« Bon Voyage, "Curiosity" | Main | "OUR WORDY WORLD" by Michael Brenner »

27 November 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

steve g

Colonel
Would you say this would be analogous to
the chu hoi(sp?)program in Viet Nam. I know
it worked in some provinces but possibly not
in other areas. Some were also double agents.
This might not apply to the afghans tho.

turcopolier

steve g

Yes it is somewhat like the Chu Hoi (rallier) program that the GVN ran. What matters in a program like this is not whether all are pure of heart. That is more of that City on a Hill crap. What matters is the net effect. there were other programs like that. The Kit Carsoon Scout program produced former NVA recruited in POW camps for service with the US Army. They were excellent. I never heard of any re-defecting. In SOG we had yet another program that recruuited NVA, some of officer rank. that worked perfectly. pl

tequila

Colonel,

Unfortunately this sort of thing has been tried before - largely a failure due to GIROA incompetence, poor job opportunities, and lack of security - ex-Taliban "ralliers" too easily targeted by their former comrades.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8577614/Taliban-commander-who-defected-considering-return-to-insurgency.html

http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/30/failed_reconciliation_in_khost

turcopolier

tequila

Another naysayer. Well, then shut up and go home now. pl

Charles I

Buying the crop is too sensible There's been the apparently intractable problem of getting money to farmer's who owe for last year's crop input credits, who perforce must sell to their creditors, braking that dependency/extortion cycle. It would hurt the Pakistani and Iranian transport mafias too, who'd go for that?

Motivated confident-in-survival ralliers are all well and good.

Our news is of death threats to a translator whose Visa to Canada was just denied.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1086360

fred

These are the kind of ideas that win wars, not defense contracts. No wonder so many inside the beltway downplay what you recommend.

Walrus

Buying off the tribes worked for the british

wondook

This program goes back a long time and has been discussed in its pros and cons. See pages 103-115 for example in this publication (http://www.princeton.edu/~lisd/publications/afgh2009_lcm4.pdf)
Now with an increase in Afghan forces and international support, since 2008, we see the formation of the capability on the side of the Government and ISAF to protect the population and the "reconcilers". I would argue that the big difference to nationalist driven insurgencies in other parts of the world is in Afghanistan the religious component, which was targeted by the High Peace Council, and in person by its murdered chairman Professor Rabbani. This was clearly seen as a threat, as his speeches transcended a fighter's reintegration from a step to join the "money programme" into him consciously opting for practicing true Islam. We need to protect the mullahs better! The Taliban have understood this and are rallying clerics in order to support their fight. The latest fatwa (http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/report.htm?report=5805) is not impressive by denouncing the recent jirga. It was signed by maybe 60 individuals only, which makes one wonder how many clerics of note the Taliban actually have behind them and not in their crosshairs.

jr786

A personal anecdote. I traveled in Af in 1993, during one of the truces between the post- war factions – Hukmatyar was still barred from returning, as I recall. This was pre-civil war, pre-Taliban so I met a lot of mujahedeen from various factions. My own head was filled with romantic notions of how the communists were defeated by these G-d-fearing people, etc., etc., etc. But what kept coming upon in my laborious, dictionary-driven dialogues was how they all wanted to throw down their weapons, get married, have children, go to mosque, grow old and die in peace – a simple, dignified life. Live like Afghanis had lived forever, in other words. They kept their weapons then because there was nothing else for them to do. And no respectable woman, as I understood it, wanted to have anything to do with vagabonds.
I don’t think much has changed. Back then, I learned that things weren’t as complicated as I wanted them to be. I hope other people get the message. Great post, Col.

Matthew

"We even forgave the British." --PL

Since the last time the US and UK fought a war, the boats were wooden, the dentists used actual hammers, and the post was delivered by horseback...I would hope so.

Of course, I've still not forgiven the Spanish for the Armada.

Phil Giraldi

And I've never forgiven the English for defeating the Armada. You might have returned to the true faith...

Colonel, what is to prevent the Taliban conversos from taking the Queen's shilling by day and going out with their former friends at night, a central Asian version of double dipping?

turcopolier

Phil

I believe i went over this. I suppose could have them sign agreements in the name of "Nasruddin Hoja" or someone as in... Hey man this is about skill and is art not science. pl

Trent

Old Religious Studies joke: my Judaic Studies professor was sitting at lunch with a Persian friend. A Greek friend of my prof. walked up with his tray, said "hi" and sat down. The Persian, without a word, left the table. The next day my prof. ran into him and asked why he left so abruptly. The Persian explained, "They burned Persepolis." My prof. answered, "that was 2,300 years ago." The Persian just stared, waiting for my prof. to get to the point.

Matthew

Phil Giraldi: Some of us never left the true faith...even though Elizabeth I's agents hunted down and murdered our ancestors!.

walrus

Phil Giraldi:

"Colonel, what is to prevent the Taliban conversos from taking the Queen's shilling by day and going out with their former friends at night, a central Asian version of double dipping?"

My understanding is that the British partially solved this problem by focusing on tribal and family loyalties. They didn't just recruit anyone who came along, the tribal/family/village "reputation" had to be considered....and the British practiced "collective responsibility".

Saba Qureshi

Old Religious Studies joke: my Judaic Studies professor was sitting at lunch with a Persian friend. A Greek friend of my prof. walked up with his tray, said "hi" and sat down.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Blog powered by Typepad