Military Weighs Recruiting Afghan Tribes to Fight Taliban

#1
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/03/AR2007120301406_pf.html

The tribal initiative would begin with a British pilot project in Helmand province and would be broadly similar to a U.S. military drive in Iraq that has recruited thousands of local fighters -- including tribesmen and former insurgents -- to police their neighborhoods, the officials said.

In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, the plan reflects a concern among senior U.S. officials that coalition forces have relied too much on the central government to build security forces, an approach they say runs counter to both tribal culture and the need for community policing.
Interesting, possibly risky, but it fits well with the Petraeus approach in Iraq.
 
#2
Military Weighs Recruiting Afghan tribes to Fight Taliba[n]
Or in other words, as in Iraq, lets corrupt them further with bribery to start shooting their brothers rather than us.
What flame carriers of the spirit of democracy we turned out to be?

"We'll fight with the flaming sword of bent fivers and the trusty shield of decidedly unfair play."

Who exactly is running these wars, Jonathan fcuking Aitken?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Bl00dy good drills if you ask me. The local tribes know their area, they'll side only with the winner, they'll fight for money, they don't like the Taliban or Pakistanis (they are foreigners after all), and we will lose less guys.

It's common sense if you ask me. A long time coming. The history of conflict shows that this has been a very succesful system in previous wars.
 
#4
goodkurtz said:
Or in other words, as in Iraq, lets corrupt them further with bribery to start shooting their brothers rather than us.
Pashtun tribesmen have historically needed very little encouragement to shoot at their 'brothers'- the problem's been making them stop.

One thing I've read recently is that the tribal system there is in crisis- a sort of generation gap where the village headmen/notables moan about how the youngsters ignore the old tribal ways in favour of the Taliban's pan-tribal religious crusade. So, potentially, there's a problem wherein the greybeards are all for it, but the kidz have mixed feelings...

BTW there was a good piece on Newsnight last night following FO types acting as political agents amongst the different tribes in Helmand.

edited to add: another interesting aspect is that it seems to be a genuine cross-border strategy: http://arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=82569.html
 
#5
"Biped"Bl00dy good drills if you ask me.
"Bloody good drills"? What are you on about? Expediency maybe, good drills decidedly not.

The local tribes know their area, they'll side only with the winner, they'll fight for money, they don't like the Taliban or Pakistanis (they are foreigners after all), and we will lose less guys.
No they not foreigners. The still today unresolved Durand line exists only as a figment of the imagination in white boys minds. The Pashtu have other views.

It's common sense if you ask me. A long time coming. The history of conflict shows that this has been a very succesful system in previous wars.
If it has come to such a pass where bribery is viewed as 'common sense' then we might as well have not gone there in the beginning. We ostensibly went there to try and reconstruct their society as one based on the Rule of Law. Now we are going to be giving them money from our taxes to stop them shooting us!!!

And I bet Biped you would be one of the first moaning about blind black lesbian dwarf jugglers getting Arts Council grants back here in Blighty wouldn't you? But now, you are all for handing out British dosh to foreigners so foreign they haven't even crawled passed immigration on the way to the nearest dole office.

Lord strewth.. give me strength.
 
#6
we have been doing this sort of thing for 100's of years, if I have my history right, thats partly how we kept our empire together, especially in India so doing it now would be no different, if it works and means less deaths amongst the force both ours and the US then im all for it


Duncan
 
#7
Pashtun tribesmen have historically needed very little encouragement to shoot at their 'brothers'- the problem's been making them stop
I'm sure you are quite right Rumpledbedsheet. But that hardly calls for us to start giving them money to buy the bullets does it?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Hang on one cotton-picking minute old bean!

goodkurtz said:
"Biped"Bl00dy good drills if you ask me.
"Bloody good drills"? What are you on about? Expediency maybe, good drills decidedly not.
Why is doing something 'expedient' not good drills? As noted - we did it all over the world during empire and it worked. We are currently spending billions on taxpayer money trying to stop something that nobody else has managed to stop - inclduing us TWICE in recent history, plus the Russians. It's not only money, but British lives on the line, without the necessary equipment and back-up from the gobment. With this curent level of funding, do you honestly believe that force-of-meagre-arms with miniscule (by comparison to other countries and previous Afghan wars) troop numbers is going to do the job? When the septics were 'bribing' the Afghans to fight (albeit via Pakistan) it worked - it drove the Russians out.

goodkurtz said:
The local tribes know their area, they'll side only with the winner, they'll fight for money, they don't like the Taliban or Pakistanis (they are foreigners after all), and we will lose less guys.
No they not foreigners. The still today unresolved Durand line exists only as a figment of the imagination in white boys minds. The Pashtu have other views.
The Aghans as a rule don't like Pakistanis, don't like the Taliban, and dislike foreign fighters of any description. This is why they happily handed loads of them over to the septics when we first went in. See Kala Janghi.

goodkurtz said:
It's common sense if you ask me. A long time coming. The history of conflict shows that this has been a very succesful system in previous wars.
If it has come to such a pass where bribery is viewed as 'common sense' then we might as well have not gone there in the beginning. We ostensibly went there to try and reconstruct their society as one based on the Rule of Law. Now we are going to be giving them money from our taxes to stop them shooting us!!!
Rule of Law and Adghanistan has been, remains and will ever thus be an oxymoron - our limited forces AND the Afghan government combined will not change that. The only thing that brought Afghanistan to heel (twice) was the original Islamification through mass murder, and the subsequent Taliban takeover - through mass murder; they alone managed to curtail the poppy growing, not the Russians, not us, not the Afghan gobment. Unless we plan to go and start killing the locals en-mass and start a policy of terror and mass subjugation at the point of a gun, with attendant MASSIVE troop numbers - it's a no-brainer.

goodkurtz said:
And I bet Biped you would be one of the first moaning about blind black lesbian dwarf jugglers getting Arts Council grants back here in Blighty wouldn't you? But now, you are all for handing out British dosh to foreigners so foreign they haven't even crawled passed immigration on the way to the nearest dole office.

Lord strewth.. give me strength.
Rather pay them over there to deal with their own shoit, than lose troops, further diminish the available forces budget AND lose the war to boot.
 
#9
"Dunc0936"
we have been doing this sort of thing for 100's of years,
Have we really now? Then its about fcuking time we reviewed our procedures then.

if I have my history right, thats partly how we kept our empire together, especially in India so doing it now would be no different, if it works and means less deaths amongst the force both ours and the US then im all for it
The fact that we are buying them off is a clear sign that we have not won them over. There is one thing that should be clearly understood by those inclined to throw a few bungs about. One of the most useful things that one might want in return for the bung is the very thing the 'bunger' will never get from the 'bungee'.
That is, respect.
In fact the more bungs slung at the problem the more contempt the recipient feels for those that are doling it out.
It is just a short term measure to mask our failure inside that country.
The moment we reached for the pocket book rather than a fresh magazine was the moment we let the tribes and the tali behind them know that we are on the ropes.

And if that's the case, one day when it becomes too expensive for us to continue paying them off they will turn on us again. If we want to save the lives of servicemen we should get them the fcuk out of were we should not have sent them in the beginning.
 
#10
goodkurtz said:
"Dunc0936"
we have been doing this sort of thing for 100's of years,
Have we really now? Then its about fcuking time we reviewed our procedures then.

if I have my history right, thats partly how we kept our empire together, especially in India so doing it now would be no different, if it works and means less deaths amongst the force both ours and the US then im all for it

The fact that we are buying them off is a clear sign that we have not won them over
. There is one thing that should be clearly understood by those inclined to throw a few bungs about. One of the most useful things that one might want in return for the bung is the very thing the 'bunger' will never get from the 'bungee'.
That is, respect.
In fact the more bungs slung at the problem the more contempt the recipient feels for those that are doling it out.
It is just a short term measure to mask our failure inside that country.
The moment we reached for the pocket book rather than a fresh magazine was the moment we let the tribes and the tali behind them know that we are on the ropes.

And if that's the case, one day when it becomes too expensive for us to continue paying them off they will turn on us again. If we want to save the lives of servicemen we should get them the fcuk out of were we should not have sent them in the beginning.


Tha Afghan tribesmen have been fighting each other for centuries and they will continue to do so long after we have gone. At the moment however they have a common enemy, ie the Talliban. So if we can unite them against that common enemy, using money if thats what it takes, then that is what I call good drills. It is after all what Lawrence of Arabia did during WW1.
 
#11
Biped
Why is doing something 'expedient' not good drills?
That is an utterly superb question. Unfortunatly, it is as large as it is interesting. That one would deserve a thread of its own. But in brief 'good drills' is a description given to satisfactory military performance. Satisfactory military performance may be used in the enactment of venal political expediency. But political expediency will still remain venal no matter that the highest military performance levels were employed in their enactment. Rommel often employed 'good drills' in the desert. But German Nazism was still venal.

(Lovely question, makes me wish I was back in the army tasked with writing a paper on the matter. :cry: )
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#12
goodkurtz said:
The fact that we are buying them off is a clear sign that we have not won them over.
You're an ignorant fool, goodkurtz. Recruiting local fighters to our cause is a standard, and often successful, counter-insurgency strategy.
 
#14
Wasn't this applied in Vietnam by the US Special Forces? Recruiting the local Montgnards. Reading various literature, they seemed to have great success with points highlighted above.
 
#15
goodkurtz said:
Biped
Why is doing something 'expedient' not good drills?

(Lovely question, makes me wish I was back in the army tasked with writing a paper on the matter. :cry: )


Is that what you did in the Army then,Write papers?

Maybe you should have done some soldiering, then you would realise that getting the locals onside is good drills
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#16
Murphy_Slaw said:
goodkurtz said:
Biped
Why is doing something 'expedient' not good drills?

(Lovely question, makes me wish I was back in the army tasked with writing a paper on the matter. :cry: )


Is that what you did in the Army then,Write papers?
He wasn't in the army - not for more than about 10 minutes anyway. Goodkurtz is a bit of a fibber.
 
#17
Biped

Rather pay them over there to deal with their own shoit, than lose troops, further diminish the available forces budget AND lose the war to boot.
Your sentence there reminds me of a comment made by an American wag.
"We are spending our money over there so that we don't have any left to spend over here."


Murphy_Slaw

So if we can unite them against that common enemy, using money if that's what it takes, then that is what I call good drills. It is after all what Lawrence of Arabia did during WW1.
As it happens I have only recently discovered that T.E. Lawrence was as vehemently opposed to the British occupation of Afghan in 1919 as I and many others are about our occupation now.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
goodkurtz said:
Biped
Why is doing something 'expedient' not good drills?
That is an utterly superb question. Unfortunatly, it is as large as it is interesting. That one would deserve a thread of its own. But in brief 'good drills' is a description given to satisfactory military performance. Satisfactory military performance may be used in the enactment of venal political expediency. But political expediency will still remain venal no matter that the highest military performance levels were employed in their enactment. Rommel often employed 'good drills' in the desert. But German Nazism was still venal.

(Lovely question, makes me wish I was back in the army tasked with writing a paper on the matter. :cry: )
My bold - incorrect: When the objective is to win a battle, then good drills may achieve that. But when the objective is to control and place a country on a peaceful, stable footing, with the aid of military and civilian forces, leading to success and subesequent extrication of ones own, then good drills includes ANY activity that achieves those aims.

Drills are something that applies to ANY military activity, including hearts and minds ops; after all they are still run by the military, and still ops. When we have used money to achieve hearts and minds objectives in the past, controlled by the military, and they have been succesful, they have entered into military lore, thus they become a form of drill. You study those activities at Sandhurst (if you've got any nouse) and be ready to apply previous knowledge and/or experience of said activities should the situation on the ground demonstrate that it may actually work better than other forms of action.
 
#19
Dunc0936 said:
we have been doing this sort of thing for 100's of years, if I have my history right, thats partly how we kept our empire together, especially in India so doing it now would be no different, if it works and means less deaths amongst the force both ours and the US then im all for it
Agreed, wasn't that the theory behind sepoy battalions in the 1800s? Pay the locals to fight for you, they've got the local knowledge to keep everyone subdued, we get our task done, everyone's happy.

Or was it? :?
 
#20
cpunk
You're an ignorant fool, goodkurtz. Recruiting local fighters to our cause is a standard, and often successful, counter-insurgency strategy.
So ignorant am I that I fully understand the difference between 'recruiting, (or rallying) local fighters to 'our' cause' and buying off the local scum to do our killing for us.
What you don't seem to understand cpunk is what eventually wins wars is what lies in mens hearts not what fills their pockets.
Anyway cnut, I've studied the previous form and it don't look good. We have never beat the Afghans on their home turf. Perhaps if we invite them over here we might stand a better chance.




McVitie
Wasn't this applied in Vietnam by the US Special Forces? Recruiting the local Montgnards. Reading various literature, they seemed to have great success with points highlighted above.
Yes and didn't that turn out well?
 

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