June 23, 2010

Marine mentoring in Helmand

Good article, this.

But the general consensus from rank and file infantrymen is that for every good ANA soldier, there are at least five or six who are lazy, incompetent or both.

“They’re not willing to do the job it takes to defend their country,” said Lance Cpl. Lucas McGary, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. “They’re so worthless that their worthlessness doesn’t faze anyone anymore.”

I hadn't realized before this that soldiers from ANA 203 Corps in the East came to Helmand for a while while the Marjah op was going down (along with Canadian-mentored soldiers from 2 Kandak, 1/205 Bde). They undoubtedly were missed in the East, but the simple reality is it can be very difficult to accommodate the mentor teams from other ISAF nations that would be brought in if Afghan soldiers from the relatively unblooded ANA corps in the north and west were used: interoperability, caveats, etc. So only American (and Canadian, we'll apparently go anywhere)-mentored Afghans could be used to reinforce the other American-mentored Afghans.

UPDATE: Frequent correspondent Anand writes in to note that the Marja op used French-mentored ANA, as well.

Posted by BruceR at 12:10 AM