Humanizing “The Man:” Strengthening Psychological and Information Operations in Afghanistan
by A. Lawrence Chickering
In this paper, I will argue there are three great challenges the coalition forces need to overcome in their search for narratives that resonate with Afghans and that ultimately will promote support for the coalition and for the government. First is the traditional and tribal Afghan antagonism to outsiders. Second is the lack of a stake that ordinary Afghans have in the larger system. And the third involves a conflict in impact of major activities in the country, a conflict between programs that empower Afghans and programs that disempower them.
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Phi Beta Iota: The four levels of war and peace were best explained by Edward N. Luttwak, see Review: Strategy–The Logic of War and Peace, Revised and Enlarged Edition. We raise this point, as we raised it while teaching at a Civil Affairs course at Fort Bragg, because no amount of good intentions at the operational and tactical levels of war can overcome flagrant irresponsibility and immorality at the strategic level, or the lack of anything other than killing tools at the tactical level. War and Peace are a whole. If you cannot start with morality and a just cause, and if you cannot implement a Whole of Government strategy that leads to an outcome of peace and prosperity for those you wish to win over, then everything in the middle is waste–wasted blood, wasted treasure, wasted spirit. And if everything you do on the battlefield and in your supply line is rife with corruption–e.g US funding the Taliban, never mind–then you are thrice cursed and unlikely to prevail.