Playing Checkers in Kabul

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Afghanistan is like a giant checkerboard, and U.S. and NATO troops are the checkers, limited to the black squares.

After more than a decade of war combined with a hearts-and-minds …

Buying Peace

Winning a war can be tricky business, especially if you’re a U.S. soldier outfitted with the U.S. military’s formal guide for reintegrating the Taliban into a peaceful Afghan society. This is is different from the money the …

Goldilocking the “Insider Threat”

Make no mistake about it: when Afghan “insiders” turn their weapons on their U.S. and coalition allies and kill them, most either escape or are killed in the act. So gleaning intelligence about motivation can be tough. Forty …

Better Late Than Never

Interesting Pentagon contract buried deep in the long list it announced Friday. The Army awarded nearly $15 million to Jorge Scientific of Arlington, Va., to “provide for the modification of an existing contract to research and develop a methodology for counter insurgency operations. Work will be performed in Arlington and Afghanistan…”

Why the Taliban Are Winning

Navy SEAL Reed Kitchen concludes that after 10 months in eastern Afghanistan last year, the U.S. military is using the wrong yardsticks to measure progress:

Let’s rewrite our metrics of success to reflect our effect on the

War (Business) Is Hell

Nifty contract solicitation posted Friday by the U.S. Special Operations Command. You know, the guys who got Osama bin Laden. They need local Afghan security guards to protect their “(firebases, village stability platforms, etc.)” as the U.S. special forces go about their business. You may recall that Afghan President Hamid Karzai …

Sticks and Stones: Words of War

What better way to spend some time off than sharing a fascinating read from Small Wars Journal with Battleland readers (who are doing just fine, thank you very much, under Army vet and Time writer Nate Rawlings’ steady hand). Over at SWJ, Mehar Omar Khan of Pakistan writes of the way words are bandied about in the military profession, …

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