Camp Pendleton Marines are fighting hard, but Afghan strategy is futile, author says
West, a former Marine infantry officer and Assistant Secretary of Defense, takes the reader to Marjah and Garmsir and obscure outposts like Man-Bear-Pig to report on Marines fighting an entrenched, shadowy enemy. The Marines get little support from the Afghan civilians they are trying to protect, West writes.
From top generals to grunts on patrol, the Marines speak candidly to West about the challenges and frustrations. His admiration is high for the Marines in Helmand province in the south -- and U.S. soldiers in Kunar province in the east.
But his view of the strategy devised by the White House and the Pentagon brass is withering.
The time has come, West says, to cut back on "unsuccessful missions of population protection and democratic nation-building" and instead give the Afghan forces the responsibility of taking the lead in fighting the Taliban.
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-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Bing West. Credit: File photo