Of all the General Officers in country, I believe the present NTM-A, Deputy Commander-Army, MGen Michael Day (CAN), understands the entire picture best and is working toward the right solution for Afghanistan. He is presently on R&R in Canada and granting interviews. The most recent one was captured by the Globe and Mail: Afghan troops ‘applying the lessons learned’.
Unlike GOs past and present, he is not trying to build an Afghan National Army into his personal view of what a western army should look like but what is the best, sustainable solution for the Afghans. Interestingly enough, MGen Day is also more concerned about the billions of U.S. dollars we are spending than most of the Americans here! A breath of fresh air from one neighbor from the north.
Dilbert only needs 2 or 3 more people in his cubicle and it would resemble NTM-A.
I attended my first ‘big shots’ meeting recently. I say ‘big shots’ because the Commanding General of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan was in attendance (a 3-star general), two 2-stars, seven 1-stars, plus over 20 Colonels and another 20 Lieutenant Colonels. The generator that supplied the meeting room was down for repair. The back-up power source could not support the air conditioner so the windows were open. It was a little warm but the weather was beautiful.
After about 30 minutes, a sewer truck outside the meeting room began pumping sewage to haul off Camp Eggers. The sewage pumping process is not exactly a hermetically sealed evolution. So, what do senior officers do? Press on while the less senior ones shut the windows. We finished the meeting in a smelly, 90+ degree room, 1-1/2 hours later. Just another day in a war zone.