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Afghanistan-Seven Fundamental Questions

The more I read Mehar Omar Khan, the more I like what he’s saying.  This is his second piece on Afghanistan and he’s making too much flippin’ sense for my tastes (SMILE)- -that’s sarcasm.
Khan is correct when he argues essentially that this insurgency and the COIN strategies needed to defeat it are unique, with Afghan realities.  Hence, there is no “cookie cutter” concept that can be applied to this environment that would be successful.  What is needed is an Afghan-central COIN with Afghan concepts/realities for a successful direction to be determined.  This is consistent with what Galula (the father of modern day COIN concepts) and others knowledgeable in fighting insurgencies have advised:  no two insurgencies are the same and therefore no one or two strategies can be applied that will work.  In order to defeat an insurgency, one must first understand the insurgent’s argument and then use the realities of the region to help defeat it.
The author argues that the answer lies not in nation building top-to-bottom, but rather creating pockets of shining islands, chock full of Afghan-heavy flavor/Afghan face/Afghan realities to transform the country from hamlet-to-Kabul, bottom-to-top.  It doesn’t mean liberal democracy, elections, or Western concepts of the nation-state.  Those concepts are heavily laden with an individualistic/freedom culture born of Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman influences which have nothing to do with the collective/tribal/Islamic traditions of Afghanistan.  The sooner Western leaders understand that notion, the sooner we can dispense with what isn’t working, and develop a concept that does.
Mehar Omar Khan is a gem in a sea of conflicting “advice” on how to embrace the Afghan issue.  If you haven’t already, you absolutely must read his previous piece:  “Afghanistan:  Don’t Try to Arrest the Sea” to “get” what he’s talking about altogether (I’ve included it as an additional attachment).
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