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November 5, 2013  

Letting Afghans make mistakes | Spec Ops plan in doubt | UAV politics in Pakistan

For a time the prevailing logic was to put as many US troops in the field with their Afghan counterparts as possible, like a constant parental presence monitoring for the slightest mistake.  But a Marine Corps Lt. Col. bucked that trend, instead leaving only a couple of advisers with Afghan units and allowing the units to learn to function independently, E.B. Boyd writes. (Fast Company)

The budget constraints may be finally hitting the special operations community.  A segment of the military that was previously sheltered from much of the fiscal drama, Defense News reports that the plan to increase troop numbers is on the rocks.  (Paul McLeary and Hope Hodge Seck, Defense News)

Drone strikes are always the cause of political concern in Pakistan, even if recent reports suggest government official are a part of the activity far more than they publicly acknowledge.  But in Pakistan the killing of a senior Taliban leader via drone strike is showing how even a top enemy to the nation’s government must be defended by officials as a political necessity.  (Declan Walsh, New York Times)

Warlord’s Quote

“You may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman, or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together — what do you get? The sum total of their fears!” — Winston Churchill

Contributed by Jon Lellenberg, who long directed the Policy and Strategy Section of a bureau beneath the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict. From a list compiled by the Warlord Loop, a private email forum for national security experts.

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