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In training exercises in a mock Afghan village constructed here on a base amid swampland, the U.S. Army is applying the military lesson of the war against Daesh (ISIS): Help your partners beat the enemy, but don't try to do the fighting yourself.The U.S. military became bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, much as it had a generation earlier in Vietnam, by trying to reshape societies with American firepower.Gen. Joseph Votel, the CENTCOM commander who oversees U.S. military operations from Libya to Afghanistan, brought me along on a visit Thursday to the SFAB final training site.The idea is to make soldiers "comfortable with the uncomfortable," says Maj. Gen. Gary Brito, the commander at Fort Polk.When the brigade moves into Afghanistan in several months, it will have 36 combat advisory teams, with about a dozen members each, partnered with ANA divisions spread across the country.The new brigade, cobbled together quickly with volunteers from divisions across the Army, is an attempt to deal with three issues vexing the Pentagon after more than 15 years of frustration: What works?
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