Strategic Insights: Better Late Than Never

  • October 23, 2018
  • Dr M Chris Mason

Seventeen years ago this November, in a conference room in the Pentagon, I explained that, in whatever form it took, the new Government of Afghanistan would require some sort of provincial or territorial forces under Afghan Army command to augment the regular national army, which the interagency working group was tasked with creating. This structure was how Afghanistan organized its army from 1910 to 1979. Afghanistan could never afford to pay the salaries for, be able to maintain, or fill the ranks of a regular, all-volunteer army large enough to defend all of its territory simultaneously. And in Afghanistan, there’s always an uprising somewhere.