Army Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis survived the first invasion into Iraq in 1991. He later left active duty and worked for a Texas senator while serving in the Army Reserves. Called back into active duty, he did a tour in Afghanistan (2005-06, another in Iraq, 2008-09), and back to Afghanistan during 2011. During last year's tour, he was part of the Army's Rapid Equipping Tour that took him into every part of the embattled country and enabled him to have "conversations with 250 soldiers in the field." Back in the U.S., he has just issued a blistering report claiming that, despite the deployment of a force exceeding 100,000, there is a glaring "absence of success on virtually every level." He even witnessed Afghan military personnel "collude with the insurgency."
Assigned to talk not only with our troops but with Afghan civilians and elders, he admits to being able to speak publicly about only a few portions of what he has just reported, the rest being "classified." But he did state, "To a man, the U.S. officers in [a particular unit] had nothing but contempt for the Afghan troops in their area." But these are the troops that U.S. personnel have been trying to train.
In August 2011, he accompanied a unit patrolling in Kandahar province. One of the most popular and well-loved soldiers in that unit had recently been killed. A senior U.S. officer angrily asked Davis, "How do I look these men in the eye and ask them to go out day after day on these missions? What's harder, how do I look [my soldier's wife] in the eye when I get back and tell her that her husband died for something meaningful? How do I do that?"
Click here to read the entire article.
John F. McManus (photo)