Category: Afghanistan

Too tasteless to watch – but we have to understand it

Sometimes truth-tellers are too tasteless to watch, but I really have a gross website to recommend to anyone wanting to see the disconnect between the theory and practice of sharia-compliant Islamic ideology. The site is called DonkeyJihad.com. That’s pretty much all you need to know – apart from the disclaimer that the site is full of tasteless images that are...

Not getting it in time for Kandahar

It began as a brilliantly executed operation near the Taliban’s main stronghold: the Marine-led campaign to take Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, earlier this year. Now we’re finding that the operation is bogging down and that the Afghan people aren’t helping us as we had anticipated. Somewhere along the way, the Marines apparently diverged from the playbook. They engaged the population...

Empowering Afghan locals is the key to winning

If we learned anything from the war in Iraq, it’s that big-government solutions will fail when imposed on a tribal society with century-old local power structures that we have usurped. Afghanistan is very different from Iraq, but the turnaround in the latter country came only when the US military sought to restore power to traditional local leaders. Those leaders rapidly...

Listen to this anti-war protester. He has a point. Now he should get back in the fight.

It’s easy to dismiss the Washington Post‘s breathless, over-the-fold, front-page story that a “US official” had resigned in protest of Afghan war policy. The prominently placed headline implied that a senior figure in the Obama administration had quit. In reality, the official was a very low-level operational person on the ground who had been with the State Department for barely...

US retreat from PSYOP helps Taliban gain ‘psychological ground’

At a time when the US military has inexplicably moved away from psychological operations, the Taliban in Afghanistan has been gaining “psychological ground.” “There are periods when an enemy does well and seems better trained and fights harder,” a senior defense official tells Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post. “The number one indicator we have out there now is that...

A swell way to declare an Afghan victor

Here’s a terrific way for the United States to settle the Afghan presidential election controversy: Have the Voice of America broadcast an “exclusive interview” with the CIA director who says the US-favored candidate will win and that a vote recount won’t matter. Not! Yet that’s just what the VOA and CIA Director Leon Panetta have done. Here’s what the VOA...

Partnership against heroin: Contractors help US combat narcotraffickers in Afghanistan

by J Michael Waller, Serviam, March-April 2008 Download PDF: Contractors_Afgh_Serviam Kabul, Afghanistan—“I used to wear a burqa. I will never wear one again. Except to fight drug traffickers.” That’s what a female police officer of Afghanistan’s Narcotics Interdiction Unit (NIU) says with a shy smile. The bad guys can’t recognize a heavily armed cop under the face-to-foot covering that all women...

Accountability and private security contractors: Visibility of operations is key to success

by J Michael Waller, Serviam, November-December 2007 When a private contractor for the U.S. government abides with the letter of the law, but the law is so flawed that it doesn’t correspond with reality, whose fault is it? The contractor’s, of course. That’s the apparent reasoning of critics in Congress and the press who blame private security providers for not...

Armed Forces Journal says my book could ‘squelch the enemy into a blob of irrelevance’

The Armed Forces Journal has published a review of my new book Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War. “The book is packed with action points that could be implemented rapidly and at little cost,”writes Armed Forces Journal editor Karen Walker. “We could, for instance, stop feeding the terrorist’s self-esteem and confirming his status as a martyr by using the term he selected...

Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War: Short-term message strategies to combat the terrorists

This ground-breaking monograph by J Michael Waller departs from the conventional view of public diplomacy and international communication in time of war and argues for deploying messages as weapons of attack against the terrorists and other extremists. Proposing an immediate-term strategy that requires no bureaucratic reorganization or major budgetary changes, Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War is designed for...