Recommendations For Success In Afghanistan

Recommendations For Success In Afghanistan
Recommendations for Success in Afghanistan
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This monograph is the result of an integrated research project conducted by a group of eight officers at the U.S. Army War College during the 2017-2018 academic year. Four most important and challenging issues were determined which the Resolute Support mission grappled with on a daily basis:

  • maintaining the equilibrium of power and control between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban at its current level;
  • bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table to begin peace talks with the Afghan Government;
  • getting Pakistan to curb its 17-year support to the Taliban; and,
  • start to roll back the pernicious dominance of opium production in the Afghan economy and its corrosive influence on national governance and state-building. 
Table of Contents

 Foreword vii

Preface xi

Summary   xv

Introduction  1

Four Key Factors for the Future of Afghanistan 1

Chapter 1

Recommendations for Reducing Cross-Border Taliban Support 5

Pakistani Support 5

The Afghanistan-Pakistan Border 9

Regional States 12

Recommendations 13

Endnotes 16

Chapter 2

Recommendations for Reducing the Opium Trade 19

Recommendations 23

Endnotes 26

Chapter 3

Recommendations for Improving the Afghan National Defense Security Forces 29

ANDSF Attrition 35

Security Architecture Realignment 37

Recommendations 46

Endnotes 49

Chapter 4. Recommendations for Moving Toward Reconciliation 55

A Brief History of Reconciliation Efforts 1978 to Present 56

Recommendations 68

Endnotes  71

Appendix I

The Soviet Construction of Afghanistan’s Security Forces 75

The Design 75

The Sarandoy 76

The KhAD 77

The Afghan Military 77

Aviation 79

Border Forces  79

Citizen Militias  80

Tribal and Border Militias  80

Takeaways  81

Endnotes – Appendix I 83

Appendix II. Afghan Reconciliation Historical Review 85

Annex: Pashtun Uprising and Hadda Mullah Case Study 92

Endnotes – Appendix II  95

Appendix III. Colombia’s Reconciliation With the FARC—Case Study 99

Colombia’s Military Strategy to Take the FARC to Negotiations 102

Demobilization Program Before Talks 107

The Contrast Between the Two Conflicts 110

Conclusions  112

Endnotes – Appendix III. 114

Appendix IV. Reconciliation Terms and Definitions  117

Endnotes – Appendix IV  118

List of Contributors 119

Project Editor 119

Contributing Authors 119


This analysis should be especially useful to U.S. strategic leaders, policy analysts, and intelligence professionals engaged in Afghanistan withdrawal decision-making, as they seek to address the complicated interplay of factors related to regional security issues, fighting terrorism, and the support of local allies.

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Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College
  • Mason, Chris, M.
Key Phrases:
  • Afghanistan
  • Army War College
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