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« Resistance phases or US support phases is there a difference? | Main | SOCOM Definition of Unconventional Warfare »

12/14/2009

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At issue is the government (or lack thereof) in Afghanistan and the US support to it in the pursuit of one of our national interests: security through stability. Other national interests include the export of democracy and the promulgation of human rights. These national interests, as a Rand study suggested, may be working at cross purposes in the short term (five to ten years).
Our unique American culture hinders us here in that we want both democracy and stability and we want them right now. The problem is our culture also blinds us to the fact democracy may not be wanted or even possible in some areas of the world. I think the Middle East in general and Afghanistan in particular is true in this case. This is due to their culture and religion. I disagree the Afghanis lack the intellectual ability to retain and maintain a government. I argue their culture prevents them from having a government like ours. Deep down we are all human, but some people are not like us. They don’t want to be like us. If we try to make them in our image, they will resent us.
If we accept that democracy may not be appropriate in Afghanistan, then we should examine how we intend to foster stability there in the interest of our security. We should place less emphasis on direct military force and more on application of other elements of national power to assist the whatever natural form of government comes to pass there, even if is not democratic. If the government is hostile to us, or worse, becomes a failed state, then maybe our best interests are served in isolating the effects that area can project.
In order to have “success” in Afghanistan, I think we need to dispassionately examine our national interests in order to determine what we can realistically expect to achieve. If we regard colonialism as a means to security, then we ought to quit mincing around and say so. We’ll be in for a long, bloody, expensive haul. If, on the other hand, we mean simply to assist in global security so all can prosper, we need to be more like “Home Improvement” and not “Extreme Makeover.” Instead of building a house for someone that can’t afford it, can’t maintain it, and maybe, just maybe, liked how they were living in the first place, we ought to just help them clean and patch a little so they don’t run our property value down.

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ARIS

  • Irregular Warfare Annotated Bibliography
    The aim of this bibliography is to provide readers an offering of both a more traditional military perspective as well as perspectives from social scientists, including political scientists, sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists studying similar phenomena. The following sources include general history and analysis related to each core task; operational or “how to” guides; and works discussing particular insurgencies.
  • Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare, Volume II 1962-2009
    This Casebook provides a summary of twenty-three insurgencies and revolutions; the goal of the book is to introduce the reader to modern-style irregular and unconventional warfare, as well as to act as an informational resource on these particular cases. While not trying to provide an in-depth analysis of any case, our intent was to provide enough background material and description of the revolution to allow comparisons and analysis of broader ideas and insights across this broad spectrum of cases.

SORO

  • Annotated Bibliography of SORO Publications
    This is the February 1968 version of the Special Operations Research Office’s annual Annotated Bibliography of SORO Products. The publications listed in this bibliography have been divided into three sections corresponding to the above areas of activity. The reader is advised to consult all sections and the indexes to make maximum use of the bibliography.
  • Case Study in Guerrilla War: Greece during World War II
    By D. M. Condit, Special Warfare Research Division, SPECIAL OPERATIONS RESEARCH OFFICE The American University, Washington D.C. operating under contract with The Department of the Army. 1961
  • Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare: 23 Summary Accounts
    Original Version referred to as Volume I by the ARIS project. Primary research responsibility Paul A. Jureidini, Norman A. La Charite, Bert H. Cooper, and William A. Lybrand. Special Operations Research Office The American University, Washington D.C., December 1962.
  • Human Factors Considerations of Undergrounds in Insurgencies
    Original Version. Primary research responsibility Andrew R. Molnar with research collaboration of: Jerry M. Tinker, and John D. LeNoir. SPECIAL OPERATIONS RESEARCH OFFICE, The American University, Washington, D. C. operating under contract with The Department of the Army. Research and writing completed: 1 December 1965.
  • Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare
    Original Version. Primary Research Responsibility Andrew R. Molnar with Research Collaboration of William A. Lybrand, Lorna Hahn, James L. Kirkman, and Peter B. Riddleberger of the SPECIAL OPERATIONS RESEARCH OFFICE, The American University Washington D.C. 20016, November 1963