The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The Washington Independent

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 10/01/2008 06:35
Adaline Fritz

Could it be that the United States will seek to create tribal-based militias in Afghanistan, as it did in Iraq?

Carlotta Gall of The New York Times caught up with Central Command chief David Petraeus in London, and it appears he’s considering that option:

Yet some of the Iraq experience is already being examined in the Afghan context, he said. In particular the success of the Awakening Councils, and persuading former insurgents to reconcile and work against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, could work in Afghanistan and was already under consideration there, Gen. Petraeus said.

“Certainly many on the ground think that perhaps in certain areas local reconciliation initiatives hold some potential,” he said.

Now, it could be that Petraeus isn’t talking about creating what might be called Sons Of Afghanistan, and is instead concerned with the general strategic option of separating irreconcilable enemies of the Afghan government from those who can be bought off or otherwise induced to abandon insurgency.

If so, the approach seems unassailable — at least if you would prefer not to fight an endless war.

Since Petraeus emphasized in his Times interview that “every situation like this is truly and absolutely unique, and has its own context and specifics and its own texture,” it’s probable that, at the least, he’s not going to impose an Iraq template onto Afghanistan.

But. It’s worth remembering that Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, has a long history of warlordism — with every thug and regional potentate commanding a band of gunmen.

For years, the Karzai government — admittedly not the most competent entity — has labored to disarm the militias or weaken their power. An Awakening Council-based approach will almost certainly sound to the Afghan government like an abrupt about-face of that years-old approach, and it’s an approach that has its fair share of value.

Janine Davidson, blogging at The Washington Post — you remember her from my counterinsurgents series — recently made the point that localism is crucial for counterinsurgency. But as applied to Afghanistan, the question may be: how local is local?

Important national figures in Afghanistan, I happen to know for a fact, are extremely wary of creating new militias — for understandable reasons.

Later this morning, Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, will hold a press conference that I’ll be at. Let’s see if I can get him to address this question.

Adaline Fritz | Adaline's upbeat, can-do attitude and nurturing disposition make her perfect for understanding each client's wants and needs and skillfully directing them toward their real estate objectives. Adaline has experience in all facets of the real estate process, having started in the administrative sector and progressed to operations before achieving success in real estate sales. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and Western Oregon University, and returned to the Portland area in 2011 to pursue a career in real estate. She also loves traveling, working out, and spending time on the water during Portland's beautiful summers.


Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)

One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh

Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Pete Hoekstra Bashes Global Currency

I was just talking to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who’s leaving Congress to run for governor of Michigan, about his proposed Parental Rights Amendment—a

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Pete Hoekstra Surging in Michigan Gubernatorial Bid

The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee -- you couldn’t flip on a TV without seeing him in the aftermath of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s botched

School of Hock

A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |