Think of the American revolution as an analogy: The U.S. and ISAF trained up an army of British redcoats, but what was really needed were more minutemen. . . .

The whole article is worth reading.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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