Wood insists that the Foreign Internal Defense strategy in Afghanistan “ended badly” along with Gant’s career two years ago.Only that’s not it at all. Even after firing Gant, the Pentagon still relied heavily on Special Forces to wage the Afghan counterinsurgency campaign. Since at least 2011, the military has planned to maintain thousands of Green Berets and other Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan past the late-2014 deadline for the withdrawal of conventional troops.No, the Army was uncomfortable not with village-centric Foreign Internal Defense, but with Gant.Of course, Wood would have you believe that Foreign Internal Defense is actually impossible without Gant … or someone just like him. “The iconoclasm and disdain for military protocol that enabled Gant’s success were instrumental in his eventual downfall,” Wood claims.Then how is it that literally hundreds of Special Force soldiers have quietly rotated through FID assignments in Afghanistan in the two years since Gant’s implosion?Most Green Berets don’t take their girlfriends, booze and drugs to war with them. They certainly don’t need lovers and gullible reporters to write elaborate defenses of their combat records.
•Remote area operations are operations undertaken in insurgent-controlled or contested areas to establish islands of popular support for the HN government and deny support to the insurgents. They differ from consolidation operations in that they are not designed to establish permanent HN government control over the area. Remote areas may be populated by ethnic, religious, or other isolated minority groups. They may be in the interior of the HN or near border areas where major infiltration routes exist. Remote area operations normally involve the use of specially trained paramilitary or irregular forces. SF teams support remote area operations to interdict insurgent activity, destroy insurgent base areas in the remote area, and demonstrate that the HN government has not conceded control to the insurgents. They also collect and report information concerning insurgent intentions in more populated areas. In this case, SF teams advise and assist irregular HN forces operating in a manner similar to the insurgents themselves, but with access to superior combat support (CS) and combat service support (
CSS) resources. (From FM 3-05.202 Foreign Internal Defense 2007.)
American Commando Brought His Girlfriend to Afghanistan—And Armed Her
But Special Forces officer’s dangerous rule-breaking earns him glowing news profile
- David Axe in War is Boring