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Linda31wE

Hey, what we watch? Same kind of superb stuff like this good post I utilized for article submission service.

Eric Chen

Professor Nacos,

I recommend this article - http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/11/11/the_big_impact_of_small_footprints - via the excellent if irreverent COIN-emphasis blog http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama (also recommended reading), which cites the FP article author Thomas Hegghammer as a subject matter expert.

I immediately thought of this post re the proposals by VP Biden and Kristof. I believe you might you like the article especially given that the FP article focuses upon the public perception implications of the alternative proposals re OEF.

Eric Chen

Professor Nacos,

My comment ended up in the wrong thread. Now copying it into the intended thread ...

"The problem is that nobody can be sure “what it takes to win” in Afghanistan."

I agree.

Did the Soviets try Petraeus-style COIN? "Pro-insurgency sentiment" about our military presence will largely depend on the perception of tangible benefits from our military to the Afghanis and their community. As such, the COIN peace-building strategy for Afghanistan is meant to employ our soldiers in a manner that encourages Afghanis to make rational choices that favor our goals, in part by creating an environment conducive for GOs, NGOs, and IOs.

Kristof's notion that NGOs can replace the military in Afghanistan is enticing but his cite of CARE reminds me of the CARE aid worker in Iraq, Margaret Hassan. I wonder if CARE agrees with Kristof that their efforts would be helped by removing the US/NATO SASO mission from Afghanistan:

http://www.care.org/newsroom/specialreports/afghanistan/20050505_ansocare.pdf

Kristof seems to imply NGO initiatives would be sustained, even improve, without a controlling Western presence on the ground. Maybe. But at that point, the NGOs would be working at the pleasure of whatever force dominates Afghanistan after we abandon the country. It seems you differ with Kristof about the Taliban. You don't trust them, whereas based on his use of the schools they haven't blown up as evidence, he seems to prefer the Taliban over US/NATO forces as the chief security provider in Afghanistan (which is realist, not liberal). If that's not the case, and Kristof actually believes NGOs can defeat the extremists, I recall a 2007 peace operations conference at SIPA (which, if memory serves, you also attended) where a USAID rep said in substance, if the military expects a follow-on civilian force, don’t, it’s not coming. At the same event, a UN rep said she feared a US "regime change" from the Bush admin to a presidential admin opting for withdrawal would be the death of on-going international efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finally, as far as “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time,” I wonder if Mortensen believes his efforts are incompatible with the COIN proponents' call for more troops. From http://www.gregmortenson.com/biography/ :

Three Cups of Tea is required reading for U.S. senior military commanders, for officers in the Norwegian War College, Forsvarsnett, for U.S. Special Forces deploying to Afghanistan, Pentagon officers in counter-insurgency training, and Canadian Defense Ministry members.

The book has been read by General David Petraeus – CENTCOM Commander, Admiral Mike Mullen – Chairman Joint Chief of Staff, and Admiral Eric Olson – SOCOM Special Forces commander, and several other U.S. military commanders who advocate for building relationships as a part of an overall strategic plan for peace. Mortenson has addressed the National Defense Senior Leadership Conference at the Pentagon, visited over two dozen military bases, NORAD, and been to the Air Force, Naval and West Point Academies.

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