ISW & MCA Host Major General Richard Mills
Washington, D.C. – On Monday, May 2nd, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Marine Corps Association hosted Major General Richard Mills for a conversation with ISW president Dr. Kimberly Kagan titled, The Fight to Secure Helmand Province. As Commanding General of Regional Command South West in Afghanistan, Major General Richard Mills led Marines and coalition forces as they fought to enhance overall security in Helmand province and improve the capability of Afghan security forces.
When asked about anticipated Taliban combat response this spring, Major General Mills expects the enemy will attempt to bounce back from major defeats of the past seven months using funding provided by the manufacture and sale of drugs. General Mills estimates that his command operations have slashed the operating budget of the enemy in half through drug interdiction alone.
Major General Mills also discussed his cooperation with local Afghan leaders such as Helmand Governor Gulab Mangal and his positive expectations for the Afghan local police force--
“We had…events where the Afghans held all their own security. We had the election in September, that the insurgents told us could never go. We opened up all our precinct stations 7:30 in the morning and closed them all at 10 o’clock at night, not one was interdicted. All of that protection was done by Afghan security.”
“General Mills was an instrumental leader in securing what was previously the most volatile region of Afghanistan and a key Taliban stronghold. We are honored to have an opportunity to discuss his successful implementation of the counterinsurgency strategy in Helmand province.” said ISW President Kimberly Kagan.
This event was part of ISW’s Field Reports, a military speaker series which hosts commanders returning from Iraq or Afghanistan in a series that offers an unvarnished view of the wars, fresh from the field.