Iraqi Security Force Training Becomes a Model for Afghanistan
It’s not just the desire on the part of senior Pentagon officials to find a second David Petraeus and ship him off to Afghanistan. On more operational levels, the military is trying to adapt the lessons of the stuff that appears to have gone well in Iraq as well. Check out this press release from yesterday, issued by the military command in Iraq:
A team of U.S. advisors based in Afghanistan visited here in late July to capture best practices from their sister unit, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq.
“We came to see how MNSTC-I conducts business,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Weisz, director of the security cooperation program in Afghanistan. “We can’t apply everything we have learned here because there are differences between Iraq and Afghanistan. But within bounds, there is a commonality that we can apply. We want to capitalize on every success and avoid every pitfall.”
Hopefully some of the stuff that won’t be replicated is the widespread corruption and incompetence that afflicted MNSTC-I. And as far as I’m aware, MNSTC-I has been reigned in since the bad old days of 2004-2006 (half of that time under the command of a certain Gen. Petraeus.) But this still doesn’t inspire confidence:
Weisz said the team studied how MNSTC-I works contracts that enable the Iraqis to obtain the equipment and training they need.
“Contracting is a big player in moving forward,” Weisz continued. “It is key and essential to our ability to execute dollars. We need flexible, agile contractor support. MNSTC-I personnel have been showing us how this can be done.”