One Tribe at a Time
used in a very eective surrogate role, in support of our objectives. We also need to understand that some ghters whom the US has labeled as “warlords” are really “environmentally-induced leaders” who ll a power vacuum of one type or another and that they would be very receptive to and even desirous of US assistance.
A strategy of tribal engagement will require a complete paradigm shift at the highest levels of our military organization.
6. e opium problem. e tie between opium and the funding of the Taliban is a fact. However, at the tactical level, it would be a mistake for US forces to get involved in this issue. To do so would make enemies out of a population that is simply struggling to feed its families, clans and tribes. e COIN (counterin- surgency) forces should not be made responsible for
the opium issue. at would be counter-productive for the troops on the ground.
So . . . what is the answer? My hope is that you will nd it as you read through this paper.
You get a much different perspective on what this war means when you’re in a tribal village. You look down at the children and see the hope and trust and anticipation in their eyes. It puts a little more fire in your belly to do something that really matters.