The Dutch Armed Forces has started to end its mission in Afghanistan. I’m sad to see the Dutch go, they’re good enough at the job, a great improvement on their involvement in other peacekeeping style missions (You know what I’m talking about).
Considering that the question of extending that effort brought down their government a few months ago, the decision to pull out is understandable. Yet, the fact that the Taliban is basically gloating over the withdrawal is frustrating to see, especially alongside claims by the Dutch Military Trade Union that the troops don’t want to leave the job unfinished (in the above link also).
It’s really going to start showing soon in Afghanistan. The coalition has to start doing more with less and the withdrawal deadline gets ever closer.
On that topic, the ISAF posted on Facebook this press release the other day. It discusses the continuing “Operation: Sob Bakhair (Good Morning)”, which aims to increase security in the northern province of Badghis. It includes US, Afghani and Italian troops.
As the press release explains, right now it’s a “clear” operation, with the coalition gradually branching out from a central point at a slow rate, eliminating insurgent bases and strongholds. Soon enough it’ll begin its “hold” phase, stopping insurgents from regaining previous footholds, getting people back living in the area, introducing vital services and supplies. From there, its “build”, making the place a long-term safe area, with emphasis on road construction to the rest of the country.
It’s a good concise summation of COIN doctrine in action. Worth reading.