- Reaction score
I think you have put your finger on something important- a Western tendency (maybe human nature?) to want to make everyone like us.
If rural Afghan tribes want to keep living a “traditional” life style, is it hubris or arrogance to try to change that? My sense from reading and listening (I never deployed into Afghanistan) is that the very best you can hope for is a sort of detente with the tribes. Don’t try to change their way of life with an understanding that harbouring/encouraging those that would harm us comes with consequences- I think they get that. Give them aid in the form that they want, not what we want to give them. Don’t run around tribal Afghanistan with a big conventional force that rubs their face in it and presents juicy target.
We might not be able to turn them into allies, but we may at least not constantly piss them off.
My guess is that the countries who will be playing in the 'big leagues' over the next decade or so will be following the example of the US SF (Green Berets, specifically) and the UK's new Ranger Regiments.
FWIW, I think we did a great job in AFG on just this type of support through the OMLTs. There's a good model in there somewhere for us to stand up and deploy on a more formal level, using a 'whole of government' approach.
Call it 'proactive peace keeping'