Goldfein: Lessons from Iraq Applicable in Afghanistan

Although Iraq and Afghanistan are two very different countries and two very different fights, military planners are already taking lessons learned from the recent withdrawal in Iraq and applying them to Afghanistan, Air Forces Central boss Lt. Gen. David Goldfein told the Daily Report. In Iraq, the air-component footprint and armed overwatch first grew, then stabilized, before rapidly drawing down at the end as ground forces withdrew. The same is likely to hold true in Afghanistan, said Goldfein. “My challenge right now is . . . to posture this air component so I can provide more top cover as the ground forces retrograde out, while at the same time maintain the momentum of combat operations,” he explained. “Trying to get that focus right is my primary focus for Afghanistan.” Though Afghanistan is a land-locked nation, planners are “looking at all the lanes of movement” for withdrawal, said Goldfein. He noted, “I don’t actually see this being a primary air movement. I think it will be multi-model.” US forces are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.