“Our level of intelligence is so lacking,”

U.S. ambassador puts brakes on plan to utilize Afghan militias against Taliban

Afghan officials and Eikenberry have also expressed concern that unless there is a detailed plan to connect these village security forces to Ministry of Interior oversight, they could fuel the rise of warlords and undermine the already fragile government in Kabul. Another worry is that the local tribal leaders could manipulate U.S. officers who do not understand politics and tribal grievances in a particular area, U.S. officials said.

“Our level of intelligence is so lacking,” said an adviser to the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. “We could be supporting people whose interests are not what we think they are.”

State’s level of intelligence is lacking.

Winning Afghanistan at the Community Level by Christopher D. Kolenda

There is nothing more demoralizing than getting clobbered for a cause that people no longer support.

The community level will be decisive—and that support is entirely up for grabs. Communities have been neutral thus far, in part out of a survival psychology that has emerged over the past 30 years. Moreover, the sentiment of many community leaders is that they have not taken a side in this conflict because no one has taken their side. As several elders have remarked, “We are robbed by our government, bombed by international forces, and beaten by the Taliban.” The side that mobilizes their support will tip the balance.

Addressing the underlying conditions enables us to earn local support, disaggregate the enemy, and then apply appropriate means to coopt and reintegrate local fighters, while isolating and destroying the ideological hardcore in detail. Effective security, governance, and development that enfranchise local communities are existential threats to the insurgency.

The regime in Saigon didn’t much care for the CIDG.

Maliki never cared much for the Sons of Iraq. The Marines noted his concerns and pacified Anbar with the help of Sunni militias anyway.

Now the English-speaking Tajiks in Kabul and all their Euroweenie NGO buddies have convinced the American Ambassador to retard the progress of what could have been a success story.




Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

3 responses to ““Our level of intelligence is so lacking,”

  1. Amazing. It’s called tribal engagement, not tribal control. The Afghan government, along with our ‘Jim Gants’ are the ones who will be engaging with these tribes and ensuring they are on the right side. They must have not received that memo. lol

    • We had a chance to institute grass-roots, distributed, decentralized resistance to the Taliban by local first responders, and Perfumed Princes in Kabul are pissing that chance away because empowered locals are as big a threat to marauding ANSF as they are to marauding Taliban.

      Eikenberry says screw the villagers out in the boonies, we’re here to train the Sheriff of Nottingham’s goon squads.

  2. Grimmy

    Sounds to me like ol’ Eikenberry is simply voicing the concerns of the powers that be in the Afghan gov. Those concerns being mainly, possibly only, over who gets to dip how far into the funding for personal enrichment.

    Our guys tend to understand the Afghan mindset very well. It’s the same standard issue graft and corruption our guys deal with in every 3rd world craphole they ever work in.

    The only ones confused are the intelekshuls and bureaucrats.

    PS. Sorry I been away. Good to see you’re still here.