It is time people start questioning the competence of these two senior leaders any time they mention "Afghanistan."
Here is a look at the reality facing Afghan security forces.
Deprived of U.S. logistics support, the base began to run low on supplies. The troops bought rice, flour and other food on credit from local merchants. Ammunition was diverted to those on the guard towers or going on food runs to the market.
The Afghan troops trashed much of the base, stripping wiring, plumbing and air-conditioning units. Well pumps stopped working, according to a U.S. officer. One generator turned up at Torkham Gate, the border crossing into Pakistan, but was nabbed by customs agents, according to an Afghan officer. Several rooms were littered with feces, say U.S. soldiers who saw the base later.
The Afghan soldiers explained they had been told by the battalion's executive officer they would be leaving along with the Americans, so they destroyed what they could to prevent the base falling into Taliban hands.
That wasn't the first odd command from the executive officer, or XO, Maj. Zul Faqar, and some started to assume he was in league with the enemy. Sgt. Rafiqullah recalls going into town one day to see a doctor and spotting a truck carrying Taliban fighters. He reported it to the XO, who replied, "It's none of your business," Sgt. Rafiqullah says.
Soon, Maj. Faqar ordered soldiers not to fire on insurgents at all, according to Sgt. Rafiqullah and U.S. and Afghan officers. One time the sergeant's men disobeyed orders and fired from a guard tower at a passing Taliban vehicle. The XO confined the men in a dark room as punishment, the sergeant says.
The sense of impotence sapped morale. Of the 130 soldiers in the sergeant's company, Sgt. Rafiqullah says three were killed, six were wounded and about 100 deserted, leaving just 20 to fight.
Over to you Gillard and Smith.