No Green-On-Blue Against the Reds?: Organizational Strategies Behind Insider Attacks in Afghanistan
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
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This study examines the organization-level forces that drive insurgent infiltrator behavior. More specifically, it answers the question, why has the current Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan adopted the infiltrator tactic of Insider Attacks when the Mujahidin did not against the Soviets in the 1980s This is an important phenomenon to study based on the continuing ubiquity of insurgencies and the ever-increasing interaction between US forces and host-national militaries as the US attempts to increase partner-nation capabilities through training. Current studies regarding Insider Attacks focus primarily on the personal reasons behind the behavior. They lack a holistic picture by ignoring higher-level causes, especially those at the organizational level. An analysis of key insurgent and counterinsurgent theorists was used to provide a list of key insurgent and counterinsurgent strategic goals. How these goals drove the Mujahidin and Taliban infiltrator tactics was then investigated by evaluating their common infiltrator missions e.g. spying, stealing, recruiting, and delegitimizing the incumbent. During the Soviet occupation, the Mujahidin used their infiltrators primarily for collecting intelligence, acquiring material, and enabling attacks. These tasks produced great benefits to the insurgency while minimizing the cost in relation to other tactics. The most beneficial use was intelligence gathering, because it provided warning to Mujahidin forces of impending Soviet attacks, thereby increasing the survivability of the insurgency. This information asymmetry exacerbated the Soviet s problem in identifying insurgents, causing the Soviets to injure and kill numerous civilians during their offenses. These casualties, in turn, caused the Soviets and their Afghan counterparts to lose the support of a majority of the Afghan population. The information leaks also led to mistrust between the Soviet military and their Afghan counterparts.
- Unconventional Warfare