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By Colonel Eugene Khrushchev

The aims and purposes of “Operation Mushtarak” have been a perfect revelation of how an “innovative” approach disperses in a black hole of a familiar, antiquated path, and why high-maintenance troop and time intensive populace-centric COIN (Counterinsurgency) becomes a fiasco.

The grave imperfection:

To do the flawed thing the flawed technique – and at the flawed place:

The initial intentions of the operation were exceedingly go-getting: to sell further the COIN policy and to buy support from multiple target spectators in the US, EU, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The flawed thing
The COIN doctrine, revived and updated by General Petraeus, is one of the most momentous achievements of post-Cold War military intellect.
This is “the right thing,” no doubt about it.
The window of hope to try it in Afghanistan has been irreversibly closed after the US thoughtlessly invaded Iraq when it should have liberated Pakistan from ISI terrorists’ networks—and then to switch simultaneously from counterterrorism to counterinsurgency both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Nowadays, after almost a decade of US occupation, a mini-surge in Helmand and Qandahar in accordance with classic COIN requirements is just “too much, too late”:

• For the Afghans, the central government supported by the US is perceived as a Kabul faction of companion capitalism, a sickening democratic trio of land, drug and war lords.
• US intelligence in Afghanistan seems unable to come to its grips with a politically incorrect reality that Talibanization, skillfully exploited from Pakistan, is a local resistance to the capital corruption and incompetence of the puppet “government in the box” – to defend a lucrative, narco business from the authorities “protection” chaos, hostile takeover or taxation.
• Even a countrywide inflated-COIN with 400,000 US troops, would be a futile task – because the insurgents enjoy the hideouts (to call them safe havens is insulting) across the border in Pakistan.

The flawed technique
It was a recipe for disaster to put the cart before the horse – the media campaign should be launched after, not during, the “shape” and “clear” phase of the campaign.

Even Anthony Cordesman reluctantly admits that mistake in his latest review.

It could have been a brilliant psyops and disinformation operation on the eve of the special ops raid:

• To deflate expectations for the sake of plausible deniability (if something wrong might happen, it will)
• to preserve and leverage goodwill (if, inshallah, the results exceed expectations) and regain the initiative
• to surprise and arraign the local criminal community of narco-fighters and bomb-makers

The flawed place
Operation Moshtarak should have taken place a long time ago – right across the border, in Pakistan, to shift from open-secret covert JSOC/CIA black ops into unmitigated COIN with redeployment of all US forces from NATO/ISAF countries.

About the author:
Colonel Evgeny Khrushchev, navy brat & army lifer, is the military analyst at RT (Russian TV).

Contrary to the family tradition, he didn’t apply to Vladivostok Navy Academy to join the Pacific Fleet but enrolled in the Red Banner Institute special faculty Persian Team.

The dream to become a military attaché in Tehran has yet to materialize – the first foreign mission started in Afghanistan as a psyops officer of the 56th Airborne Assault Brigade in Gardez, Paktia, Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the last one was as the First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

View the original article at Veterans Today

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