The 2nd Infantry Division's 1/17 has lost twenty one soldiers since deploying to the Arghandab river valley in southern Afghanistan in July, and there looks to be some serious dissent between the enlisted men in at least one company and their batallion commander. The Army Times Sean Naylor does an amazing job of bringing the story home. Just a sample of the goods:
The 1/17’s soldiers said their train-up was also marked by an absence of good intelligence on what they would be facing in the Arghandab. In their zeal to give their men some insight into their future area of operations, noncommissioned officers such as Staff Sgt. Matthew T. Sanders, 1st Squad leader in Charlie Company’s 1st Platoon, resorted to printing out information on the Arghandab region from the Long War Journal, a respected non-Defense Department Web site, and posting it on bulletin boards.
“We made our own little S-2 because we weren’t getting anything from the S-2 [intelligence directorate],” Sanders said.
And how did that play out?
The IEDs also came as a huge surprise to Neumann and most of his soldiers, who said they’d been told to expect that the major threat would come from direct fire. This, despite the fact that during the first six months of 2009, as the brigade was training up, more than twice as many U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan died from IED strikes than were killed in gunfights.
That's just the start. It looks like a lot of junior officers and enlisted men are bucking against a battalion commander they say isn't following the COIN guidance handed down from Gen. McChrystal. Read the whole thing, it's a fantastic piece of reporting.