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Observations on Afghanistan. “A Strategic Movement to Contact”. Problems in Afghanistan. No Unity of Effort, even among NATO nations, and no uniform COIN campaign

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Observations on afghanistan

Observations on Afghanistan

“A Strategic Movement to Contact”


Problems in afghanistan
Problems in Afghanistan

  • No Unity of Effort, even among NATO nations, and no uniform COIN campaign

  • Airpower was key element of Iraqi success, but it cannot substitute for shortage of boots on the ground either for gathering intelligence or perceptions of security

  • Excessive civilian casualties in on-call airstrikes, SOF raids – and who controls the ground controls the message

  • Significant decline in public support and government legitimacy in key areas

  • The Taliban adapts better than Al Qaeda

  • Pakistan remains key to region


Two key factors explain confidence in the us and nato presence and civilian casualties
Two key factors explain confidence in the US and NATO: presence and civilian casualties.

US/NATO Force Presence

Awareness of Civilian Casualties

Charney Research


Broader institutional worries
Broader Institutional Worries presence and civilian casualties.

  • Has the pendulum swung too far, or not enough, or not at all? – Reform is uneven

  • The soul of SOF

  • Semantic obfuscation

  • People are not terrain

  • Academic backlash

  • Neglect of staffs and headquarters

  • Health of the all-Volunteer force and its utility in “Long War,” including tour length & rotation policies

  • Continuing lack of interagency capability


QUESTIONS ??? presence and civilian casualties.


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