PDF (70 Pages): 2011 A Crisis of Trust Jeff Bordin
A CRISIS OF TRUST AND CULTURAL INCOMPATIBILITY: A Red Team Study of Mutual Perceptions of Afghan National Security Force Personnel and U.S. Soldiers in Understanding and Mitigating the Phenomena of ANSF – Committed Fratricide – Murders
May 12, 2011
Jeffrey Bordin, Ph.D. [Major (P) U.S. Army]
N2KL Red Team Political and Military Behavioral Scientist
Unfortunately, the rapidly growing fratricide – murder trend committed by ANSF personnel against ISAF members is a valid COIN measure of the ineffectiveness in our efforts in stabilizing Afghanistan, developing a legitimate and effective
government, battling the insurgency, gaining the loyalty, respect and friendship of the Afghans, building the ANSFs into legitimate and functional organizations, and challenges the efficacy of the ‘partnering’ concept . This is all the more a paradox given ISAF’s assumption of and planned reliance for the ANSFs to be able to take over the security burden before it can disengage from this grossly prolonged conflict. This study shows that certain behaviors and policies (such as night raids and home searches
that directly involve U.S. Soldiers) have generated a great deal of animosity among much of the Afghan civilian populace as well as with many ANSF personnel that impedes the overall strategic effort. Such practices are simply unacceptable if ISAF is to be
even marginally successful here.
Regrettably, our ISAF troops in the field are bearing the consequences by being murdered in increasingly unprecedented numbers by the very ANSF members they are here to mentor, train and ‘partner’ with. Such fratricide is fast leading to a crisis of trust between the two forces, if it hasn’t reached this point already
This study’s findings also challenge assumptions and official pronouncements that the continuing pattern of fratricide murders by ANSF personnel are “is olated” and largely being committed by insurgent infiltrators. The research completed here shows that there is a great deal of deep seated anger, distrust and cultural incompatibility between U.S. and ANSF personnel that is precluding further development of the ANSF as well as greatly endangering the lives of U.S. and other ISAF soldiers. ISAF leaders must be willing to analyze and incorporate the second and third order effects of their policies, decisions, and actions as well as the training and behaviors of their soldiers as related to Afghan cultural sensitivities and expectations.
Otherwise, the war of perceptions will continue to deteriorate towards an inevitable defeat. Actions that alienate and
infuriate the Afghan populace will not contribute towards building a country that has either the capacity or willingness to challenge anti-Western extremism. Quite the opposite; such actions contribute to the metastasizing extremism, radicalism and theocratic tyranny being witnessed among much of Afghan society. (This should not be surprising given that a great many of the imams and mullahs emplaced by the Taliban government ten to fifteen years ago are the very same ones still preaching hatred today — nice of ISAF to refurbish their mosques and provide funds to GIRoA to pay their salaries!)
Phi Beta Iota: LtCol Dr. Bordin is on his way back into Afghanistan — we regard him as one of a tiny handful of individuals that have both the intelligence and the integrity necessary to provide the new US military leaders with what they need to know to get through 2014 without a) having more blue deaths to green than to the Taliban; and b) inviting a car bomb or other attack in Kabul through injudicious and unjustified public language.