The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More on Recent Afghanistan War News

[Refer to the Clublog postings on Mon., Sept. 25th and Tue., Sept. 26th, 2006 for details related to this posting.]

On Fri., Sept. 29, 2006, the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press reported that on Thur. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld agreed to put U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan under NATO command. This announcement occurred at last week’s NATO Defense Ministers meeting. A question in the two previous Clublog postings mentioned above is clarified by Rumsfeld’s announcement. The Pioneer Press article says 10,000 U.S. troops in the country, “including Special Operations units” would remain under “exclusive U.S. control.” As we pointed out Mon. the 25th, U.S. Special Operations Command, a U.S. military joint force command (similar to Central Command as one of nine unified commands in world, but a functional, not geographical area command) has been the U.S. lead agency in fighting the war on terror. Meanwhile, 11,000 other U.S. troops currently deployed in the Afghan theater of operations will be under the day-to-day control of a U.S. major general but under the ultimate command of British Lt. General David J. Richards, the designated NATO commander in Afghanistan. Finally, the article reports that the U.S. four-star general, Daniel F. McNeil, who was nominated by President Bush as the NATO joint force commander in Afghanistan to replace Lt. Gen. Richards, will not assume his duties until Feb.

While these developments are progress, our earlier concerns about U.S. special operating forces is a large gaping question, more apparent now after the news on Fri. Are keeping these forces separate from the command and control of the theater commander a wise decision? We are not qualified to answer that question, but it will be an important factor in fighting the latest offensives of the Taliban-al Qaeda forces in south and eastern Afghanistan. Principles are principles for a reason. As doctrine, they are proven to work in almost every situation.

We here at The Cepia Club have no qualms about USSOCCOM being the lead agency in the world-wide war against the terrorists. That makes perfect sense. But will violating one of the cardinal principles of American military doctrine, the unity of command, in a hot war in Afghanistan, be a benefit or a detriment? Another question that bugs me, particularly: Why hasn’t anyone in the mainstream media ever questioned this before we did in early August (a month before we publicized it) when we noticed that “NATO forces” and the “U.S.-led coalition” in Afghanistan were always talked about as separate entities? The Cepia Club is a rather amateur observer. If we noticed it and the problems it creates, shouldn’t it be obvious to smarter people?


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