Friday, December 01, 2023
Nov 21

Written by: Diana West
Monday, November 21, 2011 6:34 AM 

It happened again.  There we were, going from one happy-dappy government account of COIN success in Sangin District at DVIDS  --

With the use of counter insurgency operations, or COIN, the Marines are finding new ways to remove the insurgent networks from areas and assisting local villages in creating the peace the people of this area desire.

“We’re going to go out there and get with the people…the population is the objective,” said 3rd Recon Bn. Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Travis Homiak ....

-- to a second DVIDS report on COIN success in Garmsir, when the dark side of reality intruded for a brief moment, like a rain cloud passing the sun.

Even as Marines go above and beyond even the call of COIN  -- helicoptering local elders to the Marine base to hold shuras for them??? ("There is only so much we can do for the people," said an Afghan partner-commander, a little incredulousness perhaps showing through) -- even as Recon Marines go Oprah for the cause (Afghans “just want somebody to talk to. Once you get them to open up and they get to tell you ... how bad their lives are, the Marines lend them an empathetic ear. So, we’ve gotten a lot out of being nice to people.”), there is doubt lurking in the second DVIDS story.

Noting a dramatic decrease in violence and an improvement in the capabilities of Afghan forces around Garmsir, Lt. Col. Sean Riordan offers his COIN explanation, echoing that of his brother officer in Sangin (who is all about "going to go out there and get with the people…the population is the objective”). 

“Instead of focusing on 400 IEDs, we focused on the Afghan people,” said Lt. Col. Sean Riordan, 1/3 battalion commander and a native of Montclair, Va.

And how. In discussing the overall wonderfulness of the Helmand locals in a by-now familiar account of how frequently Afghans are, once again, tipping off Marines to the locations of IEDs and weapons caches, we learn, once again, what that focus looks like.

Hold onto your wallet.

Garmsir’s infrastructure, compared to a year ago, is ‘night and day,’ according to battalion leaders, and that thought is echoed by local government officials. More than 40 schools are functional within the district and more than 10 are ready to move into permanent buildings. Thousands of kilometers of canals have been cleared and cleaned, improving the efficiency of irrigation throughout the district.

District Governor Mohammad Fahim visited Safar and Durzay for the first time, an area recently cleared during 2/1’s deployment. A government outreach center has been approved for construction in Safar, which will promote local resident’s involvement with their government and increase regular visits by government officials.

All major bazaars have received electric street lamps and road improvements. Multiple mosques have received refurbishments and more than five shura halls have been approved for construction.

More than five bridges have been constructed over major canals to connect rural communities to bazaars. Every week, thousands of local people flock to the bazaars from across Helmand province to participate in the growing commerce. ...

“I think the acceptance from the local communities is the most important thing,” Riordan said. “It comes from all the hard work and sacrifice of the Marines… it’s the number one thing that has helped progress move forward.”...

It's called baksheesh, Lt. Col. Payola. It's part of the massive national disgrace known as US foreign policy, which is no more than a criminally irresponsible and out-of-control campaign of bribery on a global scale to make them like us -- win COIN's hearts and minds -- and do what we want them to (function like Switzerland -- or mabe Swaziland).

“A year ago, I don’t think anyone expected the [ANA] to be holding down their own patrol bases and conducting unilateral operations that were planned by their company commanders and supported by their own battalion,” Riordan said. “Even seven months ago, I don’t think anybody would have told us that we would have more than 90 percent of the Afghan Uniformed Police allotted task force. That is a huge step forward.”

For the Marines of 1/3, this deployment held a number of unexpected turns, including deploying early. But the unexpected decrease of insurgent activity has allowed them to vastly improve the quality of ANSF and quality of life for local people in Garmsir.

Maybe these locals have figured out, as Hamid Karzai has, the pluses to American stupidity, I mean, occupation In arguing for continuing so-called partnership with the US this week, Karzai said,"We will benefit from this. Our soldiers will be trained. Our police will be trained. We will benefit from their money.

“Continued mentorship is important because there has been a lot of blood and sweat poured into the district from British, Marine and Afghan forces,” Grace said. “There has been a lot of progress made and we can’t let the Afghans fail. We have to reinforce their success. Everything isn’t going to be squared away, right off the bat. But we will still be here to reinforce their successes, just like you would with anything when building from the bottom up.” ...

But then:

“Eliminating the insurgent threat requires change in a deeply rooted mindset of people who are religiously motivated,” Riordan said. “I don’t know if that is a realistic goal for Afghanistan. Afghanistan has to find a way to reintegrate the people who used to be [insurgents], bring them back in to the fold and make them part of society again. The religious community is an important part of the community in Garmsir that is never going to change.”

The light dawneths. Too bad the COIN orthodoxy always snuffs it out.


Follow me on Twitter @diana_west_


<December 2023>
November, 2023
October, 2023
September, 2023
August, 2023
July, 2023
June, 2023
May, 2023
April, 2023
March, 2023
February, 2023
January, 2023
December, 2022
November, 2022
October, 2022
September, 2022
August, 2022
July, 2022
June, 2022
May, 2022
April, 2022
March, 2022
February, 2022
January, 2022
December, 2021
November, 2021
October, 2021
September, 2021
August, 2021
July, 2021
June, 2021
May, 2021
April, 2021
March, 2021
February, 2021
January, 2021
December, 2020
November, 2020
October, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West