The Surge in Afghanistan: Command Voices at the Army and Navy Club

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Event Date: 
November 30, 2012
The Army Navy Club

Washington, D.C. – On November 30, 2012, the Institute for the Study of War welcomed Major General (Promotable) James Huggins and Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) J.B. Vowell to The Army and Navy Club to discuss the effects of the surge in Afghanistan and the challenges that remain.  

Huggins expressed hopes that Afghanistan is heading in the right direction saying, “I firmly believe that the Afghan security forces are on the right path, on the right azimuth.  I believe that the strategy we’re executing in accordance with the surge plan from ’09 is achieving the effects that we wanted it to.  It’s just that we have adjusted troop strengths, we have adjusted timelines, and we are moving as fast as we can and our soldiers are doing incredible work there.”

LTC Vowell, former commander of Task Force No Slack in Kunar, Afghanistan, discussed the difficult operating environment in that province, where al-Qaeda and its affiliates continue to operate, and stressed the importance of continuing engagement in Afghanistan.

“I’m very happy with the mission that No Slack did, and I think there’s hope for the future in Afghanistan but I’m cautious as well that it could be reversed…We could lose what we’ve gained so far if we withdraw from our gains too precipitously and we don’t continue to support the Afghan government and the region in the roads ahead.”