The counter-insurgency effort in Afghanistan is under serious strain. More U.S. troops are very likely to be sent there in the near future to stem the tide of insurgent attacks on U.S., U.N. and NATO forces. The strategic objectives of this 9-year war are coming under scrutiny in the public domain.
We are not all military experts (although some of you seem to be very well versed in military tactical history) but the politicans and media have brought issue into public discourse: What is the strategic way forward for the use of the U.S. military forces in Afghanistan?
Strategic objective #1 - Deny the enemy the Pakistan border and abundant food sources while using the natural terrain to protect against large scale attacks by concentrating all U.S troops in the western region from Qonduz to Kandahar.
-Setup large bases (Brigade strength) just outside the major population centers in proximity to large airstrips (Mazari Sharif, Qonduz, Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar) that also can be used for local militia and police training.
-Setup smaller bases (Batallion strength) strategically along the path between Kabul and Kandahar. These should be provisioned for a sustained engagements against a well armed enemy and serve as the base of operations for hundreds of Squads that would patrol the areas between the bases, the Pakistan border, and along the main supply route.
-Reduce the primary use of UAVs to reconnaissance platforms. UAV strikes should be limited to close air-support for ground forces.
Strategic objective #2 - Frequent and productive face-to-face contact with individual clans/villages to win and build trust.
-Supplement miltary base food supplies with food purchased locally at market prices
-Teach building techniques and assist with the construction of appropriate shelter (especially for the monsoon and Winter seasons) with indigeneous materials.
Strategic objective #3 - Create an environment where trans-national and non-governmental organizations can work safely with the native population to build social and physical infrastructure.
-Access to medical-aid
-Construction of schools
-Massive literacy effort
Is this lunacy, feasible, inevitable, etc? If so why and, more importantly, what would your recommendations be if asked?