It is foolish to claim that Afghanistan is going well, for us or for them. But there is still reason to hope, and the U.S. has important interests in seeing progress.
Royalist and republican, Khalqi and Parchami, Soviet Union and the West, communist and Islamist, mujahid and Talib, Hanafi and takfiri, al Qaeda and America, warlord and technocrat, Pashtun and non-Pashtun, Islamic Emirate and Islamic State, KGB, ISI, and CIA – all have for decades carried on an uninterrupted struggle in Afghanistan. Attempts to end the war have but established new antagonisms, new conditions of conflict, new forms of warfare. The conflict generates these antagonisms rather than the reverse, forcing us to face the real origins of violence: Afghanistan’s relations to the state system from which it emerged. These theses delineate the ever-changing conflict’s constant causes, which any effort at peacemaking in Afghanistan must address.
Stability operations, which “involve establishing or re-establishing order in a fragile state or territory,” [DoDD 3000.07 (2014)] are perhaps the best starting point for a discussion of the core activities of irregular warfare. This is because, of all the activities undertaken by military forces, stability operations 1) generally place the military in the most direct, […]
During a regular review held in 2014 of DoDD 3000.07, the directive guiding IW development, concern was expressed by some that the proposed definition of IW unduly characterized Stability Operations as an IW activity, vice a traditional military activity. The following attempts to identify and address the concerns with the inclusion of “stability operations” as […]