The Army’s Strat Comm Response to 30,000

A reader passed this along expressing concern over Army priorities in scripting its future in Afghanistan. Below is the e-mail purportedly from Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey. (We must admit: it is interesting.)

CSA’s note is followed by what appear to be the Army’s talking points (yes, talking points) regarding the president’s plan for Afghanistan as outlined at West Point. Maybe we’ve been disassociated from strategic communication too long, but there are some items one does not script, and this would seem to be one of them.

Subject: CSA Sends: Afghanistan Force Increase (UNCLASSIFIED)
Importance: High

This is the impact of NATIONAL STRATEGY on the military!
—–Original Message—–

I hope you all saw the President’s speech last night. If you didn’t, a copy is attached for you to read. It lays out our way ahead in Afghanistan. He announced that we will send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan for the next 18 months to set the conditions for the US to transfer security responsibilities to the Afghanis.

I want you to help me do two things in the coming months to ensure we implement our part of this decision and sustain the force for the long haul.

First, I want us to do everything we can to prepare the forces and the theater to receive these forces as quickly as we can so that we maximize the impact they can make on the ground.

Second, I want you to get out and talk to your Soldiers, Civilians and Families to ensure they understand how this will affect them. It will not be as significant as they may fear.

I’ve enclosed some talking points for you to use, but I want to highlight a few key points:

– It will be a few more days before we begin notifying specific units as we finalize the troop list.

– Because of the growth of the Army over the past five years (+70,000 troops since 2004 with 40,000 of them in the last 2 years) and the drawdown in Iraq, we are able to execute this increase without:

—- Going to 15-month deployments
—- Going to less than 12 months at home between deployments
—- Halting our plan to come off stop loss

– Assuming the drawdown in Iraq continues about on schedule, we will also continue to make progress toward our BOG:Dwell goals for FY11 – 1:2 Active Component and 1:4 Reserve Component. Even with the increase ordered by the President we estimate that about 70% of the active component will reach these goals by 2011. The remainder of the force will continue to see their dwell rate increase and should meet these goals by 2012.

We share your concerns for our Army families. We know our Soldiers, Families, Army Civilians and Veterans have carried an enormous burden in this war, and we are committed to providing a level of care and support that is commensurate with their service and sacrifice.

Our Army has never failed to answer the Nation’s call. As we have done over the last eight years, we will rise to this challenge. We will do our part to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and prevent their return to either Afghanistan or Pakistan, while reversing the momentum of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and successfully complete our mission in Iraq. The American people expect nothing less.

GEN Casey
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Army talking points memo- click on .jpg to enlarge

Army talking points memo- click on the image to enlarge

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