Defeating Taliban in Afghanistan

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DefeatingTaliban in Afghanistan


DefeatingTaliban in Afghanistan

TheTactical Imperatives and Micro-Strategies for Defeating Taliban

Fenzelproposes six tactical imperatives and two micro-strategies aimed atdefeating the Taliban. The foremost is the prevention of collateraldamage, which involves the destruction of property and killing ofcivilians. The damage can occur when a bomb misses the target anddamages unintended property and civilians. Therefore, every commandermust use methods that prevent collateral damage (Harmon, Pratt, &ampGorka, 2010). Secondly, the use of development funds should targetcritical areas to ensure an apparent progress for the local people.The funds have been used as counterinsurgency tools throughout Iraqand Afghanistan. Despite their use, there has been a lack of a clearstrategy and purpose to serve. The tactical commanders should usedevelopment funds in a manner that yields a significant positiveimpact on the area of operation. The funds should be used to counterany causes of discontent among the local people to minimizeinsurgency. Thirdly, the military operation against the Talibanshould be present in remote areas (Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka, 2010).These areas present a major threat to insurgency if not checked.Moving to remote areas also encourages relationship building betweenthe troops and the locals, which may be useful for intelligencegathering. Additionally, there is a need for a long-term commitmentto developing the local population through education and literacy.The literacy rate in Afghanistan has been low at slightly above 30%,although it lies at 50% in urban centers like Kabul, Kandahar andJalalabad (Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka, 2010). Consequently, embracinga long-term strategy to improve education and literacy programs wouldreduce the threat of the Taliban. The fifth imperative involvesreducing corruption significantly both at the district and provincialcadres. The counterinsurgency mission suffers if no efforts are madeto combat corruption in Afghanistan because the vice encourages theinsurgency of the Taliban in the country. One of the twomicro-strategies involves creating conditions for tribes along theborder to carry out routine cross-border shuras to enhance thesecurity in the area. The second option involves blocking insurgentinfiltration inside the borders of Afghanistan (Harmon, Pratt, &ampGorka, 2010). The latter can be achieved by setting up strong combatoutposts along the dominant terrain.

TheConcept of Security Architecture

Thesecurity architecture in the Pakistan tribal belt encompasses threefactors that should inform counterinsurgency and planning. Theyinclude prevailing cultural conditions, a wide gamut of likelycounterinsurgents as well as the capabilities and limitations ofvarious security agencies in the area (Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka,2010). The security architecture offers a schema for providingcounterterrorism and counterinsurgency cooperation, and definesvarious challenges and limitations for attaining military goals. Onthat note, it is imperative that the military operation along thePakistan tribal belt take cognizance of the security architecture asa primary stage in the development and execution of militaryoperations. In most operations, the security architecture is always acomplex phenomenon, and always arises because each battleground hasunique factors that distinguish it from others. Therefore, nochecklists are available to highlight historical and cultural issuesin a particular battlefield, making military decisions against thebackdrop difficult. Most military operations often ignore theexisting security architecture or demystify its existing elements. Toenhance counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts, there is aneed for the security architecture to incorporate the localpopulation in planning the security operations in the area of battle.The locals play a central role in making the military actorsunderstand the local environment and the underlying peculiarities(Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka, 2010). The process of developingsecurity architecture should precede counterinsurgency andcounterterrorism planning. In the case of Afghanistan, it isimperative that the security commander on the border of Afghanistanand Pakistan understands their security architecture so that he candefeat any insurgency that emanates from this point. The failure tounderstand them can lead to the rise of insurgency by military actorswho understand the terrain. Therefore, the American forces inAfghanistan should examine the local security architecture so thatthey can understand the counterinsurgency missions in the area.

TheMain Concepts of Pashtunwali and the Significance within the SecurityArchitecture

ThePakistan tribal belt consists of Federally Administered Tribal Areas(FATA) and Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). FATA consists mainlyof the Pashtun tribes, who practice Pashtunwali as a tribal customand code. The practice incorporates key aspects of the securityarchitecture in the region. When translated, the term means, “to doPashtu” (Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka, 2010). The practice involvesthree fundamental aspects, namely nawawati,milmastyaand badal.Nawawatiencompasses the provision of sanctuary, setting up of supplicationand creating opportunities for forgiveness. Milmastyaincludes showing hospitality and protection to guests while badalinvolves obligatory vengeance (Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka, 2010).Pashtunwali has accounted for a series of violent acts along theborder of Pakistan, which have often led to the establishment ofparamilitary forces in the region. For that reason, it helps thenational counterinsurgency to develop strategies that can challengethe tribal code without understating its impact on the securityarchitecture. Pashtunwali has encouraged federal and religiouscompetitions in the FATA region (Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka, 2010).The forces have struggled to fortify their position and authorityover the tribal code. The communities along the tribal belt have beenindependent, dominant and self-sustaining. As a result, it has notbeen easy to set up a force within the population. Additionally, ithas been difficult to set up military leadership or make militarydecisions. Pashtunwali is a self-enforcing phenomenon upon which thesecurity architecture in FATA should anchor. The practice allows themale members of the society to deliberate and discuss issues aboutthe security in the region. Such councils are conducted through anumber of ways, including the hujra,jirgaand jihads(Harmon, Pratt, &amp Gorka, 2010). On that account, the significanceof Pashtunwali in the security formations along the Pakistan tribalbelt cannot be gainsaid.


Harmon,C., Pratt, A., &amp Gorka, S. (2010). Toward a Grand StrategyAgainst Terrorism. McGraw Hill Professional.

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