Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis enlisted in the Army in 1985, left briefly to complete ROTC, and has been rising in the officer ranks ever since. He put all those years of hard work at risk this weekend when he went outside his chain-of-command and told the press, and the Senate, what he sees as the lies being told to the American people by its military leaders.
After spending 12 months in country, covering more than 9,000 miles talking to American troops, Col. Davis came away with a clear point of view.
“What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground,” Davis says in a piece in the Armed Forces Journal (AFJ).
He says that while he wanted to believe U.S. efforts in Afghanistan were succeeding, that he would have been content to witness even minimal progress, he failed to find even that.
“I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level,” he says.
Across the board, U.S. troops say the Afghans they’re training are cowards and that they can’t stand them.
The violence is also taking its toll. From AFJ:
In August, I went on a dismounted patrol with troops in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province. Several troops from the unit had recently been killed in action, one of whom was a very popular and experienced soldier. One of the unit’s senior officers rhetorically asked me, “How do I look these men in the eye and ask them to go out day after day on these missions? What’s harder: How do I look [my soldier’s] wife in the eye when I get back and tell her that her husband died for something meaningful? How do I do that?”
One of the senior enlisted leaders added, “Guys are saying, ‘I hope I live so I can at least get home to R&R leave before I get it,’ or ‘I hope I only lose a foot.’ Sometimes they even say which limb it might be: ‘Maybe it’ll only be my left foot.’ They don’t have a lot of confidence that the leadership two levels up really understands what they’re living here, what the situation really is.”
Check out the full piece at the Armed Forces Journal >
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