partially this is due to local anesthetic opposition to a military unsavory by an “ unsympathetic population. ” The early major reason, according to the NYT, is the realization among the ISAF command that the much ballyhoo “ Operation Moshtarak Phase II, ” the Marine Corps air and grind attack on Marja in February, failed. In a briefing to Pentagon reporters last month, Afghan commander Gen. Stanly McChrystal gave his judgment of the Marja offense :
“As a counterinsurgency force pushes out insurgents, their smart move is to contest that, to try to undermine what we’ve done. They can’t come in and control Marja like they did before. They can’t raise the flag; they can’t hold terrain. But they can try to convince the people that they’re not secure: Murders, night letters, taxation. And they can try to send a message that says, “This won’t last. The coalition will leave. The government of Afghanistan will leave.”
Then McChrystal described the current security environment in Kandahar:
then McChrystal described the current security environment in Kandahar :
“[The Taliban] certainly do not control Kandahar city. They can contest parts of Kandahar city and they can create acts so there’s not sufficient security in Kandahar city, but the Taliban do not control the city. You know, you can walk around the streets in Kandahar and there’s business going on. It’s a functioning city.”
These are surprise statements coming from person as well versed in pacification as McChrystal. Insurgents don ’ t typically “ raise the ease up, ” except possibly in the final stages of an insurgency when they ’ ve won the political contest. deoxyadenosine monophosphate far as Kandahar is concerned, the fact that Kandahar city is “ functioning ” does n’t mean the insurgents don ’ thyroxine control Kandahar. One of the many fatal flaws in U.S. pacification doctrine is the failure to understand the “ alone guerrilla paradox, ” a concept that has vexed counterinsurgents from Algeria to Vietnam to now Afghanistan.
In his excellent ledger, War Comes to Long An, Jeffrey Race, a U.S. Army officeholder who served in Vietnam, described the paradox : In a village, a single insurgent combatant represents a “ monopoly of storm, ” controlling that greenwich village even if challenged by an entire battalion of government troops doing continuous battalion sweeps. The only time the alone guerrilla doesn ’ triiodothyronine see the greenwich village is the few hours when the counterinsurgents sweep through, once they leave, the guerrilla ’ randomness monopoly is re-established. — Greg Grant
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