Changing Commanders, Changing Tactics

Well I must say I expected this to a degree. You put a Spec Ops Warrior like McChrystal in place and he is going to do what he has seen work. However I hope he does remember the words of Bouhammer, “Afghanistan is not Iraq” and he is ready to adapt and tweak the previous tactics to better fit the Afghanistan war zone. There is a lot of talk about Counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare in Afghanistan, not because of the incoming commander but because that is what is needed now.

There are talks of a COIN Center of Excellence existing in Afghanistan now, and I am hearing from sources that the Commander of 4th BCT, 25th ID (ABN) is one of the first Sr. Field Commanders who truly understands and executes COIN operations on a daily basis.

This should be an interesting next few months in Afghanistan.


The U.S. Defense Department is considering changing tactics and deploying specialized troops to battle the Taliban in Afghanistan, a military source said.

The changes are based on a plan used in Iraq by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who will be the U.S. commander in Afghanistan if confirmed by the Senate, CNN reported Wednesday.

"We want cohesive units, fleet of foot, specializing in counterinsurgency warfare," the military official told CNN.

The new idea being considered calls for hundreds, maybe thousands, of troops to train and deploy as a battlefield unit specializing in counterinsurgency warfare, the official told CNN.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, concerned about public support for the war in Afghanistan, believes "it’s critically important" for U.S. and Afghan governments to make progress against the Taliban in the coming months.

Gates has said he thinks the Taliban has momentum in southern Afghanistan, Morrell said.

"People are willing to stay in the fight I believe, if they think we’re making headway," Gates recently told The Wall Street Journal. "If they think we’re stalemated and having our young men and women get killed, then patience is going to run out pretty fast."

4 thoughts on “Changing Commanders, Changing Tactics”

  1. Interesting you should mention 4-25 ABCT… I worked with them out of FOB Kalsu in Iraq from NOV06-MAY07. Rough neighborhood… Worked at the TOC. Not sure there are any of the officers and NCO’s that I’d worked with before left at HHC anymore. They had some good folks, especially in the S-2 shop and FECC, especially TACP wise…

    Sudsy’s last blog post..29MAY09 North Korea continues firing missiles…

  2. Thanks for posting this. I like the words “fleet of foot,” and I think this aptly describes what’s needed, or as you’ve said, “Afghanistan is not Iraq.”
    I’ve been reading Sarah Chayes’s book, and also saw her last two Notes From The Field over at her website. Very interesting, describes the complexity for the layperson quite well.

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