complex operation

  • complex environments
  • many legal frameworks very similar mission


  • ramp ceremonies and fighting vs. meetings
  • 90% meetings 10% fighting
  • 3D approach

fundamental difference

  • going in as invaders vs…
  • invitees, UN sanctioned…
  • with the graces of the Afghan government

key takeaways (US jargon)

  • theory and reality
  • theory is easy reality is hard
  • operating in a truncated world
  • it is all about products and effect

the triade

  • 3 assets to instill in students
  1. arm them with a rifle - force
  2. arm them with money - lots of it
  3. arm them with knowledge


  • equipment is necessary but not sufficent
  • networking
  • 90% of time is spent talking and building relationships
  • communication amongst your own team and with the local players

Human Geography


  • 80% illiteracy
  • education women are the ultimate target
  • educated women represents a threat to peoples traditional conception of reality
  • women are powerful in the family unit in Afghanistan - little kabul - a book

the adversary

  • it
  • it is an it not a him
  • it is an idea a concept


  • an insurgency is a like a fish that swims through the water of people

Pentathlon leader

  • multiple skill sets are necessary

60 rule

  • completely reactive to the Taliban message
  • so He but the commanders intent on the web to gain the upper hand in the information war
  • factual correct - no spin - publicize the message

push back

  • didn't come from Pakistan
  • it came from the New York Times
  • it looked like a bad news story but it was actually a good news story

the information war

  • getting the story out
  • the story line
  • why do you people go to NATO first before
  • before you go to the Insurgents to get their story - know our story first


  • gangs/ drugs
  • counter narcotics in afghanistan is a 3 billion dollar industry
  • there were not once an opium convoy in the entire tour
  • it is big business
  • characteristics of today's environment - takeaway

population growth is along the coast

  • the coast is an indicator of where the next conflicts will come from
  • Afghanistan's neighbours are using it as a little sandbox
  • family sizes between 7 - 12 - more willing to kill - families are more willing to lose their children to a political cause

42 - 47 increas in life expectancy
mortality rates of children are down

failed states

  • philosophically - Iraq was not a failed state before it was decapitated

water usage

  • India, US, and China they are going to be hurting for water pretty soon
  • water is huge in Afghanistan


  • insurgency
  • the heart the conflict is the economy
  • the mission was the find every man and women a job
  • education became vital
  • Mosque is the primary source of information

it's the mosque stupid

  • A Canadian Imam accompanied the CF into Afghanistan
  • I want you to engage in dialogue
  • the fighting was done in the Mosque
  • every week the the Taliban's message was pumped through the mosque
  • the National Government was not paying the operating costs of the schools and the mosques
  • Build your own Madrases, pay the clergy, pay for the maintenance

external actors

  • pakistan and India
  • border troops
  • Opium is rotting out Russian Society


  • at 6 years western kids can talk
  • at 21 years old they still need maximum adult supervision
  • we can't Afghans to be like westerns

we are using the wrong map of Afghanistan

  • 1919 - westerners made the Map
  • the Pushtun Wali society map is 2000 years old
  • that is the only Map that is taught and understood in the Mosques
  • we created the idea of Afghanistan
  • it is a patch work quilt tribes that do not mix well
  • it is like oil and water
  • you must deal with them all separately
  • a democratic superstructure has to marry a tribal society


  • powerful status in ISAF and Karzai' regime
  • Sikhs - he came from an oppressed group in India - the Pashtuns loved it
  • he also had a beard and they respect that
  • He also had a unique language and dialect

colonial baggage

  • they still have stories about the British from the 1800's

where is my cabinet

  • who is my development advisor
  • who is my UN advisor
  • who is my foreign affair advisor
  • I want a cabinet
  • British, Dutch, US, German liasons
  • then i consulted the governors

used plain language

  • fight the enemy guided by a plan
  • know thy self
  • deliver effects
  • seperate politics from effects

you job is about politics

  • the effects you achieve have to be informed by a strategy


  • who is the audience
  • Canadian Audience
  • NGO/ IO
  • International Audience
  • Pakistani Audience - tailor your discussion to their interests and view point
  • Afghan audience
  • use a constant theme
  • people want to know what we are doing
  • public affairs officers were inundated

Manley Report


  • it is an afghan problem
  • we talk to Afghans we don't talk to the Taliban
  • Mullah Eberhard - he switched sign
  • you want to influence somebody talk to someone because they have ten friends
  • the taliban plays 14 dollars a day the government pays 4 dollars a day

"life choice" - i'll make the first two for you

secret to life

  • security


  • ten bucks sounds pretty good unless you die in two weeks
  • less up front
  • pay me know pay me later


  • have a huge benefit
  • 20 million dollars were spent on raods


  • the governor
  • carried around like 4 cell phones
  • he jumped in a jeep - pulled an AK47 and went a dealt with some bikers

were not here because this story is boring

  • stop worrying so much about formality - any information is good information
  • if that you told that story in that way
  • of the governor with the four cell phone and the AK
  • i would read that story and they would print it because i want to read it
  • give the population some credit
  • if you told that exact story in 750 words you don't think they would print it?
  • it has cultural

Mixed Mesasge

  • counter narcotics
  • 2 pillars
  • eradication alternative

this sized room of poppies will feed a family of 5 for a week

  • it is easy to grow - self propagating
  • afghan led
  • alternative livelihood program
  • we can't tell a farmer to build roads
  • we had a wheat board - if they get 100 bucks for poppies pay them 100 bucks to grow corn
  • why doesn't the corn solution work?


  • afghan definition of corruption - billions
  • every time you have a meeting you have to give me something
  • if you don't give me something today you are corrupt
  • a bad meeting is when people are not bitching, whining and complaining
  • a good meeting is chaos

30% of afghan women are in School - CIDA


  • village medical outreach - go away - we have our own
  • education - go away we have the mosque
  • roads? - nobody told us you build roads
  • now the mentality is - we build roads you destroy things


  • 6 million children are in school - over half are women - since 2001 - BULLSHIT
  • most schools are government and NGO driven
  • if a military sets up a school then it becomes a target - it has no legitimacy
  • civic action programs - seed money - but no schools
  • micro-credit


  • the more successful you are the more messy it looks
  • the more infrastructure you build the more targets you create


  • they have a short life span
  • they are fighting for their lives
  • we can't give the police for heavy weapons
  • why can't we give them heavy weapons?

USAID Africa vs. Afghanistan


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