He may not think of himself as one, but Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis is a hero in the eyes of many, because he has the intestinal fortitude to tell the American people what our senior military and civilian leaders have chosen to ignore - namely, that the words "progress" and "Afghanistan," in a military sense, don't belong in the same sentence.
Davis, a four-combat-tour veteran who has offered up a better strategy for Afghanistan in the past, says in a recently published assessment of his latest tour in 2011 that, after more than a decade of war, he "witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level" in the U.S. and NATO effort to beat back the Taliban-led insurgency and develop even basic-level governmental services for the people.
Incompetence and Collusion
"As a representative for the Rapid Equipping Force, I set out to talk to our troops about their needs and their circumstances. Along the way, I conducted mounted and dismounted combat patrols, spending time with conventional and Special Forces troops. I interviewed or had conversations with more than 250 soldiers in the field, from the lowest-ranking 19-year-old private to division commanders and staff members at every echelon. I spoke at length with Afghan security officials, Afghan civilians and a few village elders," said
"I saw the incredible difficulties any military force would have to pacify even a single area of any of those provinces; I heard many stories of how insurgents controlled virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a U.S. or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base," he said.
Detached from Reality
Davis reserved his most emphatic criticism for the nation's senior military and civilian leaders, whom he says suffer from a yawning credibility gap.
"As the numbers depicting casualties and enemy violence indicate the absence of progress, so too did my observations of the tactical situation all over
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