Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wall Street Journal Front-Page Article Discusses Outpost Strategy in Afghanistan

The March 4th Wall Street Journal front-page article "U.S. Strategy in Afghan War Hinges on Far-Flung Outposts" by Yochi J. Dreazen goes into extensive detail about setting up remote outposts in order to fight insurgents and build relationships with local villagers.

The question is whether this strategy, which is credited with working in Iraq, can work in Afghanistan? Or, as the article says, "Will these soldiers and Marines merely be easy targets?"
David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert who has long advised Gen. Petraeus on Iraq and Afghanistan, supported the outpost strategy in Iraq. But he says the U.S. is making a mistake by deploying so many troops to remote bases in Afghanistan.

Mr. Kilcullen, a retired Australian military officer, notes that 80% of the population of southern Afghanistan lives in two cities, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah. The U.S. doesn't have many troops in either one of them.

"The population in major towns and villages is vulnerable because we are off elsewhere chasing the enemy," he said.
On February 10th this blog had a guest post from Andrew Lubin on "Falling Afghan Support for U.S. Forces". How does the information in this guest post impact the probability of the success of the outpost strategy?

Read the entire Wall Street Journal article to form your own opinion.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at PZ the Do-Gooder Scrooge and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.

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