Saturday, October 8, 2011

Afg - 10 Years On

With all the recent anniversaries MIL INT was thinking it might be useful to go back to the pre-invasion OpEds that warned Afg would be hard - the same OpEds that got scoffed at when Mazar-e-Sharif fell and AQ and the Talibs disappeared into the countryside and over the boarder into Pakistan.  

Checkpoint Washington had the same idea and ran this early story. Then  MIL INT remembered somewhere in the deep archive he might have had an OpEd that appeared odd to people at the time. Sure enough, this October 9, 2001 Afghanistan Combat Assessment was lurking in the file. As with anything an Australian defense analyst might produce, its quite parochial, but there are some salient points "this will be a long, complex and costly war fought on many fronts at home and abroad", the importance of homeland security, a comment on impact of ethnic divisions, and the use of SOF. The assessment that the US would not blindly lash out was right in the case of Afg. However it was wrong in general. In fairness, it was unimaginable to MIL INT at the time that Iraq might be rolled into the 911 narrative given the fact that Saddam had spent his life killing radical Islamists (albeit Shia abroad as opposed to Sunni at home). Funny how things turn out.

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