Thursday, August 13, 2015

Embedded Troops?

The outgoing Army Chief of Staff Gen. Odierno sayeth:

Not great, Bob.... Why?
  1. Anybody remember those green on blue attacks?  How would we guarantee that the Iraqis that the US would be training would not harm the trainers?
  2.  What happens if an Iraqi unit with Americans embedded was at risk of being overrun?  Anticipating that, the US would have to deploy a Quick Reaction Force [QRF] or three to be ready to extract the Americans.  Which would also mean helicopters and other assets.  Which would increase the size of the force, the costs associated in both blood and treasure and the political responsibility back home.  
I am a big fan of embedding, as I think the Observer, Mentor, Liaison Teams [OMLTs or omelets) in Afghanistan significantly enhanced the Afghan Security Forces.  But that was in a context where the various OMLT providers had battlegroups and heaps of American support in case of emergency.  Oh, and all this stuff is only good for helping folks fight, not for developing a political solution which has not been forthcoming in Iraq or Syria.  Oops.

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