Author Topic: "Defense Department Activates U.S. Forces-Afghanistan"  (Read 3024 times)

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Offline MarkOttawa

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"Defense Department Activates U.S. Forces-Afghanistan"
« on: October 07, 2008, 17:22:08 »
So this is how the US has finely decided on command structure changes in Afstan:
http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=12267

Quote
The Department of Defense announced today the activation of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), a functioning command and control headquarters for U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan [emphasis added].
 
USFOR-A will be commanded by Gen. David D. McKiernan, who also will continue to serve as the NATO/International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander.
 
The stand-up of the USFOR-A headquarters is intended to enable the most efficient command and control of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and ensure effective integration and coordination between U.S. and coalition forces operating under NATO/ISAF.
 
The majority of U.S. resources and personnel not dedicated to ISAF are committed to training the Afghan National Security Forces through Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan.
http://www.cstc-a.com/   
As USFOR-A commander, Gen. McKiernan is now responsible for the overall training mission and able to help tailor it to ensure Afghan forces are best prepared to operate with ISAF forces and provide security and stability to the nation of Afghanistan.
 
Under this new arrangement, the approximately 20,000 U.S. forces, operating as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, will come under the operational control of USFOR-A. The ISAF and OEF chains of command will remain separate and distinct, and U.S. Central Command will continue to oversee U.S. counterterrorism and detainee operations [emphasis added].
 
For additional information regarding this announcement, please contact USFOR-A Media Relations at 011-93-79-951-1155.

So does this mean Gen. McKiernan  will command US forces under ISAF wearing two hats (and with two staffs) as commander of both ISAF and USFOR-A?  Almost sounds more clumsy that what has existed.  Also what will be the status of Combined Joint Task Force - 101?
http://www.cjtf101.com/

Will it report through USFOR - A in its ISAF missions to NATO HQ, and through USFOR -A to Central command for other missions?

Mark
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« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 15:01:43 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: "Defense Department Activates U.S. Forces-Afghanistan"
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 20:05:11 »
McKiernan is being brought into CENTCOM for the first time which is the real reason for the new structure. As Commander US Forces Afghanistan he should command all the conventional ground forces,the air component as well as the training command.It looks like CENTCOM will continue to run the SOF side although I am sure McKiernan will be kept in the loop.It would be easier for McKiernan to also take over the special ops as well but I guess that will stay compartmentalized. This new organization probably will most likely see a LTG slot added as deputy quite possibly a USAF or Marine LTG who would also double as Chief of Staff. Keeping the NATO and OEF sides seperate make sense I suppose ,as you just dont know how long NATO will be involved in Afghanistan or we might hand off the NATO command to another nation but keep control over our forces.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: "Defense Department Activates U.S. Forces-Afghanistan"
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 20:23:29 »
tomahawk6: It's my understanding that Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan
http://www.cstc-a.com/   
has always been under Centcom but not until now not under the USAF ISAF commander.  Now it's under Gen McKiernan and still under Centcom, along with those parts of Combined Joint Task Force - 101
http://www.cjtf101.com/
that were under Centcom but not ISAF.  Yet the parts of CJTF - 101 that are under ISAF--i.e. Regional Command East--will still go through Gen. McKiernan as ISAF commander to SACEUR (and not/not Centcom), but also through USFOR-A (not part of ISAF) at the same time--to where? 

And to whom does USFOR-A report?  Centcom surely and not SACEUR.

Still seems rather hard to fathom.  Does it mean that, in reality if not on paper, all US forces in Afstan will now effectively be commanded by Gen. Petraeus at Centcom with only paper control from NATO for those under ISAF?  So that in reality US ISAF forces are run by Centcom and other ISAF forces ultimately (sort of) from SACEUR via Gen. McKiernan under his ISAF hat?

Mark
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: "Defense Department Activates U.S. Forces-Afghanistan"
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 21:04:00 »
Its fairly straight forward.McKiernan will command both ISAF/NATO and US forces that come under OEF now called US Forces Afghanistan.This will include TF 101. The commander of TF 101 is dual hatted: OEF and NATO/ISAF. TF 101 will come under USFOR-A/OEF and General McKiernan.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: "Defense Department Activates U.S. Forces-Afghanistan"
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2008, 20:11:34 »
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/10/military_ausa_petraeus_100808/

Petraeus: More troops or not, Afghan ops a go

By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 8, 2008 14:04:01 EDT
   
Although a major influx of troops in an increasingly violent Afghanistan isn’t likely until next spring and summer at the earliest, the incoming Central Command commander said Tuesday that he would not necessarily agree that U.S. and NATO forces now serving there are in what amounts to a six-month holding pattern until reinforcements arrive.

“I’m not sure I would say that,” Army Gen. David Petraeus told reporters following a speech at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington.

Petraeus said the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Army Gen. David McKiernan — who said Oct. 1 he needs an additional four brigade combat teams, plus aviation assets, support troops and perhaps more Afghan security force trainers — “has plans that he’s putting in place that they’re beginning to execute.” He did not elaborate.

But Petraeus, who has been busy preparing to take the CentCom reins Oct. 31, said it’s clear that more troops are needed and that McKiernan will begin receiving additional forces to combat the growing insurgency in early 2009.

Petraeus, however, would not yet commit to supporting McKiernan’s entire request, which would exceed 20,000 additional troops.

“There’s no question but that Afghanistan needs additional forces,” Petraeus said. “Everyone agrees on that. ... Precisely how many, what configuration and so forth ... will be sorted out over the course of the months ahead. Clearly, as forces become available, as they’re re-deployed or not deployed to Iraq, there’s a potential of using them in Afghanistan.”

If Petraeus ends up supporting the full request, the decision to send them will be up to the next president. Both candidates have called for boosting troop strength in Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that three additional brigades will be rested and available for deployment to Afghanistan in the spring and summer of 2009 — although Gates has also said the U.S. needs to “think long and hard about how big a footprint we want in Afghanistan compared, say, to growing the Afghan army much faster.”

Petraeus acknowledged the rise in insurgent violence that has prompted calls for more troops in Afghanistan, which have also come from congressional quarters.

“In some respects, there’s been a downward spiral in some areas,” Petraeus said. “The trends have gone in the wrong direction. So in certain areas, you clearly have to arrest those trends, reverse them, and then begin moving forward.”

But not every area of Afghanistan is so problematic, Petraeus said, noting that “there has been ... continued progress in certain areas.”

McKiernan has said he agrees there are improvements but added Oct. 1, “In large parts of Afghanistan, we don’t see progress. And we’re into a very tough counterinsurgency fight and will be for some time.”

This year has seen a record number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. Also, marked improvements in Iraqi security convinced President Bush to announce Sept. 9 the deployment to Afghanistan of another 5,300 troops, in the form of Marine battalion and an Army brigade combat team to Afghanistan — units that had been slated for duty in Iraq.

That’s not going to make the big difference McKiernan is after. When troops rotating home are taken into account, Afghanistan will see a net gain from those deployments of only about 1,500 U.S. soldiers and Marines.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: "Defense Department Activates U.S. Forces-Afghanistan"
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2008, 20:37:49 »
tomahawk6: "That’s not going to make the big difference McKiernan is after. When troops rotating home are taken into account, Afghanistan will see a net gain from those deployments of only about 1,500 U.S. soldiers and Marines."

Now if only the major media in the US, Canada and elsewhere would notice.
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2008/09/dam-turbine-victory.html

An e-mail exchange with a Washington Post reporter--the letter to the editor was not printed:

Quote
Mark,
Thanks for your note and good point. I am aware that the description did not capture the impact of rotations and will try to explain that in future articles.
Best,
Ann
 
To: Ann Tyson
Subject: Message via washingtonpost.com: Letter to the Editor
 
Mark Collins sent the following message:
 
Dear Ms. Tyson--FYI [the letter to the editor]
 
'Your story, "Top Military Officer Urges Major Change in Afghanistan Strategy" (Sept. 11), reports that Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Michael Mullen referred to "...the new influx of U.S. forces into Afghanistan that Bush announced Tuesday -- an Army brigade and Marine battalion with a total of about 4,500 troops..." in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee.
 
That figure of 4,500 does not tell the whole story.  The Marine battalion of some 1,000 personnel is actually replacing another Marine battalion that will be leaving Afghanistan (it's stationed in the western part of the country).  This replacement represents no net increase in troop strength.  In fact the only increase will be the Army brigade of around 3,500 soldiers arriving early next year.
 
But meanwhile the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit--2,300 marines--that is now operating in southern Afghanistan is withdrawing at the end of November and is not being replaced.
 
Thus for roughly two months U.S. troop strength will in reality decrease by those 2,300; it will eventually only rise some 1,200 (3,500 soldiers minus 2,300 marines)--not 4,500.  Moreover not replacing the Marine unit in southern Afghanistan will leave quite a military hole in a very dangerous and contested region.
 
Adm. Mullen has good reason to be worried about how things will go in Afghanistan over the next several months.'

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.