FORT POLK, La. — The Army has a new tool it hopes will finally tip the scales in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan — and potentially other Islamist insurgencies. But can it work?
Meet the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, the first of six units of roughly 1,000 soldiers each that are specially designed to “advise and assist” foreign armies so that they can contain guerrilla movements on their own.
The new brigades are the latest in a string of Pentagon attempts to prepare Afghan, Iraqi and other foreign security forces to secure their nations. They are also the most concrete acknowledgment that all the costly efforts to professionalize such ragtag armies have failed — and the need is as great as ever.
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