From our partners at The Agonist
The more I re-read one story today from McClatchy the more it disturbs me. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno took his two senior NCOs, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler and CentComm’s Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe, to Knadahat province to talk to the troops about their worries over “green on blue” attacks. Here’s the section that disturbs me:
“With all the green on blues, why are we still doing joint patrols?” one soldier asked Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler during his visit to Forward Operating Base Zangabad, according to an account in the Stars and Stripes newspaper.
“I would assume we are still doing it because that’s what command tells you,” Chandler replied. “What should we do?”
“Not patrol with the Afghanis,” the soldier said.
Chandler told the soldiers the Army was adapting to the insider attacks. He asked them to focus on improving the performance of Afghan security forces.
“Overall there is a sense of a lack of trust, but you’ve got to rebuild that relationship, and I have a lot of confidence in these guys,” Chandler said.
Grippe looked back to his 10 years in and out of Afghanistan to put the threat of insider attacks in perspective.
“We can’t let this issue fracture our partnership, especially during this most critical time of our campaign plan,” he said, according to an Army story about his visit. “We’ve got to (stay) shoulder-to-shoulder even more, show more trust and keep training and building the capacity of our Afghan armed forces, especially to compliment our responsible withdrawal (from Afghanistan) with success and honor.”
It is not recorded how many of the soldiers listening then had a fit of cough-cough-bullshit-cough. I’d be interested in hearing the opinions of veterans on the kind of response this visit is likely to ellicit from the troops once the bigwigs have gone home again.