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'America’s Dumbest War, Ever', a Doubtful Document. FREEPER Input Needed
Michael Yon ^ | 26 September 2012

Posted on 09/26/2012 12:37:34 PM PDT by robowombat

America’s Dumbest War, Ever

26 September 2012

Yesterday a concerned father forwarded to me a letter from his son in Afghanistan. I confirmed authenticity, and republish with permission:


I am fed up. I cannot believe the lack of attention the recent changes in this war is receiving by the media or the country. I think I saw one thing on CNN about the following subject, but I had to dig extensively to find it. The purpose of this letter is to let you know of the garbage that our soldiers are going through right now. With this knowledge, I hope that you take action by writing your congressmen.

First, because of the recent green on blue incidents or "insider threats" as the new buzz phrase dictates, all coalition forces in Afghanistan have completely stopped partnering with the ANA, AUP, and ALP in order to prevent the death of anymore CF casualties by ANSF or Taliban disguised as them. This is also greatly spurred by President Karzi's indifferent attitude and lack of action to take measures to prevent further insider attacks.

Second, because of this massive change in policy (and complete change in mission) all U.S. forces are forbidden to actively patrol their AO and are to remain on their respective COPs/FOBs. There are only a few exceptions to this rule and they all pertain to "hardening" highway 1 in our AO. We have received orders that clearly state that all CF will no longer be allowed to drop air to ground munitions within the country of Afghanistan. This preempts Karzi's announcement that will be made shortly that states the above mentioned order, making it a tactical directive that he is ordering.

To the first point: Our mission in Afghanistan is to partner with the ANSF on all levels. Now the policy makers are telling us that we are not allowed to do that and further more we are to take immediate measures to secure ourselves from the ANSF that are co-located with us. So the question now becomes, what is our mission? Furthermore, the implication is that we have absolutely no reason to still be in this country if we are not partnering with the ANSF. So why are we here?

To the second point: I don't think that the American citizens would be happy if they knew that their soldiers were being prohibited from defending themselves in any way because of politically driven orders, but that is precisely what is happening in this war right now even as I write this letter. The soldiers of the U.S. never engage the enemy unless we know that we have will always have the tactical advantage in defending ourselves, that advantage is the use of close air support and air weapons team. To take those weapons away from us is to level the playing field for the enemy and thus exposing our soldiers to more danger. In the school house they teach us that the minimum ratio that we are to engage the enemy with, is a 3:1 ratio. In other words, we have the highest probability of winning because we don’t fight fair. The sound tactical principles behind this teaching have saved lives. The very presence of aircraft over our foot patrols has also saved lives and now our chain of command is being told by our political leadership that this is now not allowed. If we are not partnering with the ANSF and we are not actively patrolling to prevent our enemies from massing their attacks on our COP and we can’t drop a bomb on the enemy that we have positively identified, than what the hell are we doing here?

Give us a mission or send us home. I honestly have no preference on what the politicians decide, as long as they just make a decision. Of course this will be a terrible inconvenience on the current elections so I am sure we will be forgotten, which really does not seem to be too different for how things have been going for the last eleven years.

Do not buy into what the some media outlets have already said about this. Casually saying that this is a frequent occurrence is false, and is an attempt to downplay the major ramifications for these decisions. We have never been so restricted in defending ourselves as we have now. This is not just a stand down. The other implication of this decision is that we will perhaps never regain our relationship with the ANA after we have executed these measures to protect ourselves from them. Essentially, we have left them to die as we watch from our high-tech cameras and UAVs. They will not forget this and I fear the relationship will never be the same.

I love you very much Dad and I don’t want you to worry about me any more than you already are, but I also know that this has to be brought up, someone has to say something about this. It is wrong to keep this hidden away while American soldiers are under constant threat of death and dying. I don’t care if you send this letter directly, this needs to be known.

Your son,

[In Afghanistan]

TOPICS: Government; Philosophy; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: duplicate
I accept the letter is real and not a faked document. What is in question is the accuracy of the content. It was written by an E-2/3 who would have (unless he works in a TOC) limited information and perspective. Commentors have provided critical remarks about this document:

"I don't think that the American citizens would be happy if they knew that their soldiers were being prohibited from defending themselves in any way because of politically driven orders,"

How does a "soldier" know the origin of his orders. How does a soldier know what is policy driven? Why does he use the word "political"? This letter may have elements of fact in it, but otherwise his analysis is crap and above his pay grade.

Judging by an absence of news, you have to wonder if the war has stopped. We know we are no longer training these jerks. It is dangerous to stop unilateral paroling around our bases. Have we done that?

I believe that this "letter" is a thinly veiled political ploy by someone who is not privy to the motivation behind ISAF orders or their "political" origins. When you figure out how a soldier knows why a 4 star issues an order, let me know,


Ok, huge misrepresentati ons are being thrown out in this letter. First off, all partnering has not stopped. The irony is I was working out with Afghans for a couple of days after the policies were tweaked.

Second, policies were temporarily tweaked. Depending on the level of engagement (battalion, brigade, or company) partnering has only temporarily changed. We're not going to pull anchor and go solo. If you're not sure why, google "Obama says surge troops are gone." They can't do it alone, and we don't have the numbers here to do it solo anymore either. You hear that silence? That's the lack of AQ, HiG and TB being able to do much due to our security. Yes, there are more green on blue but any student of war history knows it comes with the territory. Every death is tragic but no reason to get into a panic. If anything, I'm glad our doctrine, tactics and rules of engagement aren't being yanked around like some previous battles (I'm staring at the guy in the corner, just waiting to scream, "VIETTNAAAAAMMM! !!!" Every time something goes wrong).

Finally, stating a 12 year war is dumb because of a policy change near the practical end is less than disingenuous.

I'd go into more detail to make my point but for OPSEC reasons I won't .

Whether the current Afghan war is worth the candle is not the issue here but is what the writer says is happening accurate. If true the implication is the US is just marking time until after November to get out as fast as prudent. FREEPERS who have more insight on this input is needed.

1 posted on 09/26/2012 12:37:39 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat

I recall all to well when the executive branch last time micromanaged a war. Ended up breaking the spirit of our forces for years, sadly.

What a waste.

2 posted on 09/26/2012 12:48:49 PM PDT by llevrok (By comparison to Obama, at least Nero could play a fiddle.)
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To: robowombat

Of course we’re just marking time.

What was the old expression from the end of the “Vietnamization” epoch?

“Decent Interval.”

3 posted on 09/26/2012 12:48:53 PM PDT by Travis McGee (
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To: robowombat

Next time somebody wants to nation build in a country devoted the the values of the ninth century, send thirty thousand laptops with a good internet connection instead of thirty thousand troops. The is simply no strategic American interest in Afghanistan. It is not worth one American life. The politicians and generals who send young people to that barbaric land are beyond contempt.

4 posted on 09/26/2012 12:50:18 PM PDT by allendale
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To: robowombat

Is mail not screened any more? I don’t know much about it, but I would figure that, for security reasons, mail would be screened.

Which makes me skeptical that the letter is real, although the points are no doubt valid.

But what do I know???

5 posted on 09/26/2012 12:53:03 PM PDT by Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears (John Roberts did more to endanger the lives of Americans than all 9/11 hijackers combined.)
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To: robowombat
6 posted on 09/26/2012 1:01:32 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: robowombat

Wait a minute ... “Afghanstahn is the GOOD WAR, Iraq was the BAD WAR” — B. Hussein Obama.

7 posted on 09/26/2012 1:04:22 PM PDT by shove_it (DNC = perpetual emotion machine)
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To: robowombat

I feel like Dan Rather, in that the substance of the letter is true, even if the actual content is not.

We need to leave Afghanistan, and we need to leave it as we found it. Destroy ALL of the infrastructure. Power plants, substations, public buildings, bridges, dams, water treatment plants, everything! They wish to be barbarians? Let them live like barbarians! That place is not worth the life of one more soldier and if we didn’t “make them like us” after 10 years, they ain’t ever gonna like us.

Did I say I feel like Dan Rather? I gotta go take a shower now.

8 posted on 09/26/2012 1:08:01 PM PDT by henkster (With Carter, the embassy staff was still alive.)
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To: Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears

Don’t think this is a snail mail letter.

I would think it came by e-mail.

9 posted on 09/26/2012 1:12:56 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: robowombat

It’s on Michael Yon, so that counts as authentic to me, I trust his reportage and that he does indeed check and confirm his sources.

I expect it is also absolutely true from the perspective of the young man who wrote it. He is a political pawn, he knows he is a pawn and it’s a damned uncomfortable feeling.

Obama is a putz who believes that anyone who dies because of him has died FOR him and that their purpose for his greater glory.

OMG (Obama Must Go!)

10 posted on 09/26/2012 1:32:33 PM PDT by Valpal1
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To: robowombat

My son is also in Douchebagistan. One tweak that I like is that he must carry his weapon with him rather than NOT BEING permitted to as the case was before.

11 posted on 09/26/2012 1:33:37 PM PDT by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: henkster

Destroy the infrastructure, and destroy the land. Make it so radiactive for 100 years that no opium can be harvested and no mining done.

Leave the enemy nothing to live on. And quarantine them behind a koran curtain.

12 posted on 09/26/2012 1:37:24 PM PDT by Hardraade ( (I will fear no muslim))
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To: llevrok

Looks to me that the executive branch is trying to get the war bloody again just in time to garner sympathy for votes. Islam is their hope, not their enemy at this point.

13 posted on 09/26/2012 1:42:36 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Valpal1
I think this is a legit letter also in that i think it was composed by a soldier deployed in Afghanistan and sent to his father. It probably is an e-mail. The question is how accurate are the contents especially about no air strikes and no patrolling . That is what is meant by a doubtful document. One in which the documents contents are what is in question not its provenance.
14 posted on 09/26/2012 1:45:14 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat
I'll start off by saying that I'll take the author's claim that he authenticated the letter as true. He was embedded with a buddy's unit in Mosul during the bad time and they had a good opinion of him and and said that he was a straight shooter (except when their Col. got shot).

That being said I think the soldier and we can safely assume that "commander zero's" highly restrictive ROEs and decisions that limit our guys ability to defend themselves, sucessfully prosecute the war and acquiesce to the demands of karzai can only be viewed as political appeasement.

This administration never had any intention of winning the war and has already surrendered and told the enemy when we are leaving.

I think that if a policy of no air to ground munitions comes out that will lead credence to the letter.

15 posted on 09/26/2012 1:57:11 PM PDT by Eagles6 (DNC 2012 Convention: Celebrating infanticide and sodomy. Denying God.What could possibly go wrong?)
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To: robowombat

My son shared similar concerns with me when he was in Afghanistan (he’s been home since the end of January). The ROE’s back then were extremely restrictive. They have become more restrictive since then. Our troops are simply targets with NO REAL MISSION! Obama, IMHO, has committed treason and must be removed from office.


16 posted on 09/26/2012 3:47:03 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud dad of an Army Soldier who has survived 24 months of Combat deployment.)
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