Notebook entry day 19
Staff planning meeting
Wasted day. Afghans are having Eid, the SIPRnet [secret internet] was down most of the day for maintenance. We played soccer in the afternoon with the ANA. They beat us 7-2. I totally screwed up my ankle. Outback Steakhouse sent a bunch of stuff over to give us a special meal and some random runner-up on American Idol gave a concert. I ate the hell out of a bloomin onion, but did not go to the concert. I racked out instead.
I love my wife
So without going into a great deal of detail we have been told that by [four and a half months from now] our Afghans need to be ready to take the lead. I don’t think that is likely. The USMC sends [a] Capt[ain] to an 8 month school on the planning process, guys who have been in at least 4 years and all speak the same language, are motivated to be there, etc. The regimental commander is divorced from reality if he thinks this is possible. I’ll continue to work all day every day, but it took me a week to explain to them why they needed to have [priority SP] intelligence requirements.
This is not helped by the fact that the Major does not actually train the General or the XO. In a centralized system, where everything is expected to go through them. They need to have at least a basic understanding of the planning process in order to ensure that it works correctly. I just want to remind the Major these guys have a pay scale for generals with under 4 years time in service. This guy doesn’t have a clue what he is doing. You can pin rank on a former mujahedeen, but that doesn’t make him a general. Maybe one day, with training he will know what it is to be a general, but right now he is clueless.
Oh well, what are you going to do? Shut up and work just as hard as you would anyway. Someday perhaps the commanders will find out that their desire to get something done does not matter, it is merely the ability of to accomplish the task. The enemy, the Afghans, the actual battlefield, do not care what you want, Colonel. If this were merely a test of desire we would have already lost. These guys are way more fanatical than we are.