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News Link • Military

Lessons from a Surge Skeptic

• By Kelley Vlahos
Being right doesn’t always feel like success, or victory. Sometimes being right means a lot of people are getting hurt, hospitals are swelling with patients, and the caskets keep coming into Dover Air Force base, cloaked in flags and misery.
In 2009, at the risk of his own military career, Army Lt. Col. Daniel “Danny” Davis came forward to oppose the so-called “surge” of tens of thousands of new U.S. troops into Afghanistan. He predicted in a publicly released report that the proposed surge, which Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal were then dead-set on pursuing, “could actually result in a worsening of the situation” in Afghanistan.
Petraeus and McChrystal got their way—30,000 new deployments announced in December 2009. Davis, who enlisted in the army in 1985 and served as a fire support officer in the 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment during the Persian Gulf War, watched from a distance as the counterinsurgency effort (COIN) soon went south—just as he predicted.

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