A US Army officer has accused the American military of painting a misleading picture of progress in the war in Afghanistan while glossing over the Kabul government's many failings.
Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis deliberately broke ranks with the official portrayal of the war after spending a year in the country, issuing a grim assessment and accusing his superiors of covering up the harsh realities that plague the mission.
"What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by US military leaders about conditions on the ground," Davis wrote in an article published in Armed Forces Journal, a private newspaper not affiliated with the Pentagon.
"Instead, I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level," he wrote under the headline, "Truth, Lies And Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down."
Local Afghan government officials are failing to serve the Afghan population and their security forces are reluctant to fight insurgents or are colluding with the Taliban, he wrote.
"How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding and behind an array of more than seven years of optimistic statements by US senior leaders in Afghanistan?" he said in his article.
Davis has also reportedly shared his pessimistic view with some members of Congress and written a classified version of his article for the Defense Department, a highly unusual move that he expects will anger his commanders and short-circuit his professional career.
"I'm going to get nuked," he was quoted as saying by the New York Times.
The Pentagon politely disagreed with Davis's portrayal of the war but stopped short of suggesting any disciplinary action. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.956cc047c755305c8ad4580183554bcc.941&show_article=1
Full text here - http://armedforcesjournal.com/2012/02/8904030
To me this is due to the ever-increasingly insane ROE's and shifting strategic and tactical policies that result when politics becomes more important than mission objectives and the welfare of our troops in theater and the support and tools we provide to them to best carry out those objectives with the least possible harm to our own and the maximum harm possible done to our enemies. I am making the assumption that this officer is probably not on the list for promotion to general officer due to his boat rocking nature, as it is typically at this level that the byzantine process for advancement and placement in general staff and war colleges takes place, followed by assignments to prestigious tradition-laden unit commands. It appears to me it is a heartfelt desire to get the truth out to the troops and the people back home to whom these warriors matter the most to - their families, loved ones, friends and patriotic supporters. If something changes this opinion I'll gladly revise my remarks, but to me this information has been a long time coming. Our ROE's and policies have taken a drastically accelerated turn to the worst since Obama took office and the not-date-specific-withdrawal-in-name-only has only made the situation worse, and I agree with Lt. Col. Davis in that I do not want one more American to die in a lost cause. That phrase "lost cause" sticks in my throat, not because it is wrong, but because it was made real by politicians who exploited it into reality. The actions of our troopers I will defend with all my honor and strength, but that same strength is leveled with great scorn upon those who helped create this man made disaster! I will forget neither!