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Canada and Afghanistan: A Classic Case of ‘Mission Creep’. Political Science Seminar 18 March 2010 Ken Hansen ken.hansen@dal.ca , 494-6610, A&A Rm. 343A.

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Canada and Afghanistan: A Classic Case of ‘Mission Creep’

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Canada and Afghanistan:A Classic Case of ‘Mission Creep’

Political Science Seminar

18 March 2010

Ken Hansen

ken.hansen@dal.ca, 494-6610, A&A Rm. 343A

“The CFPS Mission is to provide the Canadian public, policy makers, and academic communities with informed, empirically grounded, comprehensive and balanced analysis of policy alternatives.”


Disclaimer !

The views expressed in this lecture are not to be taken as a statement of policy by the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Forces. The views of the speaker are offered only for the purpose of promoting an academic discussion of the issues.


AIM

To conduct a strategic-level examination of Canada in Afghanistan using a theoretical framework.


OUTLINE

  • Introduction (boring, but important, definitions)

  • Victory in War – (Martel’s Framework)

  • Afghanistan

  • Canada in Afghanistan

  • Martel’s Framework applied

  • Conclusions


MISSION CREEP

  • The expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals, often after initial successes.

  • Implies a certain disapproval of newly adopted goals by the user.

  • Considered undesirable due to the dangerous path of each success breeding more ambitious attempts, only stopping when a final, often catastrophic, failure occurs.

Source: James Hessian, “Three Decades of Mission Creep,” Navy League of the United States.http://www.navyleague.org/seapower/three_decades_of_mission_creep.htm


MISSION CREEP

  • The expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals (sic), often after initial successes.

  • Implies a certain disapproval of newly adopted goals (sic) by the user.

  • Considered undesirable due to the dangerous path of each success [or failure] breeding more ambitious attempts, only stopping when a final, often catastrophic, failure occurs.

Source: James Hessian, “Three Decades of Mission Creep,” Seapower, Navy League of the United States.http://www.navyleague.org/seapower/three_decades_of_mission_creep.htm


OPERATIONAL ART

“The skilful employment of forces to attain strategic [goals] and/or operational [aims] through the design, organization, integration and conduct of strategies, campaigns, major operations and [tactical activities] .”

Source: Combined and Joint Staff Officer’s Handbook.


National PolicyGrand Strategy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Military Strategy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

CampaignsJoint & Combined Ops

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Joint Task Forces

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Tactical Actions

Strategic

Operational

Tactical

Figure 1-1 — The Levels of Warfare


STRATEGY

“The art and science of developing and using political, economic, psychological, and military forces as necessary during peace and war, to afford the maximum support to policies, in order to increase the probabilities and favourable consequences of victory [success] and to lessen the chances of defeat [failure].”

Source: Leadmark - Glossary


CAMPAIGN

“A sequence of planned, resourced and executed military operations designed to achieve strategic [goals] and operational [aims] within a given time and area.”

Source: Combined and Joint Officer Handbook.


DESCRIPTIVE TERMINOLOGY FOR LEVELS OF NATIONAL ACTIVITY

Source: Hansen – POLI 3591 “Contemporary Issues in Maritime Security”


Level of Conflict

Tactical

Grand Strategic

Military

Political

Economic

Ideological

Change in Status Quo

Limited

Comprehensive

Policy

Institutional

Constitutional

Regime Change

Mobilization Effort

None

Extensive

Existing Forces

Reserve Callout

New Capabilities

Societal Effort

Post-conflict Obligations

Minor

Protracted

Damage Mitigation

Economic Aid

Reconstruction

Nation Building

Pre-theoretical Concepts for Strategic Success

Adapted from: William C. Martel, Victory in War: Foundations of Modern Military Policy(Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 95.


Afghanistan – Factors (Human)

Population: 28.3 M

Median Age: 17 years

Urbanization: 24 percent

(10 major cities contain <10% of population)

Literacy: 28% (Grade 8 equivalent)

Ethnicity: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%

Religion: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%

Languages: Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%

(50% Dari as second language; 10% Pashto as second language)

GDP: $13.2B

GDP per Capita: $800

GDP by Sector: agriculture: 31%; industry: 26%; services: 43%

Employment by Sector: agriculture: 78.6%; industry: 5.7%; services: 15.7%

Unemployment: 35%

Poverty: 36%

Global Rank: 182nd

Source: CIA World Factbook


Afghanistan – Factors (Human)

Population: 28.3 M

Median Age: 17 years

Urbanization: 24 percent

(10 major cities contain <10% of population)

Literacy: 28% (Grade 8 equivalent)

Ethnicity: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%

Religion: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%

Languages: Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%

(50% Dari as second language; 10% Pashto as second language)

GDP: $13.2B

GDP per Capita: $800

GDP by Sector: agriculture: 31%; industry: 26%; services: 43%

Employment by Sector: agriculture: 78.6%; industry: 5.7%; services: 15.7%

Unemployment: 35%

Poverty: 36%

Global Rank: 182nd

Young

Rural

Illiterate

Dominant

Unproductive

Divided

Agrarian

Unemployed

Poor

Source: CIA World Factbook


Ethnic Groups

Tajik (27 – 38%)

Pashtun (36 – 42%)

Persian ‘Dari’ (50%)

Pashto (35%)

Linguistic Groups


Pashtun Distribution

Afghanistan: 13.4M

Pakistan: 28.0M

Border, 2640-km long, was established in 1893 by the Durand Line Agreement between Henry Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary representing the Government of British Colonial Government in India, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Amir. Khan refused to sign the translated copy. No border agreement exists between Kabul and Islamabad.


Pashtun Tribes


Original Political Direction

  • PM Martin’s 4 demands to Gen. Hillier:

    1 – In and out in 2-3 years;

    2 – Peacekeeping & Reconstruction only;

    3 – Another contingent avail for Sudan; and

    4 – Additional capacity required for Haiti.

    3 & 4 cannot be constrained by Afghanistan, or no approval.

Source: Martin Interview, 07 Feb 07, cited in Stein and Lang, The Unexpected War, 191.


Response to Direction

  • Gen. Hillier’s responses:

    1 – Army could ‘regenerate’ in 2007 for Sudan and/or Haiti;

    2 – A ‘3D mission’ that will entail “some risk”;

    3 – Mission can be accomplished within funding provided (“too important to be watered down over money”); and

    4 – Liberal modernization plans sufficient.

    “It can be done.”

Source: Martin Interview, 07 Feb 07, cited in Stein and Lang, The Unexpected War, 191.


Source: Cordesman, CSIS, 02 Dec 09


Events Density

No events

Low

Medium

Significant

High

Kinetic Events 01 Jan 05 – 15 Dec 05

In COIN, catch up ball does not work

Kinetic Events 01 Jan 07 – 15 Dec 07

Kinetic Events 01 Jan 09 – 15 Dec 09

Source: ISAF Briefing, MGen. Flynn, Dir. Intelligence, 22 Dec 09

UNCLASSIFIED


IED Evolution in Afghanistan

2007 – 2009

Increasing use of Homemade Explosives (HME)

(80 to 90 percent from Ammonium Nitrate)

Casualties: (07 – 2293), (08 – 3308)

Events: 7228

Casualties: 6037

(2009)

4169

(2008)

2718

(2007)

1922

(2006)

831

(2005)

326

(2004)

Events: 81

(2003)*

2003 – 2006

Predominantly Military Ordnance

Casualties: (04 – 16), (05 – 279), (06 – 1473)

* No IED related casualty data available for 2003

Source: ISAF Briefing, MGen. Flynn, Dir. Intelligence, 22 Dec 09

UNCLASSIFIED


Main Charge Size Trends

IED Main Charge Weight

May 2008

IED Main Charge Weight

Dec 2009

76-100 lbs

100+ lbs

0-25 lbs

100+ lbs

51-75 lbs

76-100 lbs

0-25 lbs

26-50 lbs

51-75 lbs

26-50 lbs

Source: ISAF Briefing, MGen. Flynn, Dir. Intelligence, 22 Dec 09

UNCLASSIFIED


Time is Running Out

Kinetic Events by Week and Type

Source: ISAF Briefing, MGen. Flynn, Dir. Intelligence, 22 Dec 09

UNCLASSIFIED


Time is Running Out

Taliban Shadow Governors

  • Taliban influence expanding; contesting and controlling additional areas.

  • Kinetic events are up 300% since 2007 and an additional 60% since 2008.

  • The Taliban now has “Shadow Governors” in 33 of 34 provinces (as of DEC 09)

Source: ISAF Briefing, MGen. Flynn, Dir. Intelligence, 22 Dec 09

UNCLASSIFIED


Source: Combined Chiefs of Staff Briefing

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/Afghanistan_Dynamic_Planning.pdf


Change in Status Quo versus Level of Conflict

A2

Ideological – Regime Change

Comprehensive

Change

in

Status Quo

A1

Military – Policy Change

Limited

Tactical

Grand Strategic

Level of Conflict

Adapted from: Martel, Victory in War, p. 294.


Scale of Mobilization versus Level of Conflict

A2

Ideological – New Capabilities

Extensive

Scale

of

Mobilization

A1

Military – Existing Forces

None

Tactical

Grand Strategic

Level of Conflict

Adapted from: Martel, Victory in War, p. 295.


Post Conflict Obligations versus Level of Conflict

A2

Ideological – Nation Building

Protracted

Post

Conflict

Obligations

A1

Military – Damage Mitigation

Minor

Tactical

Grand Strategic

Level of Conflict

Adapted from: Martel, Victory in War, p. 297.


Deductions

  • Strategic Goals have changed three times:Al Queda > Taliban > Afghanistan nation building

  • Pashtun issues cannot be dealt with separatelybecause they must include Pakistan, which Pakistan will not tolerate because it will destabilize their country.

  • Pakistan cannot become unstable because of their nuclear arsenal.


Implications

  • Changing Strategic Goals will create communications problems at home (for all NATO countries).

  • The centrality of Pashtun issues will (has) result(ed) in widening the theatre boundaries and area of operations.

  • Fears over Pakistan’s instability will concern India, China & other regional powers.

  • Escalation and expansion of the conflict is happening.


Final Analysis

  • The outlook for the south of Afghanistan remains a back and forth fight to hold, clear, reclear, and reclear yet again.

  • A war of attrition will be (is the) result.

  • Timelines for this war will be decades long.

  • Economic indicators are not encouraging wrt Canada’s ability to sustain the effort.


Hillier’s last comments

  • “NATO has yet to articulate a clear strategy for what it is doing in Afghanistan.”

  • “It failed to operate as one cohesive block in dealing with Pakistan.”

  • “Any major setback will see it (NATO) off to the cleaners.”

Source: Hillier, A Soldier First, 477.


Published Sources Cited

  • Finel, Bernard. “An Alternative to COIN,” Armed Forces Journal, February 2010.

  • Graveland, Bill. “Former Chief of Defence Staff worried about simmering problems in Pakistan,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 March 2009.

  • Hillier, Rick. A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and The Politics of War, Harper-Collins, 2009.

  • Martel, William. Victory in War: Foundations of Modern Military Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2007.

  • McKay, J.R. The Scylla and Charybdis of Strategic Leadership, Canadian Defence Academy Press, 2008.

  • Mortenson, Greg. Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, The Penguin Group, 2009.

  • Ram, Sunil. “Afghanistan, America, and the “Vietnam Syndrome.” Frontline Defence, Issue 1, 2010: 26-31.

  • Stein, Jancie Gross and Eugene Lang. The Unexpected War: Canada in Afghanistan, The Penguin Group, 2007.

  • Stewart, Rory. The Place in Between, Harcourt, 2006.


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