The Afghan Tribe is a Critical Capability: Leveraging the Center of Gravity
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The Afghan tribe is a Critical Capability Leveraging the center of gravity. The concept of the population as the center of gravity is not new. As David Galula wrote in Counterinsurgency Warfare Theory and Practice, The support of the population is as necessary for the counterinsurgent as for the insurgent. Mao Zedong identified the importance of the population during the Chinese communist insurgency when he wrote, The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea. In Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal has outlined a strategy to safeguard the population and win over their support. Coalition forces and the Taliban are fighting for control of the same thing the people of Afghanistan. This paper addresses the issues at hand in Afghanistan and how they should be addressed to provide an exit for the United States. It explains what mechanisms must be in place for the United States to leave Afghanistan better than she found it. Finally the paper identifies issues that the United States Army must continue to pursue after the war in Afghanistan is won to ensure the institutional knowledge that is being developed today is not lost to the future generations of soldiers and officers who will take the field in the next counterinsurgency.
- Unconventional Warfare