If you visit ISAF’s website this morning, you are greeted with the yet another dose of ISAF’s propaganda campaign aimed at building an image of the capability of Afghan forces that is far beyond reality. Today’s headliner from ISAF is proudly titled “Afghan troops lead mission to secure Afghanistan’s Highway 1”. Unfortunately for ISAF, the Washington Post this morning is providing a cold dose of reality, as they have visited a post handed over to the Afghans less than six months ago. We learn from the Post that the image of Afghan forces being ready to assume control of this outpost was deeply flawed, and that with US support withdrawn, conditions have worsened steadily to a point nearing total dysfunction. Coming on the heels of last month’s revelations by McClatchy on the overstatement of Afghan force capabilities, this report should serve as a wakeup call to the Obama administration, Congress and the Defense Department. We can rest assured, however, that those in power will pay no attention to this information that negates the dominant propaganda.
Here is the rosy prose from ISAF that sets the stage for describing the Afghan patrols:
Every day, thousands of cars, buses and highly-decorated trucks travel Afghanistan’s Highway 1, the ring road that connects the country’s largest and most populated cities.
The 300-mile stretch of road between Kabul and Kandahar is the main focus of the area’s Afghan National Security Forces and Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force 173rd.
Trees, grass and fields of deep green provide the impression of rich farmland safe from the frequent violence along the road. However, the ANA and the men of Battle Company know the real story of small-arms fire, improvised explosive devices and ambushes that plague the area, leading them to conduct Operation Assaly II, July 23-27, 2012.
“We have some Taliban fighters that attempt to engage us and we also have a unique situation here, in that there are criminal networks that actively engage the fuel trucks and the supply trucks that come out of Kabul down to Kandahar,” said U.S. Army Capt. Colin Layne, commander of Battle Company and a native of Albuquerque, N.M. “So we have two groups of people out there that are firing weapons and setting off improvised explosive devices.
“Operation Assaly II is focused clearing patrols with the ANA going into villages and searching specific houses that could be associated with the Taliban,” he said.
We now get to Layne dancing around the fact that the ANA troops did not patrol on their own, but instead patrolled alongside US forces: Read more