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.