Thursday, May 20, 2010

Afghanistan, Oxford Style

An interesting debate is going on this week on The Economist's website. John Nagl opposes Peter W. Galbraith on the issue of whether the war in Afghanistan is winnable. Bruce Riedel and Christopher Preble comment on the proposer and opposition's statements, and readers have until Friday to vote for whoever they find most convincing.

Nagl's main argument is that the coalition forces have only just gotten the resources and strategy that they needed for the past nine years--hence, we should give them a chance.

Galbraith's hammers a single argument, which is that COIN is doomed to fail without a government who has the population's support--and here Karzai fails to deliver. If this proposition is true, this means that third parties (such as coalition forces in Afghanistan) waging a COIN campaign have little, if any, control over one main determinant of its success or failure. For how would you change a bad leader when stuck with one? Outside meddling with internal politics, however tempting and inevitable, will only destroy the legitimacy of any new leader who could emerge from this process. No one remembers particularly fondly the puppet governments of South Vietnam.

Another point I found interesting has to do with police forces. Galbraith mentions as one example of poor governance the sorry state of the ANP:

"Tens of billions of dollars have been spent on recruiting and training an Afghan police force with little to show for it. Some 80% of recruits are illiterate and a significant number are drug users. The standard eight-week training course is far too short to produce qualified police, especially since some time is necessarily devoted to teaching survival skills and even basic hygiene. A much longer course might produce better-trained Afghans, but the graduates would then probably not want to be police in a country where, in certain provinces, one in ten is killed each year."

I am not an expert on security sector reform, but I can think of more than one example (starting with Sierra Leone and Burundi) where the military makes progress while the police remains a nest of corrupted, incompetent individuals who are little more than predators for the rest of the population. First, am I wrong and are there blatant examples of successful police reform we could use as models? And if I am not, then what is the problem with the police? Is it because the military receives more aid and support for its reform than the police? Is it because the selection criteria to enter the police force are lower than for the military (and are they, really?). Does it have something to do with discipline, the feeling of belonging to a corps? Or is the simple fact of garrisoning men at night the best way to ensure that they will not misuse their authority and arms? These are crucial questions, for at some point outside forces will leave, the military will remain mostly in its bases, and only the police will be in contact every day with the population.


  1. I am very pessimistic regarding the capability and future of the ANP’s ability to police and secure Afghanistan. In two deployments to Afghanistan, I never had a positive experience with the rank and file or leadership of the ANP. The problems are extensive and pervasive across the force and I will only provide a short summary here based on my experience and study.
    The ANP are the most despised, least respected and most visible arm of the Afghan Government. It’s also perhaps the most dangerous job in the world. The force is recruited nationally and most police officers often serve far from home. Ostensibly done to reduce corruption, this eliminates the “beat cop” local knowledge advantage and creates ethnic issues by placing Tajiks in Pashtun areas and vice versa. The pay issues have largely been addressed, though some challenges remain with pay skimming by leadership and the logistics of actually paying police at rural stations. The “Tashkil,” personnel and equipment authorization document is not balanced with respect to insurgent activity and is inadequate regardless. Markhazi Beshood District, a largely secure ethnic Hazara district in Wardak has 121 authorized officers while Nerkh District, with major security problems, has only 42 authorized officers despite. There is no working ANP logistics system. Training is inadequate and leadership fuels corruption. There are some good leaders especially within the investigative arm, but they are often marginalized by senior ANP leadership or killed by insurgents. There are efforts to fix some of these problems, but much more work is needed. This doesn’t even begin to address the policing effectiveness of the force nor its tactical deployment.
    Yet, the ANP represent only perhaps 1/3 of the problems facing the justice sector in Afghanistan. If the police do make an arrest, there is no effective justice system with which to prosecute and punish offenders. Courts in Wardak and Logar reported prosecuting perhaps 2 to 3 cases per month and obtained one insurgent conviction in 13 months out of over 400 arrests. Even with a successful prosecution, there are no real long term confinement prisons outside of Pul-e-Charki Prison near Kabul and the Kandahar Prison. The provincial prisons largely hold petty criminals or individuals without the capability to bribe or use their connections to escape long-term confinement. Most insurgents are released without trial or punishment.
    I see little hope for correcting these issues in the near term.

  2. On APs:

    SNLII (unlike Ink Spotties, I read it!)

  3. This issue is not a debate. It is not about the argument that best applies lessons from Afghanistan's history or the plan with the most sound reasoning winning the day. This is an exercise in political marketing. Which plan can best be sold to the American public and acquiesced to by our coalition partners? Just like "debates" between candidates for political office, this is a debate in name only.

    The whole notion of Afghanistan being "winnable" (wtf does that mean?) is the first clue that this "debate" is an exercise in marketing. Nagl echoes the common refrain that we lacked adequate resources prior to 2009 and this was to blame for pre-2009 performance. While this seems a plausible explanation that is acceptable to the masses, it nevertheless lacks any intellectual foundation. To make the assertion with any reasonable degree of confidence suggests that our understanding of the situation in Afghanistan is sufficiently good that we can look back over the past nine years and identify with reasonable certainty what went right and what went wrong. That is a fantasy.

    Like almost all discussions about troop strength and dollars spent, the assertion about "adequate" resources is a sound byte drafted for the masses with no intellectual foundation. It is asserted with the wave of a hand and we're to accept it on its face. And it is the foundation upon which Nagl's argument rests.

    Somebody please pop the bubble that these people are living in.

  4. Schmedlap -- Could not have said it better myself.

  5. I am really intellectually lazy right now, but Turkey's done a good job of transitioning their Police (and Jandarma especially) from being wholly extra-judicial roving death squads in the height of the PKK wars to a real police force focused on stopping drugs, defusing arguments, helping old ladies across streets, etc. I'll have more to say some day when I'm not slumming so hard.

  6. Schmedlap, Afghanistan was terribly under resourced 2001-2007.

    The Iraqi MoI {IMoI} has been training about 37,000 IP at any given time for many years. [The Iraqis require most new IP officers to pass three years police academy.]

    Until recently, the Afghan MoI was training something like one thousand ANP at any given time. Even today, with the surge, only about 8 thousand ANP are being trained at any given time, although that number is surging higher.

    Afghanistan, with 33 million, is larger than Iraq and probably needs a minimum of 20,000 ANP being trained at any time at steady state [once assigned = authorized]. Afghan MoI probably needs 40,000 ANP being trained at any given time while the ANP is growing to steady state.

    At the beginning of 2008, there were only 3 thousand trained ANP in the entire nation of Afghanistan. [Training generally means 6 weeks, although some ANP are trained as little as 3 weeks.]

    Even worse is that the international community has refused to fund sufficient 4 year or 3 year cadet training for the ANP.

    There is no reason why the ANSF can't be accepting 5 thousand ANSF freshman into 4 year academy every year [half ANA and half ANP.] The acceptance rate for applicants to the ANA National Military Academy of Afghanistan [NMAA] is ridiculously low. Let alone the acceptance rate of applicants to MoI's acadamy.

    At least the ANA got 212 new officers from 4 year academy in March, 2010. [January, 2009, yielded 84 new ANA officers. March 2011 might generate about 300 new ANA officers.]

    ANP officer [3 or 4 year academy] throughput is lower.

    The failure of the international community to fund 3 or 4 year ANP academy is the route cause of the huge scarcity of judges, prosecutors, and forensics for the Afghan judicial system.

    The route cause of this failure is that international taxpayers are too cheap.

  7. Anand,

    You've laid out some "needs" and then highlighted our inability to meet them. But how do you know that those things were actually "needs"?

    If we assume the "needs" that you laid out, I think it is fair to say that we were under-resourced to meet those "needs." But to think that we can say, with any degree of certainty, that Afghanistan would not be the basket case it is today, but-for those "needs" not being met is to assume a far greater understanding of the country than we currently possess.

    For example: scarcity of judges. Suppose that we actually had "enough" judges and more. Suppose that we educated and licensed them and put them into court rooms to hear cases and administer the judicial system. That's what Amanullah did shortly before being overthrown - in part because the people rejected the court system that was forced upon them because it was perceived to conflict with their values and customs. He also had a standing military through which to enforce state authority, but the soldiers retained their loyalty to their tribes, not their government. Thus, when tribes revolted, the military did nothing.

    Yeah, I agree that we did not have adequate resources to produce x number of ANP or y number of judges. But I'm far from convinced that if we had produced x or y or more that Afghanistan would be any better off today. How can we know that? I say we can't. But we're to blindly accept that premise. Sorry. I don't accept Nagl's premises and thus I don't accept his argument that draws rosy conclusions from them.

    The real deficit in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2007 (and 2007 to the present) is not about dollars and boots. It is a deficit of appropriate knowledge and talent. Throwing money and Soldiers at the problem won't solve that. The development of our strategy in Afghanistan has occurred in the same manner that building a home would occur if you built a room and then attempted to build the rest of the house around it, ad-libbing the blueprint along the way. As we attempt to stuff the foundation underneath the room and tack the kitchen onto the side of it, we're complaining that everything would have gone fine had we only gotten more nails and 2x4's when the project began.

    This has been goat rodeo since Bonn and I've yet to hear or read any explanation for how more money or boots would have made up for the fundamental problems that began with the dicked up drafting of the Constitution, the rampant real and perceived corruption in the government, and the over-emphasis upon establishing sovereignty of the government before establishing its legitimacy.

    Blech. That was a longer comment than I intended to type.

  8. Schmedlap, Afghanistan isn't as difficult to understand as you imply.

    Afghanistan is not some exotic remote unusual place. Afghanistan is an ancient Aryan civilization with Jewish influence [the first Pashtun was a direct descendant of the biblical Israeli/Judea King Saul] which shares substantial culture, language, traditions, and history with Persia, the 5 Stans, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. All of these Aryan civilizations [aside for to a lesser degree Turkey] shared Pharsi as their language of business, law, art and culture until the late 1800s. Afghans still speak Pharsi (Dhari.) They still eat similar food, farm in similar ways, pray in similar ways, play similar instruments, sing in similar ways, compose and recite poetry in similar ways, to their neighbors.

    Afghanistan has an ancient history of more than 6 thousand years. Many of the oldest civilization ruins in the world are still in Afghanistan. For most of its history Afghanistan has been allied with either South Asia or Persia. Afghanistan has also been allied with the Mongols, and Seljic Turks (Central Asians.)

    Afghanistan has rarely been independent and autarkic in its entire history. Rather Afghanistan has been famous for its pluralism and its incorporation and respect for many different cultures and civilizations.

    Stabilizing Afghanistan isn't as complex as you imply. America has hundreds of thousands of Afghan Americans, many of which say they want to work in Afghanistan [if anyone needs Afghan American translaters . . . please contact me offline.] There are many millions of Americans with Iranian, Persian, central Asian, Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage.

    An American civilian surge in Afghanistan isn't that difficult. All President Obama has to do is speak at a score Afghan American conferences.

    America has the tools to understand Afghanistan.

    More importantly, there are many countries with substantial cultural understanding willing to do a lot more.

    The large Canadian and European Afghan community's efforts to participate in Afghan reconstruction haven't been appreciated or taken advantage of.

    Iran offered to train 20,000 ANA under US command in 2001 and 2002. President Bush didn't respond to Iran's offer. For that matter, why wasn't Iran incorporated into UNAMA and ISAF's civilian surge?

    India has offered to send troops and train ANSF many times. India has offered to help with Afghan reconstruction many times. India has a large ancient Pashtun community and was one country with Afghanistan until 1700.

    The Turks were willing to do a lot more in Afghanistan for many years provided they were partly compensated, and they were allowed to influence the international effort in Afghanistan [in ANSF development.]

    The Chinese weren't invited to do more for many years.

    Pakistan and Russia weren't allowed to contribute to Afghanistan either, not even through international institutions and under international observation. [because of Afghan sensibilities.]

    There hasn't been a "deficit of appropriate knowledge and talent" in Afghanistan.

    There has been a lack of will and resources. There has been a lack of vision. There has been a lack of desire to coordinate. America has also never asked other countries to stop free riding on US efforts in Afghanistan, or threatened to reduce the US commitment if other countries didn't step up. The US president has never [neither Bush or Obama] tried to make the case for why Afghanistan and Pakistan matters to other countries, for why the Taliban and AQ linked movements pose a greater threat to many other countries than they do to the US.

  9. Schmedlap, why do you think building Afghan capacity is so hard?

    Let us take the Afghan education system as one example.

    Pakistan, India and pre 1979 Iran very rapidly built many high quality universities. The graduates from these universities transformed both countries very quickly. Iran grew about 10% a year in real terms between 1955 and 1973.

    [After 1973, Iran entered an economic depression that saw real per capita income drop by almost half. The Iranian depression was deeper than the US depression of the early 1930s in per capita real terms. This is what lead to the collapse in Iran.]

    Sharply increasing the number and quality of schools and universities in Afghanistan isn't hard and isn't that expensive. The entire Afghan education system costs about $1 billion a year [maybe it will be about $2 billion in 2011.] Even with this paltry sum, the results have been very rapid [900,000 boys and almost no girls in school to 4.5 million boys and 2.5 million girls in school now. 1,000 freshman in college to 30,000 freshmen in college.]

    It would be very cheap to enroll a four hundred thousand Afghan students abroad in Indian, Turkish, Chinese, Pakistani, central Asian and Iranian universities. It would also cost about $10 billion in scholarships. Four hundred thousand college educated Afghans would transform GIRoA's civilian ministries, education system, and private sector.

    This isn't rocket science.

    Have you seen how cheaply India and China have built thousands of miles worth of Afghan roads out of their own dime? Turkish, Iranian, Pakistani, and central Asian contractors are also quite inexpensive.

    Schmedlap, when in world history has any country succeeded without a judicial system. Please name one.

    Even as of 2010, the MoI has still not received the funding or authority to develop a modern judicial system [comparable to Pakistan, Iran or India.]

    The refusal of the international community to educate Afghan judges guarantees failure.

    In world history has any country won a major conflict with the ANATC and MoI training command's capacity?

    To argue that resourcing the ANA Training Command (ANATC) and MoI's training command won't dramatically transform the ANSF is beyond my understanding.

  10. Were all of Amanullah's judges college graduates who had passed the bar exam [for both Afghan and Sharia law]?

    Did Amanullah have enough judges, public prosecutors and defenders?

    The new Afghan constitution is legitimate and incorporates Islamic law. The new GIRoA isn't trying to promote atheistic communism.

    Amanullah was defeated by an Afghan insurgency trained, advised, equipped and funded by the ISI and Saudis. The ISI and Saudis were very good in the 1970s and 1980s.

    The USSR's foreign aid to Afghanistan was tiny compared to what the international community can give Afghanistan today. The USSR was a poor country in per capita terms in the 1970s and 1980s.

  11. Anand,

    It looks like you spent a lot of time typing, so I'll respond. You've thrown out more than a mouthful of issues and questions. I think I've hit on all or most below. But just be advised I have no intention of continuing with lengthy posts like this in this ghetto-ass blogspot textbox. (Ink Spots crew - really, you fat cat high rollers can surely put up the dough for your own domain name and professional programming, no?). If my opinion matters that much then hit me up via email.

  12. Schmedlap, Afghanistan isn't as difficult to understand as you imply.

    Really? Major General Flynn and HTT members would disagree. Your broad wikipedia-sytled overview of Afghan history doesn't really contradict this. Recounting history doesn't address the complexity of today's social relationships and political issues.

    An American civilian surge in Afghanistan isn't that difficult. All President Obama has to do is speak at a score Afghan American conferences.

    Don't take my word for it. Here's the quote from Admiral Mullen: Other Cabinet-level departments – State, Treasury, Commerce, Justice – have the proper expertise for "soft-power" missions and need to have personnel able to deploy to address these problems, Mullen said. "But in my opinion," he added, "we are a good decade away from creating a capability in our other departments." - source

    ...why do you think building Afghan capacity is so hard? ...This isn't rocket science.

    No, it's not. But in the ellipses of that passage you approach it as if it is, creating a template based upon other countries with different cultures and proposing to replicate their actions by plugging in the right dollars, slots, and other variables. That's like trying to start a woodfire on the moon because you've seen it done on Earth.

    There hasn't been a "deficit of appropriate knowledge and talent" in Afghanistan.

    Your post provides evidence to the contrary. You provided a laundry list of countries with expertise and then lament that they were not consulted or have not provided as much assistance as they are willing/able to provide. And, even if they were to provide it, as you go on to note, there will still remain the issue of coordinating it and putting the right people in the right positions.

    Schmedlap, when in world history has any country succeeded without a judicial system. Please name one.

    I have no idea. Nor am I suggesting that we attempt it in Afghanistan. But I can point to an example of a country that was able to succeed without the type of judicial system that applies state legal codes and, instead, applied sharia and customary law. That country is Afghanistan under the rule of Timur Shah.

    Were all of Amanullah's judges college graduates who had passed the bar exam [for both Afghan and Sharia law]?

    Not sure if *all* were college graduates, but the qazi needed to attend an institution of higher education and then be licensed (I don't know if a "bar" was an eastern concept at the time). Prior to Amanullah's "licensing" requirement the qazi needed to be approved by the upper crust of the ulema (read: the more educated ones) - kind of like an oral bar, like we had in the US around the same time.

    Did Amanullah have enough judges, public prosecutors and defenders?

    Depends on how you look at it. He had enough to administer a system that was compatible with the norms and circumstances. He did not have enough to administer it in the manner that he attempted to impose upon the people. And that kind of gets to the point that it's an issue of quality or form, more so than quantity.

    Amanullah was defeated by an Afghan insurgency trained, advised, equipped and funded by the ISI and Saudis. The ISI and Saudis were very good in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Amanullah was overthrown in 1929. Pakistan was established in 1947.

  13. Schmedlap, sorry for going off at you. ;-)

    What is your e-mail? Or can I ask Gulliver for it?

    Confused Amanullah with someone else :-p :-(

    Perhaps we are talking about different things to some degree.

    The way I see it, the purpose of ISAF is to increase Afghan capacity because increased Afghan capacity is a major strategic global defeat for global Takfiri extremism for many reasons.

    ISAF has three major missions
    1) Increase GIRoA, ANSF capacity over the medium run
    2) Facilitate increased private sector growth so that over time the enormous Afghan budget deficit can be reduced.
    2a) The biggest drivers of increased private sector growth are increased GIRoA/ANSF capacity and security.
    3) Work with the ANSF to improve security within Afghanistan over the short term to facilitate the achievements of objectives 1 and 2.

    Achieving goals 1 and 2 aren't as difficult as your earlier comments implied, although they take many years to achieve.

    India, a country of 1.2 billion people that is very similar to Afghanistan, has done it. Bangladesh, a country very similar to Afghanistan with 170 million people, is doing it. Even Pakistan has major pockets of success. Iran, another very similar country, did it between 1955 and 1973, before the economy imploded into a depression.

    Afghanistan can work. Afghanistan has millions of expatriates. Many of them very successful in countries such as Iran, India, Pakistan, central Asia, China, Europe, North America, Singapore and Hong Kong. Many hundreds of thousands of them want to help very much. It is stunning to observe the number of fund raisers and activities the Afghan American community puts together. Ditto for the Afghan communities in other countries.

    Afghan expatriates are an invaluable treasure. They can develop Afghanistan much as the Chinese and Indian expatriate community are given credit by locals for developing China and India.

    Your point about the US State Department stands. Compared to the employees of a normal company [Intel, BP, Google, Reliance, Sony, Samsung or most any other company] they are morons. And that is putting it very kindly.

    Perhaps you forget that in the early 2000s there was a lot of enthusiasm in India, Iran and Russia to provide the Afghans a civilian surge and accelerate development. They were discouraged from participating. Morons in the US government also gave the Chinese the impression that they weren't all that interested in a Chinese civilian surge in Afghanistan.

    Many countries that wanted to send troops and civilian surges to Afghanistan were insulted in the most grotesque way by morons in the US government . . . possibly because they disagreed with Iraq or didn't want to contribute to Iraqi reconstruction.

    In fact, to "punish them" . . . morons in the US government impeded their efforts to contribute to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003. Very rudely too.

    I am tempted to go off topic and describe how stupid many US officials were, and I'll succumb to the temptation ;-)

    A major reason India refused to send 18,000 troops to Afghanistan on July 17th, 2003, was the rude way US government officials impeded Indian efforts to send a civilian surge, economic development, ANSF development, and combat troops to Afghanistan.

    It was completely understandable that Bush didn't want Indian combat troops in Afghanistan. However he should have responded a lot more warmth and tact.

    Iran and Russia were similarly offended. So were other countries.

  14. "Major General Flynn and HTT members would disagree." What country in the world isn't complex?

    That doesn't mean that over time Afghan capacity for social mapping and social engagement can't be built up.

    Have you seen how the ANA Commando Special Forces A-teams are getting training in Gant tribal engagement, HTT style local ecosystem mapping, negotiation, flipping enemy, forming tribal militias etc?

    When an effort is made to train the ANA, they aren't all that bad. The 7-8 thousand ANA commandos [divided into 8 combat battalions plus special forces A-teams plus combat enablers] are proof of that.

    But you need to make an effort to train them first [which to this day hasn't been done by any stretch of the imagination.] Among other things this means bothering to pay for longer than 20 week training cycles [most of which would be literacy training] for fresh 2nd Lieutenants. [Indian offers to provide literacy and english training to the ANSF on their own dime haven't been warmly appreciated. Turkey's willingness to train more ANSF officers if ISAF partly reimburses their expenses haven't been taken advantage of. However, at the same time ISAF refuses to pay for longer training cycles either.]

    What are the ROIs for giving a good quality ANA NCO 6 months of literacy training before returning him to his unit? It would do wonders for morale, since ANSF and Afghans crave education to a degree that many westerners don't understand. [Afghans are especially interested in "foreign" education.]

    "And, even if they were to provide it, as you go on to note, there will still remain the issue of coordinating it and putting the right people in the right positions." Thought you would mention that. ;-) Right you are. No good answers for this part.

    "But I can point to an example of a country that was able to succeed without the type of judicial system that applies state legal codes and, instead, applied sharia and customary law. That country is Afghanistan under the rule of Timur Shah."

    No country has achieved success without a modern legal system in recent years to my knowledge.

    Afghans will not accept the way things were generations ago. Afghans are getting addicted to the material attractions of the world through TV and cell phones.

    10 million Afghans have cell phones. Millions have TVs, bicycles and mopeds. Afghanistan has far greater life expectancy than ever before. More Afghans go to school and college than ever before. Tens of millions of Afghans will fight tooth and nail to join the modern global economy [much as poor Pakistanis, Iranians and Indians do.] How can Afghans achieve the living standards they desire without a modern judicial system?

    In Afghanistan the legal system is a combination of civil and Sharia law. Judges and lawyers need to learn both civil and Sharia law.

    To get more judges and lawyers, the number of ANSF admitted to three and four year academies needs to be increased dramatically. A ridiculously low number of Afghans were admitted to NMAA (National Military Academy Afghanistan) and the MoI's equivalent until January, 2010. Even in January 2010, only 600 freshmen were admitted to NMAA. MoI's equivalent also admitted a comparable number.

  15. What is your e-mail?

    Contact page

    Perhaps we are talking about different things to some degree.

    I suspect we are. I see little to get excited about with regard to expatriates because they don't help to bridge any divide between rural and urban (one of the motivations for NSP - a program that has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in development aid to rural communities and has little to nothing to show for it) - see also here and here. "Development" doesn't bridge the gap between central government and local communities and it doesn't address legitimacy. You can have the best ANSF and most high tech infrastructure, but if the rural and urban communities are at odds and the legitimacy of the government is rejected, then you're still just waiting for conflict to flare up again.

    That doesn't mean that over time Afghan capacity for social mapping and social engagement can't be built up.

    Agree. My point was that our current state of knowledge is so woefully lacking that the confidence some have in our current strategy borders on hubris, precisely because that capacity has not been built up yet.

    No country has achieved success without a modern legal system in recent years to my knowledge.

    Irrelevant. Every country is unique and Afghanistan is particularly unique in terms of its history, geography, customs, and culture. Rural Afghan communities governed themselves through recurrent periods of state collapse by relying upon customary law and sharia, administered at the local level by qazis, mullahs, and/or jirgas/shuras who enjoyed either significant or complete independence from any national authority.

    Afghans will not accept the way things were generations ago.

    How do you know that? Based on what? Cell phone usage and TV? Rejection of a central government imposing state legal codes upon one's rural community is not mutually exclusive to liking cell phones and TV.

    How can Afghans achieve the living standards they desire without a modern judicial system?

    See Tom Barfield's recommendation for reconstituting Courts of Reconciliation (see here on page 44, though I recommend reading the whole thing). And along that line... Judges and lawyers need to learn both civil and Sharia law.... No, all don't need to learn both.

  16. Afghans have more materialistic desires than they use to. To achieve these desires they want money in a way they didn't before. This changes everything.

    To make money Afghans need security, a judicial system to arbitrate civil and business disputes, education, and a lot of foreign money coming in the form of grants and procurement contracts.

    Notice the deep enthusiasm rural Afghans have in educating their kids. Even going out of their way to send them to out door schools with no trained teachers and horrible supplies.

    In this, Afghans are similar to their Iranian, Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi brothers and sisters. In all these places, even when people are starving, one of their top demands is schools for their kids.

    Tens of millions of Afghans want to money to be able to use cell phones, watch TVs, and get some of the goods and services they see advertised on TV.

    The things that rural Afghans want that the GIRoA and ANSF can provide [with international assistance] gives the GIRoA and ANSF leverage over most rural Afghans.

    Karzai has significant popular support among rural Pashtun Afghans. Many rual Pashtun Afghans are pro Karzai and hate ISAF for plotting against Karzai.

  17. If your response to everything is to simply repeat yourself then I guess I'll call it quits.


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