Bloggers Roundtable with MG David Hogg

Back on February 18th, I was involved on a great Blogger’s Roundtable with MG David Hogg who participated from Afghanistan. There were many bloggers/journalists on the call and all of them asked great questions. I focused my question on the accountability in the Afghan National Security Forces and the presence or lack of presence of a military justice system. I have copied the actual transcipt where I asked my question and MG Hogg answered below. Also below is the link to the recording of the entire roundtable.

Click the link below to listen to the roundtable.

20100218_Hogg_audio_021810125822.mp3

Q Hey, sir. How you doing? This is Troy Steward from Bouhammer.com and YouServed.com
You mentioned attrition recruiting, and you hit on leadership a couple of times. With the form ETT, I can understand it. So let me ask you, what has been done to put in place a fair and balanced UCMJ system of some type? And our senior leaders, especially those officers that kind of bought their position in the early days of the Afghan army, are they being held accountable? Are the being made examples of? And is that — and, if so, is that making a difference?

GEN. HOGG: Another good question, and a tough one.

The facts are positions are still being bought. I can’t give you grand-jury evidence to say that — you know, to prove that, but it is happening. The key on this piece for the leadership, and holding them accountable, and getting the leadership — the right leaders in the right place, will be a thing called the “inherent law” in the break- out of a retirement policy.
Right now there is not a retirement policy for the Afghan army. They did a retirement policy for the former mujes, or the former Afghan freedom fighters, which is very — was very minimal. And that is something that we’re working through their national security council, through the embassy and through ISAF to get this thing pushed through. Because I think what we’ll find is, once we get a retirement policy in, we will be able to get the — we will be able to get the new blood moved in.
The youngsters — company and battalion commanders, and even a lot of the platoon leaders, they get it, they understand it, and they want to move forward. And I think that’s going to make a big difference once that gets enacted. Until then, we’ll get — we continue to work the leadership side of the house. We’re actually running seminars with their leaders here in the MOD world, and we’re working it down to the corps commanders.
But it is still an issue, and it is one that will not be fixed over night. And that is why it continues to be a main effort for us here in TMA CSTC-A. Over.

Q So if I understand correctly, there is no UCMJ in place?

GEN. HOGG: Okay, on the UCMJ, they have a UCMJ system. It’s a high-level — we’ll call it a court-martial-level system. What we’re working on right now with our JAG advisers is something that’s more like the Article 15-level all the way down.
They have a quasi-system. The problem is it’s not being enforced. It’s not being executed all the time. They are starting to work some of these — I mean, we’ve had some guys fired and arrested recently for issues of corruption or incompetency, but we’ve still got aways to go. There is a system. It just doesn’t get — doesn’t get used the way you and I are used to, a system of self-policing, if you will. Over.


Bloggers Roundtable with COL John Agoglia

Yesterday I, along with several other notable milbloggers and journalists participated in a Blogger’s Roundtable with COL John Agoglia. COL Agoglia is the Director of the Counterinsurgency Training Center located in Kabul, Afghanistan.

There were some very good questions and answers traded back and forth during this call. Everything from what makes a good COIN air platform to the efforts in training our coalition partners on COIN in their home countries.

You can hear the entire roundtable call below:

Download this MP3 – (Right Click)

Bloggers Roundtable with COL James Harris

The other day I was on the first Blogger’s Roundtable with Afghanistan in a long time. Actually the first time since before the 27th BCT left country in December, 2008. The 33rd BCT from IL has not done a good job in the Public Affairs and Media arena.

We talked with COL James Harris (Click here for BIO) who is the Regional Police Advisory Command-South Commander. We talked about mentoring and advising Afghan National Police in southern Afghanistan. Harris oversees nineteen police mentor teams in the southern region of Afghanistan who mentors thousands of members of the Afghan National Police in the provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul.

Harris said that they are working with nearly 12,000 police officers and the majority of them are loyal to their government and their leaders. "The police officers that I see and deal with on a daily basis are very dedicated to their cause and to their nation. And they’re challenged every day. They are confronted; they’re in contact with enemy forces on practically a daily basis," said Harris. Throughout his mentoring role, Harris said that the most rewarding element is watching the police officers’ progress through the training.

The ole’ Bouhammer asked Col Harris about the training of ANP and how far along they are coming with learning real police skills and tactics. I also asked about the continued lack of the unity of command within the Task Force and the elements it has control of.

Click here to listen to the audio of the Roundtable.

Click here for Transcript of Roundtable

Bloggers Roundtable with LTC Richard Hall

This morning I was on another blogger’s roundtable session with the Commander of 2/7 Marines, LTC Richard Hall. LTC Hall and the 2/7 Marines are an entire Battalion dedicated to training, mentoring and leading the Afghan National Police in the southern sector of Afghanistan. You can listen to the roundtable at; http://www.defenselink.mil/dodcmsshare/BloggerAssets/2008-05/05160813532420080516_LtColHall_audio.mp3

Get it from the Source

Check out http://www.defenselink.mil/Blogger/index.aspx and click on the link to listen live this morning at 9:30 AM EST. The featured guest on the bloggers roundtable will be Colonel Thomas J. McGrath, Commander, Afghanistan Regional Security Command-South. This area is the hottest one in Afghanistan as far as enemy contact. It should be an interesting show.