C I V I L - M I L I TA R YO C C A S I O N A L PA P E R S1/ 2 0 11GRASPING THE NETTLE: WHY REINTEGRATION IS CENTRALTO OPERA...
Disclaimer:    The views expressed in this Civil-Military Commentary/Civil Military Working Paper/    Civil-Military Occas...
ABSTRACTOn initial consideration, the idea of reintegration might seem peripheral to achieving the objectivesof a counteri...
GRASPING THE NETTLE: WHY REINTEGRATION IS CENTRAL    TO OPERATIONAL DESIGN IN SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN            Keep in mind...
BACKGROUNDThis paper does not review in detail the nature of insurgency in Afghanistan for several reasons: firstly, itssc...
in the pursuit of suffragism, liberal lifestyle and wealth offered by the outside world.7 For a farmer, shopkeeper    or l...
REINTEGRATION AND COUNTERINSURGENCY                                              The Review:            Then I heard an ol...
A manoeuvrist approach    In military terms, a ‘manoeuvrist approach’ is one that seeks to avoid an adversary’s physical s...
POLICY AND THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH      We must tie reconciliation and reintegration directly into our strategic ...
As defined by ISAF (Force Reintegration Cell 2010 p.4): ‘Reconciliation is where the insurgent movement as a     whole rea...
MANAGING AND FOSTERING REINTEGRATION         The test for all our actions must be: why am I doing this? And the answer mus...
Attaining the ‘decisive conditions’     Reintegration cannot simply be approached passively or reactively – albeit that al...
UNDERSTANDING MOTIVATIONS AND RESERVATIONS                    We have to be relentless in seeking to understand the situat...
•   ISAF personnel may exhibit negative sentiment towards reintegration in the form of perceptions of         ineffectiven...
CONCERT OF EFFORT    Inclusivity is key to this campaign – ensuring the relevant actors have been recognised      and acco...
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE                If we give man a taste of mercy from Ourselves, and then withdraw it from him,     ...
•   GIRoA is viewed as a trustworthy interlocutor for reintegration, and is able to deliver on Afghans’    fundamental gri...
•    Develop a clear and well-informed public policy and direction on reintegration to personnel operationally          de...
Glossary of TermsANSF:     Afghan National Security ForcesAPRP:     Afghan Peace & Reintegration ProgramDSTs:     District...
APPENDIX ONE – A SUGGESTED GUIDANCE FOR     AFGHAN OFFICIALS ON REINTEGRATION     Proactive efforts in support of Reintegr...
•   Build confidence within local government structures and staff to accept the idea of reintegration•   Use available rei...
REFERENCES     Ali, A Y (2010), Roman Transliteration of The Holy Qur’an, Dar al Furqan, Beirut.     Afghanistan RAMT Prod...
Semple, M (2009), Reconciliation in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington DC.Tellis, A J (2009),...
E ndnotes     1    The views expressed in this report are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Reg...
Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan   25
26   CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan   27
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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 1/2011: Grasping the nettle: why reintegration is central to operational design in southern Afghanistan

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On initial consideration, the idea of reintegration might seem peripheral to achieving the objectives of a counterinsurgency campaign, and that demanding surrender should be the order of the day, not seeking mutual forgiveness. However, nothing could be further from reality. In countering an insurgency the motives of each fighter and supporter dictate their adversarial actions, and the potential size of the insurgency is theoretically limited only by the population of the country itself. On deeper reflection then, the salience of reintegration rapidly emerges as central to any successful strategy to conclude an insurgency.

An enduring peace among antagonists in an insurgency and a lasting recourse to the sovereignty of the in-power government can only be properly expressed in terms that encompass the reintegration of the host society. In its most holistic form, reintegration encompasses not only fighters who have taken up violent resort to obtain their own ends, but also fragments and factions in society that are disenfranchised, ostracised or otherwise excluded from participating in a country’s social-political construct between its government and the people.

Lasting reintegration is much harder to foster and generate than simply announcing a policy. Personal allegiances, misgivings, fear, and human and institutional frailty all seem arrayed against even attempting reintegration, yet is a valid and indeed fundamental aim in counterinsurgency that must be grasped, like a nettle, with confidence and vigour. Reintegration not only has a role for all actors – police, civil and military – but indeed demands of them a common purpose, and a truly concerted effort to attain it. This paper draws on six months of field work in southern Afghanistan grappling with these challenges.

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 1/2011: Grasping the nettle: why reintegration is central to operational design in southern Afghanistan

  1. 1. C I V I L - M I L I TA R YO C C A S I O N A L PA P E R S1/ 2 0 11GRASPING THE NETTLE: WHY REINTEGRATION IS CENTRALTO OPERATIONAL DESIGN IN SOUTHERN AFGHANISTANLieutenant Colonel Nicholas Floyd,Australian Regular Army w w w.c i v m i l co e . gov. au
  2. 2. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this Civil-Military Commentary/Civil Military Working Paper/ Civil-Military Occasional Paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of APCMCOE or of any government agency. Authors enjoy the academic freedom to offer new and sometimes controversial perspectives in the interest of furthering debate on key issues. The content is published under a Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0 Australia (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/) licence. All parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, and transmitted by any means without the written permission of the publisher. ISBN: 978-1-921933-14-1 Published 2011.2 OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  3. 3. ABSTRACTOn initial consideration, the idea of reintegration might seem peripheral to achieving the objectivesof a counterinsurgency campaign, and that demanding surrender should be the order of the day,not seeking mutual forgiveness. However, nothing could be further from reality. In countering aninsurgency the motives of each fighter and supporter dictate their adversarial actions, and thepotential size of the insurgency is theoretically limited only by the population of the country itself.On deeper reflection then, the salience of reintegration rapidly emerges as central to any successfulstrategy to conclude an insurgency.An enduring peace among antagonists in an insurgency and a lasting recourse to the sovereigntyof the in-power government can only be properly expressed in terms that encompass thereintegration of the host society. In its most holistic form, reintegration encompasses not onlyfighters who have taken up violent resort to obtain their own ends, but also fragments and factionsin society that are disenfranchised, ostracised or otherwise excluded from participating in a country’ssocial-political construct between its government and the people.Lasting reintegration is much harder to foster and generate than simply announcing a policy.Personal allegiances, misgivings, fear, and human and institutional frailty all seem arrayed againsteven attempting reintegration, yet is a valid and indeed fundamental aim in counterinsurgency thatmust be grasped, like a nettle, with confidence and vigour. Reintegration not only has a role for allactors—police, civil and military—but indeed demands of them a common purpose, and a trulyconcerted effort to attain it. This paper draws on six months of field work in southern Afghanistangrappling with these challenges.Key words: Reintegration | Afghanistan | 2010 | ISAFLieutenant Colonel Nicholas FloydLieutenant Colonel Nicholas Floyd is currently an instructor at the Australian Command and StaffCollege, Weston Creek. In 2009–2010 he was the Chief of Army’s Visiting Fellow at the LowyInstitute for International Policy in Sydney, and before that was the Deputy Director, Strategyfor the Australian Army. In 2010, he deployed for six months with ISAF to Afghanistan as Chief,Reintegration at Headquarters Regional Command (South), Kandahar Air Field. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 3
  4. 4. GRASPING THE NETTLE: WHY REINTEGRATION IS CENTRAL TO OPERATIONAL DESIGN IN SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN Keep in mind why we have to take on human issues such as malign actors, grievance resolution and corruption; because we have to in order to achieve the mission—which is to remove the motives for insurgency, which in turn has allowed a state of anarchy that threatens to give rise to regional and global instability such as international terrorism. General David Petraeus, September 2010 Reintegration and its stablemate, reconciliation, were acknowledged as elements of the campaign plan of the International Stabilisation Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in October 2009, with successive pronouncements at the international level, and attendant incorporation into operational military directives. While the notion of reintegration itself is clearly neither a revelation nor an unprecedented aspect to countering insurgencies, its formalised re-entry into the fabric of the Afghanistan campaign plan is still relatively recent. Earlier efforts to reconcile and reintegrate militants and insurgents by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) have met with very qualified successes, and indeed failure (for example, see Semple 2009 p.39–41; Waldman 2010 p. 3–4). Even so, the underlying precept of what reintegration seeks to achieve in a landscape of insurgency, anarchy and mistrust remains inviolate. This paper provides a series of insights from the approach towards reintegration undertaken through 2010 in the provinces encompassed by Regional Command (South), and the wider ISAF theatre in more general terms.14 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  5. 5. BACKGROUNDThis paper does not review in detail the nature of insurgency in Afghanistan for several reasons: firstly, itsscope centres on the challenges and prospects of reintegration particularly in the southern area of Afghanistan;secondly, a multitude of well-informed and dedicated writers have done so already, and to presume to providea better description than them is neither this author’s aim nor intent.2 However, the following preamble brieflydescribes the context as it was in 2010 and to a large extent as it appears currently.3Insurgency in the South can be broadly described as a complex, dynamic and multilayered affair—at oncecharacterised by ready recourse to violence, and a virtually unfathomable interlacing of local grievances, politicalmanoeuvring, criminal acts and corruption. This mosaic is inlaid with leadership, ideological and material supportfrom the Quetta Shura4 and their supporters in Pakistan, which brings two defining attributes: a malign accelerantfor graphic and extreme violence beyond the norms of traditional tribal and local power struggles; and aperverted interpretation of Islam’s Holy Book. The result is a paradoxical mélange of codified barbarismdressed up as traditional law, mated with neo-feudalism and narco-economic realism.At one level, local insurgent commanders derive power and weaponry from affiliation or loose fealty to theQuetta Shura. This allegiance and obedience is utilitarian and therefore wholly fungible, enduring so long as theirmutual ends are met—they being a rejection of external authority that is perceived as oppressive, ineffectual andinterfering. When these diverge—either because the way-paths to those ends are no longer acceptable, or theends alter—such linkage to external Taliban support can quickly wither or become strained. Localised politics,religious influence and society can often pressure these linkages, presenting dilemmas for those involved. Inresponse, commanders may be replaced or removed, or their families, their followers and their business interestsintimidated – either by local aspiring talent or external Taliban adherents who frequently stiffen resolve throughpunition, as well as providing stricter leadership, resolve, and bias for anti-government action.Networks such as the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)5 , or the Haqqani6 network are comparatively peripheralplayers in the South—limited chiefly to securing passage of resources from and through southern Afghanistan,Pakistan and beyond.In contrast, political and criminal power struggles are prevalent and potent motivators for insurgent actionsagainst government control. The chaos, lawlessness and vacuum of authority generated by ‘insurgent’ actionsare frequently the result of gangland violence, including the suppression of true tribal leaders by Taliban‘shadow’ governance figures, thugs and warlord pretenders to those traditional mechanics of authority,influence and lawgiving.The fringes of these grey area contests also overlap into the actions of many public figures in the cleric,government, public and private sectors. Actors capitalise on the ensuing ‘culture of impunity’ that pervadessociety at all levels. Fear and misgiving of the motives of many public figures of authority frequently erode analready-fragile government reputation, and militate directly against prospects for reintegration.For the largely agrarian-mercantile population of Afghanistan’s South, these internecine struggles demanda ceaseless assessment of which regime would be the best for them and their families. Decision on thoseassessments are variously taken at individual, community or tribal level, but the tribal perspective is now oftenoverlooked; this is mainly due to years of civil conflict and its attrition of tribal authority, but also because of agrowing perception of its irrelevance and obsolescence by an increasingly globalised youth. Traditional lifestyleis paradoxically seen as both a bastion against external interference, but equally as an anachronistic millstone Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 5
  6. 6. in the pursuit of suffragism, liberal lifestyle and wealth offered by the outside world.7 For a farmer, shopkeeper or labourer, motive for adhering to an insurgency or simply committing insurgent acts is complex, dynamic and ambiguous. Equally, reasons for quitting their involvement are just as intricate. The insurgencies in Afghanistan’s south are therefore many things, but one thing they are not, is a monolithic bloc of willing minions committed to the theocratic propositions of the Quetta Shura. Indeed in many ways, such an adversary would be a far simpler challenge. There is one relationship between insurgency and society in Afghanistan’s South that is clearer than most: as explained to the author in numerous encounters with senior security, military and government figures as well as average citizens, there exist three broad and overlapping genera of insurgents: those foreigners who see Afghanistan merely as a self-serving battleground, not a homeland; those who commit such ghastly and mindless acts of violence as to go beyond the pale of acceptability in any conflict; and the rest. For the first two groups, reintegration is almost unanimously considered as not an option.6 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  7. 7. REINTEGRATION AND COUNTERINSURGENCY The Review: Then I heard an old grizzled, long-haired Central Asian chief, who had come down with the Amir, asking questions of a native officer. “Now,’ said he, ‘in what manner was this wonderful thing [the army’s parade review] done?’ And the officer answered, ‘There was an order, and they obeyed.’ ‘Would it were so in Afghanistan!’ said the chief; ‘for there we obey only our own wills.’’ (Kipling 2003:212)Stolidly implementing counterinsurgency (COIN) theory8 cannot of itself deliver success against a highlyindividualistic and diversely motivated insurgent adversary. In Afghanistan as in any other insurgency theatre, ashared understanding among all counterinsurgency protagonists of what they commonly seek to achieve, and amatching resolve to undertake it, is fundamental to a successful resolution.Conducting a successful counterinsurgency campaign requires a unifying purpose among all protagonists. Centralto the Coalition’s9 purpose in Afghanistan is to counter the forces that tear apart and disintegrate Afghan society,and to restore confidence in the social-political contract between government and the population (supportedby Tellis 2010 p.iii). As the primary international agent of security assistance, ISAF’s activities and operations mustsupport GIRoA in convincing fighters to quit the insurgency and rejoin in active participation with GIRoA andAfghan society.Reintegration involves the cessation of unacceptable acts of violence, and an undertaking by all antagonists toengage in Afghanistan’s political and social mechanisms to resolve disputes and grievances. Moreover, a holisticapproach towards reintegration should endeavour to reintegrate all facets of Afghan society. Many factions,groups and individuals do not take active or direct roles in hostilities, yet have disintegrated from the social andpolitical processes and fabric of the rest of Afghanistan. Such groups and elements warrant equal inclusion inreintegration efforts, not least due to their latent potential to produce insurgents, and their harbouring of politicaland possibly criminal antagonists.In contrast to others’ minimalist views of prospects for reintegration (per Waldman 2010 p.11), it can thereforebe argued that the reintegration of Afghan society must be seen as a core component of the Coalition’s strategicsuccess, in seeking to bring about a lasting conclusion to this counterinsurgency campaign, and in providing afocusing purpose to the design of operations along and across all avenues of endeavour. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 7
  8. 8. A manoeuvrist approach In military terms, a ‘manoeuvrist approach’ is one that seeks to avoid an adversary’s physical strengths (or ‘surfaces’) and to exploit his weaknesses (or ‘gaps’). The same philosophy can be applied in a conceptual as well as in a physical sense. A pragmatic approach to reintegration must acknowledge that there are communities and jurisdictions in which the conditions for reintegration to occur do not now exist, nor are likely to in the near future due to ‘spoilers’—actors who seek to disrupt reintegration activities and/or pose a threat to participants (e.g. as listed generically in Land Warfare Development Group 2010 p.16). ISAF, GIRoA and its partners should look to bypass those ‘surfaces’ of low yield for reintegration, but still remain in contact to shape and influence them until favourable conditions are generated, while reinforcing success elsewhere in communities where the right conditions exist. Pursuing success where success is initially more likely provides an ideal demonstrator to all actors of the benefits of reintegration, and provides positive influence to spoilers and others with misgivings about reintegration. Resilience of Afghan society Reintegration must be enduring and meaningful to be an effective component to campaign success. This is most likely to occur and succeed: where Afghan society is resilient; where security has taken hold; and where governance and development inroads are meeting the community’s needs. A resilient Afghan community has confidence in its social, political and security institutions. As such, a resilient community is capable of—and willing to be—accepting of the physical, political and social risks involved in being party to reintegration. Resilience is the bedrock on which successful reintegration is founded, and initiatives such as Afghan Local Police and Village Stability Platforms, as well as more conventional security presence, must be employed in manners that underwrite that resilience. Reintegration needs to be understood in terms of its potential risk to resilience. An incident where an ex-insurgent or the community into which he is seeking to reintegrate is subjected to intimidation or reprisal poses a huge disincentive for observers (and participants) to contemplate reintegration in future (supported in Semple 2009 p.71). This risk is much greater to all protagonists than a missed opportunity to conduct reintegration at all. Key deductions for reintegration The immense complexity and diversity of Afghan society makes developing and applying a prescriptive universal policy model impractical. Even so, there are two key deductions for approaching reintegration in a given situation: • Reintegration is most likely to occur—and succeed—where Afghan society is resilient. While such resilience is founded on conditions such as trust, confidence and governance existing within Afghan society, these can nevertheless still be positively influenced by ISAF actions. • Compromised reintegration events pose far greater risk than a missed opportunity. Reintegration is a ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ experience for the actors involved, and it is counter-productive to coerce reintegration events to occur before all parties are confident, secure and ready in all aspects. Attempts to foist reintegration onto participants will be ineffective, and indeed may even directly compromise the result.8 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  9. 9. POLICY AND THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH We must tie reconciliation and reintegration directly into our strategic campaign plan, and have the Afghans in the lead. We must lean forward on reintegration and the Afghan Local Police, and understand how one can help form conditions conducive for the other. General David Petraeus, September 2010The Afghan Peace and Reintegration ProgramWhile GIRoA has previously promulgated various preceding policy documents on reintegration, the extantcapstone document is The Afghan Peace & Reintegration Program or APRP, (Demobilisation & ReintegrationCommission 2010a) developed from the delegates’ recommendations of the Consultative Peace Jirga ofJune 2010 (Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan 2010).10 The APRP envisagesa pivotal role by provincial and district governors, with the support and inclusion of political, tribal andreligious leaders, and informal local governance institutions. Afghan women, victims, and civil society groupsare identified as vital role-players in monitoring the peace and reintegration process, and in promotingconstructive debate (Demobilisation & Reintegration Commission 2010b p.1–2).The key difference in approach between the APRP and previous policy frameworks is that the beneficiary fromreintegration is the community accepting the reintegrees,11 rather than the individual ex-insurgent (US Forces—Afghanistan 2010 p.4). This immediately neutralises the compromising circumstances made by previous schemeswherein insurgents were effectively ‘paid off’ for not fighting, and communities and individuals that had remainedsupportive of GIRoA were comparatively disadvantaged and hence disaffected.The APRP strategy comprises three pillars: the strengthening of security and civilian governance institutions topromote peace and reintegration; the facilitation of political conditions and support to the Afghan people toestablish an enduring and just peace; and the enhancement of national, regional and international support andconsensus to foster peace and stability. These have been selected carefully to mitigate the failings of previousmechanisms in the areas of demobilisation, sidelining of key players, conflict with reconciliation initiatives andpaying off of insurgents (despite contrary predictions in Waldman 2010 p.9–11). The APRP concurrentlyaddresses the categories of Peace and Reintegration at tactical and operational levels, and Reconciliation12 at thestrategic level. GIRoA’s leadership of both reintegration and reconciliation policy is acknowledged and enabled bythe International Community (Demobilisation & Reintegration Commission 2010b p.2–4). Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 9
  10. 10. As defined by ISAF (Force Reintegration Cell 2010 p.4): ‘Reconciliation is where the insurgent movement as a whole reaches an accommodation with GIRoA to bring the insurgency to an end. The political interests of the former insurgents would then be pursued through inclusion in the normal Afghan political process’. In contrast, the APRP’s political approach towards reintegration comprises three basic ‘pillars’ mentioned above, which correlate with the division of effort in the ISAF campaign: • Security Pillar – namely, security for villages and districts participating in the APRP; • Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights Pillar – the APRP being open, transparent, and compliant with the laws and Constitution of Afghanistan and Afghanistan’s international treaty obligations; and • Social and Economic Development Pillar – developed in parallel with broader GIRoA community recovery programs, and includes additional training, facilitation and operational guidelines for conflict affected areas, as well as employment and vocational training opportunities offered through infrastructure projects in priority districts (Demobilisation & Reintegration Commission 2010b p. 2–3). The rollout plan for the APRP political process (Demobilisation & Reintegration Commission 2010b p. 2–3) has the following three stages: • One—Social outreach, confidence-building, and negotiation by provincial and district leaders to individuals and their communities, which seeks expressions of intent to join the peace process and facilitates grievance resolution among the Government, communities, victims and ex-combatants. • Two—Demobilisation that broadly comprises an initial assessment of reintegration candidates, which is followed by candidate vetting, weapons management and registration. • Three—Consolidation of Peace, whereby participating communities, districts and provinces select from a ‘menu of conflict recovery options’, while noting that access, capacity and security, and diverse needs may curtail some options. The ‘menu’ includes but is not limited to improving access to basic services, civic education, literacy, technical and vocational education/training, and employment (proposals supported in Ganguly and Singh 2010 p.2). Access is available not only to ex-insurgents, but also to their accommodating community members. Other options include participation in the Community Recovery Program, agricultural conservation corps, public works corps, and integration to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Formal vs informal reintegration GIRoA’s aim is naturally to encourage all insurgents to participate in the formalised arrangements for reintegration under the APRP’s auspices. However, coming to terms with GIRoA processes does not directly aid an insurgent in returning to a community as an accepted member. Not all individuals participating in insurgent acts become alienated from their communities, and in some cases the insurgent and the local community are effectively interchangeable and indistinguishable. However, many more are estranged from some or even all of their erstwhile community, because of their violent or antisocial actions and associations. For these insurgents, coming to terms with the local community and its leaders is equally, if not more important than undergoing formal reintegration. Thus the reintegrating insurgent whether commander or footsoldier must undergo a ‘double jeopardy’ of coming to terms with both GIRoA and with his community. Undertaking this ‘informal’ form of reintegration, where individuals come to terms with family and local and community leaders, is far more prevalent than electing to be part of the APRP. This is because informal reintegration is an inescapable requirement, whereas electing to be part of formal reintegration is only necessary for insurgents whose actions are known to GIRoA or ISAF.10 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  11. 11. MANAGING AND FOSTERING REINTEGRATION The test for all our actions must be: why am I doing this? And the answer must be to remove the environmental conditions that generate the motives for joining the insurgency. We can change that environment through our actions. General David Petraeus, September 2010Reintegration and detaineesReintegration of detainees is a special aspect that provides significant opportunity, but involves substantialrisks. Either way, managing release of detainees with a view to reintegration must be a conscious feature of theoverall reintegration effort, as they represent a truly ‘captive audience’ for fostering reintegration. Ex-detaineeshave experienced a far closer relationship with GIRoA and International Partners policies and procedures thanmost insurgents, and can be important advocates for GIRoA’s commitment and capacity to reintegration (forexample, see Semple 2009 p.40). Reintegration efforts for detainees from the Detention Facility in Parwan(DFIP) can and do capitalise on the comprehensive de-radicalisation and rehabilitation program delivered atDFIP. ISAF commanders must carefully plan and conduct the release of detainees, and weave it into the overallscheme of manoeuvre, in order to obtain the best possible return on investment from the release. This involvesdetailed planning and coordination with provincial and district governors, local ANSF commanders and NationalDirectorate of Security (NDS) officials, and with Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs).Separating the insurgent from the insurgencyMuch is made in counterinsurgency theory of the importance of ‘separating the insurgent from the population’,as a means to deny them their intrinsic source of support, refuge and reinforcement. However, when viewedfrom a reintegration-focussed standpoint, this idea is inadequate, because it presents insurgent and population astwo discrete and immutable entities.13 To properly support reintegration, the concept must be refined furtherto accommodate behavioural transition, and allow individuals participating in the insurgency to relinquish thoseties and return to society. Similar to the way teachers and parents are urged to differentiate between a child’smiscreant behaviour and the child itself, so too the only chance for an insurgent to reintegrate is to be offered analternative that allows the individual to separate from the motivations, ideology and behaviour of the insurgency. Iftarred forever as an insurgent, unable to be redeemed, insurgency supporters are prone to become desperateand resigned to a fate of fighting until death or victory. Such a result is utterly counterproductive to successfulresolution to the campaign. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 11
  12. 12. Attaining the ‘decisive conditions’ Reintegration cannot simply be approached passively or reactively – albeit that all protagonists must be poised to respond both individually and in concert to any overtures of reintegration that arise. In contrast, ISAF must continue to adopt a proactive approach on reintegration, to understand the extant human conditions, to foster and set conditions conducive to reintegration as necessary, and then to exploit and capitalise on those reintegration opportunities when and as they occur. This approach must encompass all facets of Afghan polity and society. The wider ISAF counterinsurgency campaign is described across four broad areas of endeavour, or ‘lines of operation’. Successful and enduring reintegration is therefore described through – and is entirely dependent on generating – decisive conditions along all four of those lines of operation, as follows: • Provide security. Applying lethal and non-lethal pressure to insurgents to give up the fight, while denying reprisals against those who reintegrate, and safeguarding the accommodating communities. • Countering the culture of impunity and ‘malign actors’. Demonstrating GIRoA as a credible, trustworthy governing authority that is free from malign influence, and has the ability to manage reintegration fairly and impartially (also identified in Waldman 2010 p.5). • Providing stabilisation and reconstruction. Enhancing and encouraging community capacity to accept reintegrees, and delivering infrastructural, societal and governance needs that the insurgency cannot match. • Supporting development of governance. Fostering the conduct of effective reintegration committees, and support to community-level Reintegration Jirgas. It must be stressed that efforts towards these decisive conditions for reintegration in no way soften the resolve and vehemence with which the fight must be taken to insurgents that continue to violently oppose GIRoA and its Coalition partners. Indeed, it is the sustained pressure of loss and setback in the battle space that underpins the narrative to convince insurgents to reintegrate. Approaching reintegration in both proactive and responsive modes is even more complex for Afghans and GIRoA officials in particular. Appendix One provides a suggested summary of considerations for Afghan officials to guide efforts towards reintegration. In its supporting role to GIRoA, these considerations equally provide guidance to ISAF commanders as they assist their Afghan partners. Exploiting opportunity Once the local conditions for reintegration are understood, and shaped as necessary, ISAF and the International Partners must be poised to identify, support and consolidate reintegration events undertaken by GIRoA with communities and individuals. The Coalition therefore needs to retain latent capacity within all four lines of operation listed above to exploit those opportunities. Furthermore, once opportunities for reintegration have been successfully undertaken, they provide invaluable substance for positive strategic communication for all target audiences, as well as important experience for lessons for the Coalition to understand and deal with the complexities of reintegration.12 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  13. 13. UNDERSTANDING MOTIVATIONS AND RESERVATIONS We have to be relentless in seeking to understand the situation, and then figure out what we need to do about it. General David Petraeus, September 2010Insurgent motivesUnderstanding the Afghanistan theatre’s human terrain14 through the prism of reintegration is central to theCoalition’s mission success. Like any human group, insurgents and their supporters are open to influence thatshapes their decisions and ideas. The use of negative and positive influences, including lethal as well as non-lethaleffects, to degrade insurgents’ motivation to continue the insurgency must be teamed with positive pressure onGIRoA to deliver against security, development, counter-culture of impunity/malign influence and governancecampaign plan outcomes described above.Protagonist motivesProtagonists must properly comprehend and accommodate the full range of stakeholders relied upon tocontribute towards reintegration. Moreover, it is essential to note that negative sentiment towards reintegrationmay and does reside in all groups of actors concerned, and not necessarily limited to those seeking to supportthe insurgency, or prolong the conflict for their own ends. Either way, the presence of ‘spoilers’ must beestablished swiftly, and efforts made to alter their views (noted also in Waldman 2010 p.7). Notwithstanding,it should be acknowledged that there are real risks presented by false efforts of reintegration by insurgents,and underpins some of the fears and misgivings described below.Whether negativity towards reintegration stems from valid or malign reasons, countering these attitudes is a vitalaspect in the strategic communication plan supporting reintegration efforts. It is essential to gauge, and wherenecessary, shape, the extent of support from the Afghan political and security force leadership at alllevels, although attention to ambivalence or reluctance in other stakeholder groups is equally needed.The most typical negative sentiments towards reintegration are as follows:• The primary concern of Afghan local communities is security; fear of reprisal from insurgent groups and recidivism from ex-insurgents, as well as ostracism or intimidation from GIRoA or ANSF elements. Misgivings over delivery of community benefits through the APRP can also run counter to community support.• Insurgents’ concerns also revolve around fears over personal, family and community security. However, additional mistrust exists over GIRoA’s capacity to meet or accommodate the grievances that drive their militancy. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 13
  14. 14. • ISAF personnel may exhibit negative sentiment towards reintegration in the form of perceptions of ineffectiveness and irrelevance to a mission that at times is poorly interpreted at the individual level. For some in the military, the notion of reintegration is both non-intuitive and, on occasion, viewed as contrary to the memory of fallen comrades. • Until recently, many Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) have not emphasised reintegration, especially in comparison to other efforts. PRT institutional and individual level direction, capacity and focus can fall short of what is required to properly partner with Provincial Governments on reintegration. While this has changed somewhat – especially with the aid of guidance recently provided through ISAF and the Senior Civil Representative, there is still significant room for development. • Most negative sentiment towards reintegration from International Partners arises variously from xenophobia, religious bigotry and a lack of understanding of the capacity for the Islamic faith and indeed traditional Afghan society to support the concept of reintegration. These incorrect assumptions result in a lack of will to invest in reintegration efforts, or to provide national direction and guidance to deployed forces and officials in support of reintegration efforts. Other doubts can stem from an inability to comprehend the complex and drawn-out nature of reintegration, in both its formal and informal manifestations. Reintegration may be initiated quickly, but take months and perhaps years to fully gestate. Such timeframes are incomprehensible and unacceptable to many International Partner officials. • GIRoA ministers and officials may harbour fears of a loss of influence due to supporter backlash or, potentially, through diminution of a corrupt personal powerbase. They may also exhibit misgivings due to confusing of reintegration efforts with reconciliation, and over the timing for implementing the policy. • Governors at the provincial and district levels may hold similar sentiments to national level politicians. However, misgivings may occur over a fear of being politically outflanked by ANSF and other local political powerbrokers, which could lead to possible reprisal, removal, or a loss of influence in favour of customary and community-level leaders. • ANSF and other GIRoA security line ministries such as the NDS may mistrust insurgent motives, be sceptical of the successful delivery of the program, or have personal and institutional enmity with particular insurgents and insurgent groups. • Negative sentiment of staff towards ireintegration in international organisations such as United Nations Assistance Mission—Afghanistan (UNAMA) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) centres on an institutional-level incapacity and in some cases personal-level reluctance to invest sufficient effort and resources into promoting the APRP. • In contrast, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) exhibits a more positive outlook, but is intrinsically reticent to collaborate directly with other actors because of its keen concern over impartiality. The attendant strategic communication campaign supporting reintegration must, therefore, seek to counter all of these forms of negative sentiment, and reaffirm the centrality of reintegration.14 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  15. 15. CONCERT OF EFFORT Inclusivity is key to this campaign – ensuring the relevant actors have been recognised and accommodated in all we do. Community leadership is fundamental to this, and we must build up community leadership as far as GIRoA can reach down. General David Petraeus, September 2010GIRoA as the supported organisationReintegration activities must be approached as an arrangement where ISAF and the International Partners are ina supporting (not supplanting) role to GIRoA’s framework and responsibilities for managing reintegration as setout in the APRP, and must fully involve local communities and their leaders. GIRoA’s implementation will varyaccording to Provincial Government interpretation (though for each, as noted in Semple 2010 p.57–59, theirrole is vital), local needs and dynamics. Mechanisms supporting reintegration do not yet exist in all provinces anddistricts, due to lack of GIRoA capacity and/or will; therefore, ISAF and the International Partners must assistwithout getting ahead of the Afghan system. PRT District Stabilisation Teams (DSTs) and provincial committeesof the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups program (where they are present) should be harnessed in supportof reintegration to the extent practicable.Central role of PRTsThe assistance of PRTs and civilian advisors will continue to be essential to boosting government capabilityat provincial level and below. Released in October 2010, companion guidance to various ISAF directives hasnow been provided to PRTs and civilian advisors in support of the GIRoA reintegration efforts.Supportive partnershipSupportive and inclusive partnership fostered at all levels by ISAF and PRT senior leadership with GIRoAstakeholders, especially the NDS and Ministry of Interior, is equally vital to successful reintegration. Tribal,religious and community leaders must also be comprehensively involved to ensure lasting reintegrationoutcomes, and are truly indispensable in a community’s ultimate acceptance of an insurgent at the informal level.The reintegration process must acknowledge the role of these non-GIRoA leaders within Afghan society, andallow them the authority and influence to broker informal reintegration. This requires a very well-informedunderstanding of local community dynamics, and close partnership, mutual trust and confidence betweenGIRoA and the ANSF with ISAF and the International Partners in the area.Relevance of the International PartnersOrganisations such as UNAMA, UNDP, ICRC and others hold the key to lasting international support forreintegration. ISAF and the PRTs must continue to engage them and encourage their role in this as enduringpartners with GIRoA. At all times, international support must be tempered by the dictum that by definition,reintegration and reconciliation can only occur between Afghan nationals, and not foreigners (e.g. O’Neill2009 p.25). Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 15
  16. 16. WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE If we give man a taste of mercy from Ourselves, and then withdraw it from him, behold! he is in despair and (falls into) ingratitude. But if we give him a taste of (Our) favours after adversity hath touched him, he is sure to say, “All evil has departed from me:” behold! he falls into exultation and pride. Not so do those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward. The Holy Qur’an, Part 12 v. 9–11 The threats and challenges to achieving successful and enduring reintegration are manifold. The following are the seven most commonplace and serious challenges: • Lack of governance capacity; • Lack of Rule of Law capacity; • Lack of community trust in GIRoA; • Lack of community sense of security and resilience; • Inertia in implementation of the APRP; • Low sense of security in GIRoA officials; and • Lack of capacity of traditional justice and customary law to work in concert with GIRoA (see discussion of linkage between transitional justice and reconciliation in Beg and Payam 2010 p.6–7). The effects required For reintegration to be successful, the Coalition must plan, coordinate and execute all of its forms of operations fully cognisant of the reintegration effects that are generated. The effects required to stimulate reintegration are that: • Insurgents at all levels of command and involvement are demoralised, have lost confidence in participating in the insurgency and consider reintegration into Afghan society as not just the only viable, but also the most appealing alternative.16 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  17. 17. • GIRoA is viewed as a trustworthy interlocutor for reintegration, and is able to deliver on Afghans’ fundamental grievances.• Individual Afghans and community leaders are confident of their security and empowerment to accommodate insurgents into their communities.Performance Measurement and Effects AssessmentThere is distinct difference between managing performance and assessing effectiveness of an action, and this isparticularly relevant to reintegration.APRP direction and the ensuing Joint Order to Ministries (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan National SecurityCouncil 2010) set out GIRoA’s performance requirements, while ISAF Joint Command has articulated necessaryperformance milestones, such as establishment of Reintegration Committees at provincial and district levels.The effectiveness of the Coalition’s efforts towards reintegration is much more difficult to assess, yet thisis key information in retaining national support among International Partners and GIRoA alike. Simplymeasuring the number of people who declare they wish to reintegrate was quickly discarded as a viablemetric, because of significant data flaws. Many insurgents do not wish to have their return to society madepublic knowledge, and will only undertake ‘informal’ reintegration. Others may not even consider theiractions as actual reintegration. Insurgents undertaking formal reintegration under the APRP must undergostringent ID checks; however, if an individual was not previously known to be an insurgent, then there is noway to corroborate his claim as an insurgent.ISAF staff in Regional Command (South) derived a methodology from a first principles analysis of the‘disintegrating’ effects that the insurgency was imposing. Against those, atmospherics assessments and selectdata capture were then used to ascertain the degree of community reintegration over time. This wasconsidered to be a far more relevant metric, and was based on the following conditions:• The absence of violent insurgent related acts;• The degree of sense of community safety and security;• The level of support for and participation in reintegration by all actor groups;• The degree to which the community had confidence in GIRoA’s ability to undertake and manage reintegration; and• The absence of intimidation of local nationals.Recommendations for Australia’s Role and InvolvementSelecting a discrete role or involvement for Australia in reintegration appears impractical, with reintegrationinvolving such diverse and enduring elements from all parts of the International Partners’ involvement inAfghanistan. However, the following avenues of involvement with reintegration should be considered byAustralia as part of its ongoing commitment to Afghanistan:• Development of a clear and well-understood position on support to reintegration prior to forthcoming key ISAF and International Partner meetings.• Inclusion of clear and well-informed national policy lines to take on reintegration with key partners including Afghanistan, Pakistan and other regional countries, United Kingdom, United States and other NATO countries. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 17
  18. 18. • Develop a clear and well-informed public policy and direction on reintegration to personnel operationally deployed within the Uruzgan PRT, the Special Operations Task Group and the Combined Team Uruzgan, including the Mentoring Task Force. • Maintaining and possibly increasing the proportion of embedded military and civilian staff positions at all levels in support of reintegration. • Develop a whole-of-government supporting concept on reintegration to the ADF’s counterinsurgency conceptual framework. • Inclusion of training and education modules relating to reintegration as part of pre-deployment training for both ADF and other Australian government officials. Lasting reintegration is much harder to realise than merely announcing a policy. Personal allegiances, misgivings, fear and human and institutional frailty all seem arrayed against even attempting reintegration, yet it is a valid and indeed fundamental aim, and like a nettle, must be grasped with confidence and vigour. The approach proposed in this paper aims at chronic, rather than symptomatic treatment of the causes of Afghanistan’s insurgency challenges. There is a role for all actors that demands a common purpose, and a truly concerted effort to attain reintegration in Afghanistan. Acknowledgments The author wishes to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of all those involved in fostering reintegration in Afghanistan, but in particular the inspiration from the following comrades and colleagues, who have provided their own invaluable contribution to furthering the prospects of reintegration within Regional Command (South) and Afghanistan more widely: Shafiullah Afghan, Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Caie, Patrick Carroll, Wing Commander David Gourlay, Major General Phil Jones, Colonel Ewen McLay, Lieutenant Colonel Rip Miles and Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam.18 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  19. 19. Glossary of TermsANSF: Afghan National Security ForcesAPRP: Afghan Peace & Reintegration ProgramDSTs: District Stabilisation TeamsDIAG: Disbandment of Illegal Armed GroupsGIRoA: The Government of the Islamic Republic of AfghanistanICRC: International Committee of the Red CrossIDLG: Independent Directorate of Local GovernanceIJC: ISAF Joint CommandISAF: International Security Assistance Force(N)CPJ: (National) Consultative Peace JirgaNDS: National Directorate of SecurityPRT: Provincial Reconstruction TeamUNAMA: United Nations Assistance Mission – AfghanistanUNDP: United Nations Development Program Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 19
  20. 20. APPENDIX ONE – A SUGGESTED GUIDANCE FOR AFGHAN OFFICIALS ON REINTEGRATION Proactive efforts in support of Reintegration • Develop contingency plans at Provincial, District and local levels between ANSF, GIRoA and NDS to manage influx of reintegrees • Liaise with community leaders, religious leaders and interest groups (including female representation) to build their confidence, and have them ready to play their part, in fostering reintegration • Seek local information from trusted community leaders on go-betweens for dialogue, both with insurgent groups, and between communities and reintegrees • Establish and actively promote use of call centres that are easily contacted, to provide helpful and anonymous reintegration advice • Ensure all officials are both clear and confident of their own and their organisation’s roles and responsibilities for reintegration • Develop a clear and shared intelligence picture on: - Who are the prospective reintegration influencers? - Who are the potential reintegration intermediaries? - Who are most likely to reintegrate inside insurgent groups? • At local levels, identify what is motivating known individual insurgents who might reintegrate, so that we might resolve their grievances • Seek and understand conditions in the human, the political and economic environments that favour and foster reintegration • Recognise those officials that are impediments and spoilers of the reintegration movement, urge them to alter their views or, if necessary, consider their removal from posts • Conduct deliberate and framework security operations in concert with information operations, designed to remove the motivation for insurgents to continue armed struggle, and to view reintegrating into society not only as an attractive, but the only viable, option • Conduct framework security operations designed to promote community resilience and a justified sense of security, both for the local people and the reintegrees joining their community • Team all actions with informative and encouraging messaging to make locals and insurgents understand the benefits flowing from being part of the reintegration movement. Make use of all mediums, including willing leaders, powerbrokers and mullahs20 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  21. 21. • Build confidence within local government structures and staff to accept the idea of reintegration• Use available reintegration funding to establish networks of safe houses and trustworthy contacts for reintegrees to use while they negotiate their return to the community• Use available reintegration funding to deepen security arrangements, establish learning facilities, and opportunities for appealing livelihoods within communities that are willing to accommodate reintegrees.Responsive efforts in support of Reintegration - Officials• Actively participate in managing former detainees – by providing submissions into review boards, and aiding return to the community• Without compromising personal security, demonstrate and showcase local successes in reintegration, for the benefit of other communities• Offer available reintegration funding to community and religious leaders and elders to allow them to cover costs of holding negotiating shuras between communities and reintegrees• Participate with courage and impartiality in shuras considering a reintegree’s eligibility• Share information and intelligence between colleague GIRoA organisations, to ensure reintegrees are duly treated by committees• Understand the process and the steps required to effectively consider a reintegree’s eligibility status before the law of GIRoA• Abide by the determinations of the reintegration process over the eligibility or otherwise of each reintegree• Do not tolerate any individual or organisation’s attempts at intimidation or reprisal towards either reintegrees, the communities that accept them, or the leaders who have sponsored their return from insurgency• Be prepared for instances of recidivism among reintegrees, and take swift, but measured and proportional action against offenders• Abide by any general amnesty determinations Kabul may make• Treat earnest reintegrees with the respect and dignity of a person who has had the courage to fight for their beliefs, and separate their actions from those of criminals and mercenaries. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 21
  22. 22. REFERENCES Ali, A Y (2010), Roman Transliteration of The Holy Qur’an, Dar al Furqan, Beirut. Afghanistan RAMT Product (2010) Reintegration and Reconciliation in Helmand and Kandahar Provinces: Ten Focus Groups, Glevum Associates LLC, Burlington MA. Australian Army (2006) Complex Warfighting, Canberra. Beg, B and Payam, A (2010), Charting a Course for a Sustainable Peace: Linking Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Afghanistan, Afghanistan Watch, Kabul. Demobilisation & Reintegration Commission (2010a) Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) Programme Document, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan National Security Council, Kabul. Demobilisation & Reintegration Commission (2010b) Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) Programme Document Executive Summary, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan National Security Council, Kabul. Force Reintegration Cell (2010) Reintegration Guide, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force, Kabul. Gall, C (2011) ‘Taliban Seen Stirring Mob to Violence in Afghanistan’, The New York Times, 9 April 2011. Ganguly, S and Singh, H (2010), Reintegration versus Reconciliation in Afghanistan, RSIS Commentaries 33/2010, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. Headquarters Department of the Army (2006) Field Manual 3–24:Counterinsurgency, United States Army, Washington DC. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan National Security Council (2010) Joint Instruction from the Ministries of Defense and Interior, IDLG, NDS and Secretariat of the High Council of Peace, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan National Security Council, Kabul. King, A (2010) The Powerbrokers We Need Onside, Parliamentary Brief Online, http://www.parliamentarybrief.com/2010/03/the-powerbrokers-we-need-onside#all. Kipling, Rudyard (2003) The Jungle Book: Her Majesty’s Servants, Puffin Classics, Croydon. Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2010) The Resolution Adopted at the Conclusion of the National Consultative Peace Jirga June 2–4, 2010, Loya Jirga Tent, Kabul. O’Neill, M (2009), Confronting the Hydra: Big Problems with Small Wars, Lowy Institute Paper 28, Lowy Institute for Policy, Sydney. Rashid, A (2008), Taliban, I.B. Tauris & Co, London. Land Warfare Development Group Research Team (2010), Reintegration and Reconciliation Theory and Practice, Land Warfare Centre, Warminster.22 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  23. 23. Semple, M (2009), Reconciliation in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington DC.Tellis, A J (2009), Reconciling with the Taliban? Toward an Alternative Grand Strategy in Afghanistan, CarnegieEndowment for International Peace, Washington DC.US Forces—Afghanistan (2010) ‘Afghanistan Reintegration Program Standard Operating Procedures (Updated)’,Money As A Weapon System - Afghanistan (MAAWS-A), US Forces—Afghanistan, Kabul.Waldman, M (2010), Golden Surrender? The Risks, Challenges, and Implications of Reintegration in Afghanistan,Afghanistan Analysts Network Discussion Paper, Kabul. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 23
  24. 24. E ndnotes 1 The views expressed in this report are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Regional Command (South), ISAF, the Australian Army or the Australian Defence Force (ADF). 2 Among these, see Semple (2009), Reconciliation in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington DC, pp 27–38 for a very useful description of the insurgency as it presents post–2001. Also, see Rashid (2008), Taliban, I.B. Tauris & Co, London for a deeper historical perspective on the origins, ideology and actions of the Taliban. 3 This Background draws on the personal experience and understanding of the author during his appointment in HQ Regional Command - South in 2010, as well as the following sources: Semple (2009 p. 27–38, 68–69); Rashid (2008 p.82–128); King (2010) passim; Waldman (2010 p.4–5); Afghanistan RAMT Product (2010) passim. 4 The Taliban’s Quetta Shura is the main leadership among Afghanistan’s Taliban, based since about 2001 in Quetta, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. It has variety of extremely powerful actors in Afghanistan’s informal political landscape, and has support from a variety of external individuals and organisations, allegedly including Pakistan’s intelligence services. 5 The Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) is an Afghan Islamist political party that has in the last decade reemerged as an aggressive militant group, claiming responsibility for many bloody attacks against the Afghan Government in Kabul as well as Coalition forces. 6 The Haqqani network is an independent insurgent group in Afghanistan and Pakistan led by Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani. The network is allied with the Taliban, and is active in Afghanistan’s southeastern provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Logar and Ghazni. 7 The primary medium to the outside world is mobile telephony (followed by others such as radio, internet and television), which has an astonishing level of pervasiveness throughout rural as well as urban Afghanistan. 8 The US military gives the historic principles of Counterinsurgency (COIN) theory as: legitimacy is the main objective; unity of effort is essential; political factors are primary; understand the environment; intelligence drives operations; isolate insurgents from their cause and support; establish security under the rule of law; and prepare for a long-term commitment. For example, see Headquarters Department of the Army (2006 p.1–20 – 1–24). 9 In this paper, the word ‘Coalition’ is used to describe collectively the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the US Forces- Afghanistan (USFOR-A), the various Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) provided by NATO and non-NATO contributing nations, and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and other agencies of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA). When not including GIRoA, the term ‘International Partners’ will be used. 10 Jirga is a Pashto term for a decision-making assembly of male elders. 11 Term coined for individual insurgents who have determined to reintegrate with GIRoA and Afghan society. Strictly, the term is applied only once an individual has been approved for entry into the APRP – they are considered ‘reintegration candidates’ prior to this. 12 Much has been made of the somewhat contrived distinction between the terms of reconciliation and reintegration, as there are clearly overlaps between the terms in their original or non-jargon definitions. However, the purpose of providing distinguishing definitions for each in the Afghanistan context was to remove confusion between efforts at the higher political levels, and at the lower, more tactical levels. 13 Indeed, the fallibility of this concept demonstrates how any dispassionate and polarised approach towards counterinsurgency theory fails to account for human, organic uncertainty and flux. 14 ‘Human terrain’ describes the demography, ethnography, cultural and linguistic characteristics of a given society or area. As described in Australian Army (2006), human terrain is combined with informational terrain and geographic terrain to constitute the full complexity of terrain that modern land combat forces must navigate in order to understand their mission space.24 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  25. 25. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 25
  26. 26. 26 CIVIL-MILLITARY OCCASIONAL PAPERS
  27. 27. Grasping the Nettle: Why Reintegration is Central to Operational Design in Southern Afghanistan 27
  28. 28. w w w.c i v m i l co e . gov. au

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