Don't get me wrong, I'm not laughing about the necessity for marksmanship training. I just think it's hilarious to imagine shooting lessons as the first step in a rather grandiloquently titled process of Transition of Leading Security Responsibility. "Once they know how to shoot, they'll definitely be ready to take the lead. At least, that's what the general and ISAF PAO told me to say."
The Marines are moving to boost Afghan training by emphasizing combat leadership among the enlisted ranks and more accurate use of M-16s. The project goes by the acronym TLSR: Transition of Leading Security Responsibility.
"There is plenty of room to improve marksmanship training," said Col. Burke Whitman, the Marines' liaison to the Afghan army and police. "Our biggest focus of training is shooting skill."
What's perhaps even more funny (or at least ironic) is that this clip comes from an article touting improvements in ANSF performance during the Marja offensive.
C.J. Chivers' latest dispatch suggests that the ANSF he's been exposed to trend towards the latter ratings:
The Afghan troops who supported the U.S. Marines in the battle to end Taliban control of this town in Helmand province showed marked improvement over last summer's performance in a similar fight but still need much more training, Marine commanders say.
Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, the top Marine here, said that overall the Afghan battalions exceeded his expectations. Nicholson said he would give some Afghan units an A-minus or B-plus but that others, particularly those with soldiers fresh from basic training, would get a C-minus or D.
Step 1 in Transition of Leading Security Responsibility (TLSR): teach ANSF to shoot.
The Afghan soldiers who accompanied Company C, [one Marine officer] said, had looted the 84-booth Semitay Bazaar immediately after the Marines swept through and secured it. Then the Afghan soldiers refused to stand post in defensive bunkers, or to fill sandbags as the Americans, sometimes under fire, hardened their joint outpost. Instead, they spent much of their time walking in the bazaar, smoking hashish.
Company K had stories of its own. As its own Marines stumbled wearily across friendly lines, much of the Afghan platoon that worked with them was straggling behind, unable to keep pace.
Step 2 in TLSR: teach ANSF to respect human rights, not violate the law, not get high on duty, and to behave as a professional fighting force
Step 3 in TLSR: Transition Leading Security Responsibility!
Step 4 in TLSR: PROFIT!!!