There is no finer United States Marine officer than Major Fred C. Galvin (ret.), a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- including hard-won battles against the failed senior command leadership at Bati Kot and Sangin. Thus, I can think of no better man to ask for a reaction to President Trump's announcement last night to send more troops to Afghanistan.
So I did.
Here is what Maj. Galvin wrote.
Thank you for asking.
President Trump broke his promise to the American people and military personnel in the worst way.
Every buck Private knows when they hear mealy-mouth-words about "doing the honorable thing," "change," and "listening to generals," that all three have led us nowhere for 16 years. Case in point: Nicholson, Votel, Dunford and Mattis. The first two kicked out the only force that ever went in to Afghanistan after 2006 with the sole purpose of killing the enemy. Votel was the Deputy Commander of RC-E (Regional Command-East) whom Nicholson reported/cried out in fear to at the time to expel us. Now Votel is the CENTCOM Commander. Dunford was the ISAF Commander and Mattis was the CENTCOM commander at the height of US forces in Afghanistan. They couldn't get it done with nearly 150,000 coalition forces and they will never get it done with ~12,000 coalition forces. This was a complete political lie to American and our military.
If the President expected the American people to believe that we will win with a new strategy, he would have done what every successful business leader, coach or military leader would have done, and that is remove the failed leaders, bring in proven leaders and implement radical change. Today is the same day as it was yesterday in Afghanistan. Nicholson is in charge and he will leave soon with a horrible track record that cannot change the American military campaign there into winning. ... [When] has Trump ever in the past kept a losing team and told them, "we have new rules and better support"? Has this ever worked for Trump or anyone else in the past? No.
In 2011, Mattis was at CENTCOM, Votel was at JSOC, Dunford was heading to ISAF and Nicholson was also back in Afghanistan. They had nearly 150,000 coalition troops and Obama was truly clueless as to what actually happened on the ground in Afghanistan. These failed leaders LOST and they need to be removed from leadership if we want to win.
It is admirable to want to win vs. pull out and allow the world to see that the most powerful military lost to sandal-wearing farmers, but it is helpless to believe we will win by allowing our losing generals to have more troops and money. There is no strategy change, no leadership change, just more of the same. Troops and money will be lost and Mattis, Votel, Nicholson, Dunford will all be the wealthier for convincing Trump to change his mind. Terrorism in Afghanistan? You bet it's there, just like it was, is and has been. It's everywhere...Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, all over the globe and don't believe for a second that our lambs in charge will eradicate it. Votel, Nicholson, Mattis, Dunford all had a direct hand in kicking out warriors and/or punishing us/failing to right a wrong. There is no way they have a clue at how to solve a complex problem that they cannot completely control if they can't fix the simple stuff which they totally control.
Trump believed the lie and has delegated his leadership as commander and chief to a proven group of failed generals. That is an American disgrace.